foxyolive

Journey to the best health of my life (yes, the journey includes olives)

Green Planet: door-to-door sales

37 Comments

door to door sales

So this is a bit off topic for my blog, but Green Planet came to my door last night and I want to share my story.

Ever had someone come to your door to sell something?  I bet we all have.  I understand that it’s their job, and it’s a tough job.  However, the door to door sales industry needs to smarten up.  I will not sign anything without some research, and there are far too many scams for me to trust the salesperson that comes to my door.  Here is what happened last night…

The doorbell rang and I later found out that it was two representatives from a company called ‘Green Planet’ (“GP reps”) – if you read nothing else then read this: do not let them in, do not sign anything (at least not without some research!). By the way, I’m located in Ontario.  My husband answered the door and decided to let them in – I overheard a talk about a free upgrade for my rented water heater with better efficiency.  I went upstairs as I wasn’t dressed for guests.

The men went to the basement with my husband.  When they came back to the ground floor I was listening to their conversation from the upstairs landing: free upgrade, free installation, no extra fees, can I have your name/number/email etc and just sign here.  That’s when I called for my husband – I said I wanted to see the paperwork before he signed.   It’s at this point all the red flags started to appear.  The GP reps  insisted that it was a legal document that could not leave their sight.  Wait.  What?!  That makes no sense to me at all.  I let them know that we were not going to sign it without the GP reps watching, but there was no way my husband was signing it before I reviewed the paperwork.  They said no.  I said, fine, no problem, we are not signing it.  Eventually they took the form for a free upgrade [read: 10 year contract!] from the clipboard and gave to my husband to bring up.

After a brief look at the form we both agreed we shouldn’t sign before checking our current rental situation and researching.  My husband went downstairs and told the GP reps that we wouldn’t sign today.  The GP reps were clearly upset.  One of them shouted up and said he’d explained everything to my husband and it’s free, we should just sign.  My husband tried to reason with them:

  • He asked them to come back – nope, they didn’t have time for that.  Another red flag – you are sales guys and you work on commission.  I know you have the time!
  • He asked if we can call and arrange something – nope, they would not get commission.  I stated that’s it’s not our problem if they can’t leave a reference number for us to follow up with.  Red flag: this is a definite sales pressure tactic.

The GP reps got more upset with me.  They told my husband he’s missing out on an opportunity and that his wife doesn’t know anything …!  Wait – again.  What?!  Did the GP reps really think undermining my opinion was going to persuade my husband to sign??  My husband sent them out the door.  They tore up the unsigned contract that had just been filled out with my husband’s information and gave it to my husband.

It’s interesting to note:

1. The GP reps did not leave the brochure with us. They didn’t have enough for all the houses so if we were not signing up today then we couldn’t have one.  That defeats the point of a brochure!

2. The GP reps noted how they are connected to Enbridge (our gas supplier), but not connected to Reliance (the company we currently rent our water heater from), but yet it was ok to upgrade our tank that we rent from Reliance – never mentioning we may be breaking a current contract.  Just to be clear – the GP reps never positioned their form as a contract – it was just a form for a free upgrade.

3. The GP reps said that since our rental is old it’s inefficient and we should take advantage of this free upgrade.  In fact, they positioned their entry into our home as a ‘water heater inspection’.  I’m in a new home and have been there for approximately 6 years.  I did some research after they left and I’m leaning towards the opinion that we are fine for the time being.

4. The GP reps NEVER showed my husband the back of the contract which says “Water Heater Rental Agreement Terms and Conditions” and never once shared the fact that we would be entering into a brand new contract by signing this document.

After the GP reps left we pieced together the “Water Heater Rental Agreement Terms and Conditions” – these are some of the items that stood out to us:

  • Signing the “free upgrade” binds you into a 10 year contract, with a $450 to $600 cancellation fee.
  • The “free upgrade” may require other parts for installation that, if you don’t have, you will be liable to pay for.  Charges will be disclosed at the time of installation.
  • Higher monthly rental fee compared to our current rental bill
  • A right for Green Planet to increase the rental rate by 3.5% p/month on an annual basis.
  • No mention of what happens to our current contract. So by signing this anyone could be under obligation with their current contract, and with the new contract.

