New Law will Protect Consumers at Home
Starting March 1, 2018, Ontario will ban unsolicited, door-to-door sales of certain household appliances to better protect consumers from aggressive and misleading contracting at home.
Businesses will only be able to enter into a contract in the consumer’s home if the consumer has contacted the business ahead of time and invited them into their home for the purpose of entering into a contract. Contracts that are in violation of the new rules relating to door-to-door contract solicitation will be considered void, and consumers will be able to keep the goods and services with no obligations.
The new rules will apply to:
Duct cleaning services
Water treatment devices
Bundles of these goods and services
In addition, businesses will be required to keep a record of how contact with the consumer entering the contract was made, and all contracts signed in the home for these goods and services will also have a 10-day cooling-off period, allowing consumers to cancel the contract for any reason without penalty.
Protecting consumers is part of Ontario’s plan to create fairness and opportunity during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25 through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation.
Door-to-door contracts have been among the top complaints received by the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services.
Ontario is the second province in Canada to restrict door-to-door solicitation and contracts.
If a consumer calls for a repair, maintenance or any other reason, businesses will only be allowed to leave information about the products and services they offer, unless the business has a written contract in place with the consumer and secures the consumer’s approval in advance of the visit to solicit a contract for the restricted goods or services.
Businesses will need to keep a record of how contact with the consumer was made and provide consumers with clear information about their rights.