Residents of the Town of Deseronto are reminded that anyone who goes door-to-door to solicit a product or service must obtain a permit from the municipality. Residents should ask to see a copy of the solicitors permit as well as the salespersons identification. Issuance of a solicitor permit is in no means, an endorsement of the solicitor or their products/services by the municipality. Residents are encouraged to use their best judgment when encountering solicitors. If you feel threatened or uncomfortable in any way, ask the seller to leave. If you are at all suspicious, call the police. Please follow the link below for tips on door-to-door sales provided by the Ministry of Consumer Services.
Ministry of Consumer Services Tips on Buying at the Door
- Be careful when allowing strangers into your home. Let them in only if you’ve asked the company to send someone to your house for a product or service demonstration. Make sure the seller has identification. Ask for local references – and check them.
- Ask yourself if you really need the product or service right now. Don’t buy on impulse.
- Never give out personal or financial information including utility bills, your credit card or bank account number, unless you know the selling company’s reputation.
- Never sign a contract without reading and fully understanding it. Don’t sign anything with blank spaces.
- Don’t be pressured or rushed into a purchase. Common high-pressure tactics include setting time limits (“buy today and save 50 per cent – the price will change tomorrow”) and forcing customers to make hasty decisions – often with the promise of a “special” offer. You can always take the information and ask the seller to come back when you’ve had time to consider the purchase. If it’s a great deal, it will still be there tomorrow.
- Don’t feel embarrassed about protecting yourself. If you feel threatened in any way, ask the seller to leave. If you are at all suspicious, call the police.
Under the Ontario Consumer Protection Act, 2002:
- If you sign a contract in your home, you may cancel within 10 days by giving notice of cancellation. Provide this notice by e-mail, fax or registered letter or by hand delivering it (try to obtain a signature upon delivery). Be sure to keep a copy of your letter. The company has 15 days to return your money and is responsible for picking up the product or paying for the cost of sending it back if the company wants its product returned.
- If you purchase something in your home that costs more than $50, there must be a written contract.
- In addition to the name and address of the buyer and seller, the contract must clearly describe the item and state the price, delivery dates, delivery charges and the date on which services are to be performed and completed. If it doesn’t, you can cancel the contract within one year of signing, and the company must provide a full refund.
- The only exception for the company to provide a full refund is if the consumer asked the company to provide the goods or services within 10 days of entering into the agreement. In this case, the supplier is entitled to deduct reasonable compensation from the refund amount. The exception is intended to cover such things as emergency home repairs
- If your agreement contains an estimate, the final price cannot be more than 10 per cent above it, unless you agree.
- Consumer agreements must disclose important details. If a company isn’t delivering on the contract, or if you encounter an aspect that wasn’t disclosed but was required to be by law as part of the deal, e.g. an annual renewal fee, you have the right to cancel within one year.
- If the company does not deliver or begin performing services within 30 days of the date stated in the agreement, you can cancel the agreement at any time before delivery or commencement of performance. You lose the right to cancel if you agree to accept delivery or allow the company to perform its obligations after the 30-day period. If the agreement does not state a date, the 30 days run from the date the agreement was entered into. Again, you lose that right if you accept delivery or allow the company to perform services after the 30 days.
- Under law, there is a minimum warranty on the quality of services. In short, the services must be of reasonably acceptable quality. If they are not, consider filing a complaint.
- You are protected against unfair business practices such as deceptive promotion and sales tactics. If an unfair practice has occurred, you can rescind the agreement within one year. One way to do this is to send the seller a registered letter. If that doesn’t produce results, see Your Consumer Protection Toolbox for the next course of action.
- When you cancel an agreement signed in your home, any other arrangements you made as a result of that purchase, like a financing agreement, are also cancelled.