The GP reps made it sound like this was just a free upgrade and there will be no real change for us except we will pay Green Planet (through Enbridge) instead of Reliance. He never made it clear that this was a brand new contract. The fact they ‘didn’t have time’ to come back was a definite deal breaker.  If the GP reps believe that this is a good deal for us, and that after researching we will still want the deal then they definitely would make the time to come back.  Also, the GP reps would have left materials with us to read over. GP reps – Are you telling me that if we were not home you, or someone else from Green Planet, wouldn’t try to come to my door another day?!

In Ontario our rights are protected under the Consumer Protections Act which allows for a 10 day “cooling off period” – you can cancel a contract within 10 days of your signing date and you do not have to give a reason.

Remember this: If a salesperson is not prepared to come back, and do not leave you with the information then there is no deal for you – don’t let them in.  If you think there is a deal – it will still be there tomorrow.

This is my blog, my little world.  I have posted this story to provide an insight into my experience.  I welcome comments and viewpoints, including those that differ to mine.  However, I do moderate all comments.  Offensive and disrespectful comments will not be tolerated, and will not be approved.

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Author: Foxy-O

I’m a 30-something female who’s striving to be the healthiest woman I can be through diet and exercise. In early 2013 I was introduced to the world of Paleo. I completed Whole30 and had fantastic results. I had finally found something that worked for me! My blog is a jumble of my thoughts as I take the journey through my life. Somewhere for me to unleash my views, my challenges, my failures and my successes (hopefully!).

37 thoughts on “Green Planet: door-to-door sales

  1. wow– talk about a sales pitch from hell !

  2. Thanks for the story. Something similar happened to me a couple days ago and they were over the top aggressive. The guy was so rude. He was trying to intimidate me. Glad my instincts were working right that day.

  3. same thing here.Banging at my door that clearly states No Peddlars and then calling me a crabby old lady when I went down the street yelling at them.One wore an orange vest-I guess to make themselves look even more technical.Would not leave any info with me so I could contact their office.Goofs that prey on little old ladies.Any young people reading please advise your parents that if someone comes to your door and they need to do a Safety Check and they do not see a police car or fire truck -do not let them in.They can actually damage equipment.

  4. A young man came to my door (Green Planet ID around his neck) saying that he wanted to come in to inspect my h/w heater as it is over 12 years old…his clip board had a Enbridge invoice but kept far away from me to see if it was mine or not. I said Enbridge would contact me for an appointment for an inspect and I asked him to leave. He kept telling me that he has permission by Enbridge to inspect h/w heaters on the street. Really, my h/w heater is 4 years old. This guy quickly turned and moved to the next house. Such a scam

  5. They hire and train people for this scam

  6. thanks for this–they were just at our door and it definitely sounded too good to be true. Glad we read your information!!

  7. Green Planet reps banged on my door today, I refused to sign anything until I researched their company further. The sales person got very aggressive and said it was a one time offering and that I would regret it and that all my neighbours were signing up. I escorted him to the door and declined his one time too good to be true offer. I then researched the company online immediately and came across your post, thank you for that by the way. They then sent a second rep to my door after I researched their tactics. This time I was prepared for them, I mentioned the 3.5% annual increase, the 10 to 15 year contracts and they left immediately with no fight left in them. Thank you again and I certainly hope others don’t get duped by their unscrupulous tactics.

    John in Pickering

    • I’m glad I could help John – amazing that a ‘one time’ offering came to your door twice 😉 It must have been satisfying to throw some of their own terms back at them!

  8. I was hired by this company to work as a supervisor. It only took a few days to realize that I was not comfortable working for them. When they call, they start off by stating that they are calling in regard to a provincial tax credit for upgrading your old furnance or water heater and to find out whether you are eligible for a free asseement for a no cost installation. It’s a bunch of marketing rhetoric and it is MUCH more economical to buy a water heater or furnance outright than to pay high long term rental fees.

