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.