    To top it off, this company is so sketchy that they didn’t pay me wages or collect my social insurance number for the time I worked for them. Their reasoning was that they bring people on for a two week trial so they don’t “waste time on paperwork.” In my opinion, these people are crooks.

    • Thank you for sharing your insight Gil – it’s always interesting to get a view from someone who has ‘been on the inside’. I’m sure many people will appreciate reading your story. I certainly did!

    • Your not telling the truth. I was recently hired by Green Planet and they required photo ID and my SIN card before I was hired.

    • I work for Green planet. They required photo ID and my SIN card before I started. We’re trained to be honest polite and pleasant to the home owners we talk to. Door to door isn’t the easiest way to make a living but if you need to work you’ll find a position in commission customer service. Many people aren’t able to deal with the rejection so they quit and become disgruntled.

      We inspect water tanks because only older water heaters without cancelation fees can be replaced with newer, energy star water tanks that are far more efficient than even a 5year-old tank. We have a logistics system that ensures safe return of old tanks to their supplier. There’s also a 50$ rebate that pays for the first 2 months of rentals.

      A water tank isn’t the most exciting thing to shop for. Most homeowners I’ve spoken to don’t even know how much they’re paying for theirs and don’t care less as long as they have hot water. We provide glass lined water tanks with safety features, vacation setting, temperature customization and more. On average they cost about $1.50 more per month with homeowners receiving net savings on their bill because of energy efficiency. The alternative is paying a little bit less for your tank to build up rust and sediments that clog the mechanism using more gas to heat your water, its disgusting the sludge that builds up in older tanks without glass lining and the homeowners end up paying more on gas.

      We’re a Canadian company the best way to compete with the billion dollar resources of (British) Direct Energy and (US) reliance is through personal customer service. I realize that just because i come to the door many reject the value without a consideration. I’ve left countless “brochures” with my personal cell phone number without a single call back. I figure because the water tank works, the day to day hustle and bustle puts the priority of upgrading on the back burner until it leaks. And even then the current supplier will just patch it up or replace with an economy model. Below is an article that discusses the fines the competition bureau is seeking from from your current supplier.

      http://m.thestar.com/#/article/business/personal_finance/spending_saving/2012/12/20/competition_bureau_targets_direct_energy_reliance.htmlritish) Direct Energy and US reliance

      http://m.thestar.com/#/article/business/personal_finance/spending_saving/2012/12/20/competition_bureau_targets_direct_energy_reliance.html

      • Thanks for stopping by and providing your insight Peter. I appreciate that tanks can get old and may even need replacing. You’re right. Buying a tank isn’t exciting and probably does get put on the back burner until a time when it’s a necessity. I also appreciate that door to door sales is not easy. As a consumer who would like all the information upfront, along with time to make a decision, I do not appreciate the sales tactics that were used on me and my husband (and I’m not saying that all GP sales people use the same tactics – I am only talking of my personal experience). I would have much preferred them to say:

        “Hi, we’re in competition with your current water tank rental company and we would like to tell you how we can benefit you. We’ll assess your tank and provide you with information on how you can save money in the long run. You don’t have to make a decision today. We’ll be back in the area on [enter day] and will be happy to stop by again.”

        As I said at the start of my post – there are far too many scams for me to trust the salesperson that comes to my door. However, I’m very willing to listen to what they have to say and then I will go away and do my research.

        Funny enough, I do remember skimming that article you linked to. The sales people showed it to my husband and we looked it up after they left. It’s from Dec 2012 – almost 2 years ago. I like having the full story and therefore I wonder if there have been any more recent developments.

        I’m all for honest competition and would love to be able to reach out to another company if and when I decide to. However, because of our experience it is not likely that I will reach out to GP.

    • I worked there too! People were getting ripped off left right and centre so that the 4 main people could make all the money. They were lying to us about our sales on top of it. They will do anything to get to you sign the contract! I was only making $150 a week working full time hours, they even tried to convince me to stay when I quit! Reported it to Marketplace and I suggest everyone who has had a bad experience does the same so these guys get shut down!

  9. Sorry just came across this and had to add my 2 cents. I agree some of these sales guys are aggressive and may mislead people through their sales pitch. Its inexcusable. That being said I don’t understand peoples logic. You are more than likely renting a water a water heater and have been doing so for your whole life. How often have you changed it or swapped it out and opted to purchase it? My point is what difference does it make if you are in a 10 year contract. I am sure your current rental provider has increased prices.
    Summary- may not be a bad deal but understand why people are turned off by these sales guys.

    • Thanks for stopping by and commenting. From the feedback I have received on here and via email, it seems common for them to mislead people. In addition they lied to me (and likely many others). I think people get frustrated and upset because they are being lied to – and that’s where people’s ‘logic’ comes in. People are being told it’s simply a free upgrade and their current terms will not change. Instead they are signing up for a brand new 10 year contract. They are not even being given the opportunity to consider how this would impact their current contract (and any cancellation fees by signing with a new company). I certainly don’t know the terms of my current contract and would have to look it up, or give my rental company a call. If the facts are told to you then yes, maybe you would be happy to sign up for a 10 year contract. After all, you may be quite happy to continue renting for another 10 years, and you like the ‘deal’ you see. However, you are never given the opportunity to make that decision. In fact, the reps that came to our door were ready for my husband to sign without even flipping over the page and showing him the terms (or mentioning them!).

      If it’s a good deal then the company will have no problem with showing you everything you need to see, and then let you go away, do some research and get back to them (or even leave a leaflet with you!). If you do your research and still want to sign up then there’s nothing stopping you (and I can almost guarantee the ‘deal’ will be there another day).

      In my opinion, a deal where the facts are not given to you upfront is never a good deal. Also, if the reps/company are confident in their products they will always allow you the time you need to make a decision, and they will come back. My advice is to always research and read the small print. Then, make an informed decision.

  10. Thank you for sharing. I Just had a similar visit and was skeptical. So I ensured to cancel right away.

  11. Worked for these guys for a short (less than a week) stint. I went in for a customer service position was promised there were a few better positions within the company they would like to put me. Went for training and was placed in door to door sales with the promise of being placed into an administrative position at a later date. Was taken to a different city within the same week and told to sell door to door with little to no training (pitch being given that day) knocked on doors for excess of 12-12.5 hours with no paid training (100% commission) hey basically pick you up when their team leaders quota is hit for the day. I was also told my hotel and food would be covered for the time I was in training and was later informed (when there) that I would be paying for all of my food and my hotel would come off of my first 100% commissioned based paycheque, needless to say I paid over 100 dollars to get back home from this place for a total of 300 dollars wasted for 3 days work…. Furthermore I can confirm they practice is misleading as the pitch their company gives you and the pitch they are actually trained to do are completely different. The one the company produces is essentially their way of saving there asses with legitimacy, but the one you are trained to do is a lot more like ;

    Hey there, we’re just finishing up on (blank) street. Finishing all the upgrades you know the ones on your energy bill (and point to the bill on your clipboard to gain legitimacy). Don’t worry I’m not here to sell you anything it’s all free because you rent it. My job is to check the serial numbers on the tanks to see if you qualify for the free upgrade, I just need to take of my shoes quickly my job takes about ten seconds some people have me go through the garage if that’s easier.

    Inside they try to sell a new water heater by talking about the old black abs pipes and the new white pvc which is up to proper code, they also proceed to scare you with the thought of rust in the old water heater, though it is true when they say that the new water heaters are glass lined. All considering a new water heater is only 560 dollars for a 60 gallon gas water heater paying their 26.95 per month is just not worth it, even with paying someone a few extra hundred for a installation. You’re better off to have a repair man come in when you need to than paying into a monthly system that always has you covered, all in all just a company providing an unnecessary service.

    Anyways they essentially teach the sales person what they need to know to sell the product. Overall their business had many ethics that weren’t really conducive to a proper work environment (for myself at least) so I left (albeit with a smaller bank account) to search for a more suitable position. What a waste of my time and money.

    • Thanks for stopping by CB and for providing details of your experience. I wasn’t at the door when they arrived, but my husband says that the pitch you explained above is essentially what they said. The tactics of the company are unfortunate, and it does help explain the reaction of the sales reps when we refused to sign – they had lost their their commission, and, with no base salary, the 10 minutes spent in my home was a waste of their time.

      I appreciate your insight, and I’m sure others will too.

  12. Just know a Green Planet came to my door to check my water tank as if that was routinary. I asked him to wait for a second “to answer the phone”. Google them and came to this blog, read enough to inform me this is really a sales pitch, went back and said to the guy I was moving out next day.

    Thanks for posting about this, you saved me from a lot if headaches

  13. I just have a GP rep came and check my water heater and told me the same pitch about upgrade on my water heater and a change of billing to Enbridge. Ive heard about this from a coleague at work and they had the bad luck of having 2 water heaters and two contracts at their new home when they signed a new contract which is what they are presenting to all…..to cut the story short i didn’t sign and told them that i will wait for a proper communication from my Reliance provider telling me that it is time for upgrading my water heater. They are in a rush-rush mode as in signing you, he looks very upset when i told him that I’m not signing any paper. then i search the company when he left and i found this blog. he didn’t even introduced himself to me.

  14. Foxy….it was exact same information point by point what the GP rep said to me yesterday (hard water/soft water etc) …good I turned him back saying don’t want to screw up the one which is working for the past 8 years. I also told him I’ll buy one when I have to replace it…he was so upset but end of the day I am paying for it.

  15. Can some one here please help me, I been tricked by them. This was the first house I bought and I didnt know much about these. He told me his from GP, and that the government was enforcing to switch to a more efficient tank. I told him our hose is only 6 years old so the tank is good. He told me let me just have look, when he looked at it he told me that that the tank we had was metal and can start rusting and contaminating the water in the future. And went on to say that they can replace it with a more efficient tank for free which is a glass tank. All this time i was under the impression that he was with Reliance, I didnt even know he was a sales person. We will take your current and replace it with a new. I didn’t know that other companies can take other companies product. If i had know he was a sales person it would have raised a flag for me. The contract I signed I didnt notice anything about 15 years term. It has small print saying in “(“terms and conditions”)”. The guy was so nice i didnt see this coming, I never buy anything from sales person. The worst part is that for the last 5 months I been paying reliance for their tank. I just found out that GP bill is in Enbridge bill. Because I moved to this house less then a year and had so many bills i made everything Automatic bill pay and I didn’t even notice till now. I cant believe a company like this exits, I cant believe that government has done nothing to shut them down after they tricked so many people.

    When I call and ask them they tell me that I am in a contract for 15 years, When I signed the agreement I don’t remember seeing anything like that at all. Also they have not returned the reliance tank yet. They tell me is because I didn’t provide them with some reference number or something, That was the first I am hearing of this reference number crap.

    Does anyone know what happens if I stop paying the bill?

    If any one knows for a way to do something against this please let me know.

    • Hi RN, sorry you are caught up in this. This is my blog with my personal experience/opinion. Unfortunately I do not have any expertize in this area. I did a quick search for consumer complaints and found this webpage: https://www.ontario.ca/consumers/filing-consumer-complaint – you could try going through that, or possibly filing a complaint with the business through Better Business Bureau. My thoughts are that if you stop paying them you may be in breach of contract (but like I said, I’m not an expert in this). Best of luck!

  16. Fuuuuuny. Just had Green Planet at my door but I do to him as I do to all door to door salesmen. I said no thanks and closed the door. He stood there with this surprised look on his face, shrugged his shoulders and walked away. There aint no deals from door
    to door salesmen.

  17. Thanks for posting this! I just had the same experience and let them in and signed because I was somehow mislead that this is a mandatory upgrade. The fact that he said it’s a water heater inspection and then suddenly a free upgrade let off a few alarms but stupidly I signed it anyways.

    After he left I did a search and came across your blog, and then I called them back immediately to cancel it. He never made it clear that I had an option to choose to not do an upgrade, and having the upgrade done immediately tomorrow was just too alarming.

    Again, thank you!

  18. Glad I refused a job offer with this company at Yorkdale Mall ! They do not provide the full details of the job in the interview process – they withhold information. You have to know what questions to ask. Don’t go into the interview without doing research about the company.

  19. I just had a phone call from Green Planet and was told I might be eligible for a refund to upgrade my furnace. I never deal with anyone on the phone or at the door, and when asked how much the refund was, she said up to $800 IF I was eligible and it would only take 5 mins. to confirm. When told I wasn’t interested, she hung up on me so fast, usually I’m the one who hangs up first!

  20. Hi, I had a call from Green Planet 2 days ago asking questions about my furnace and water which were both replaced within the last 2 years! You think they would leave me alone? Nooooo! They asked about my Air Conditioner which is about 12 years old!

    The caller suggested sending someone over because I likely qualify for a government rebate of $400.00! I thought this sounded OK because I got rebates when I installed the furnace! NOT through this company but a company that was recommended by Enbridge when my 10 year old furnace that was installed by my builder stopped working in April! Needless to say I needed a furnace and didn’t feel pressured by a door to door salesman!

    The salesman came yesterday and told me the juicy part about getting a $400 government rebate! Neglected to tell me how I will get the rebate or where I needed to apply for this rebate! Again with the furnace, the gentleman had all the paperwork ready for me to apply for the rebate whereas the GP rep had no such paperwork!

    He kept insisting that I would pay $56.95 a month for the air conditioner without any upfront or out of pocket costs to me, but neglected to tell me the total cost of the unit! I kept asking and he kept explaining that ” it’s like a car depreciating whereby you can pay it off at any time but most people let a few years pass and then pay it off”! I said but that’s NOT really a depreciation considering that you are making monthly payments on this loan and depreciation would NOT apply in this case seeing that I like a car I won’t be reselling this unit! He also NEVER explained that the HST will be added to this charge of $56.95

    Eventually he said the cost would be about $3,600 but there won’t be any more charges and you can pay it off whenever you like! He even suggested using the $400 government rebate towards the balance! I’m still not sure how or where I would apply for this rebate because he didn’t explain how I go about doing that!

    They should be coming today to install this unit! Thankfully I did my research and came across this blog! I read the contract and saw that he was NOT forthcoming about the company ” reserving the right to increase the monthly rate up to 3.5% per year”! There is NO where on the contract that states the exact cost of the unit nor the length of the contract so I’m expected to pay this until when?

    The sales rep also had me speak to his office using his cell phone and he left to go outside for a few minutes while I spoke to them! Apparently to prove that he didn’t coerce me into making my decision! Well I know that there are more efficient air conditioners available on the market and will probably replace my unit but after researching GP they won’t be getting my business because before they install this unit I will be canceling! Way too much underhandedness with this company!

    While writing this comment GP called to confirm the appointment to install my unit! I told her about my concerns and she apologized for me being misinformed! And was going to put my account on hold! I said NO please cancel! She got into a speak about her manager calling me back and started to get rude with me! I didn’t get the opportunity to ask her to sen me out documentation about the cancellation so GP can expect an irate call from me when I gather my thoughts!

  21. I had these guys today in my house too, as usual the sales rep was very upset and rude when he realized he couldn’t convince me. I tried to contact a manager, it was no possible, if this happens when they are making the sale, how would it be if I had to complain after things are done? I appreciate you guys wrote all these comments and feel supported in my decision to send the sales rep away.

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