VANCOUVER — Simply Green Home Services, an Ontario-based HVAC contractor, has been banned by Consumer Protection BC from doing business in the province.
“After a thorough investigation, we have banned Simply Green Home Services from engaging in door-to-door sales in B.C. for one year and have ordered them to pay a $8,000 penalty,” said Tatiana Chabeaux-Smith, Consumer Protection BC’s corporate spokesperson in a press release. “The ban will only be lifted once we are satisfied that they have changed their business practices.”
Consumer Protection BC officials noted that B.C. residents should know they have rights when it comes to door-to-door sales, especially with more people at home due to the pandemic.
According to Consumer Protection, the Direct Sales Prohibition Order against Simply Green Home Services came after the business violated an earlier compliance order, engaged in deceptive business practices, and failed to issue lawful refunds to consumers.
The regulator urged residents to be wary of door-to-door sales transactions as the province moves into the summer months.
“Not only are British Columbians spending more time at home these days, but many have been impacted financially by the pandemic,” said Chabeaux-Smith. “We want people to know how to spot an exploitative transaction and be able to exercise their rights under B.C. law.”
Consumer Protection BC had these tips to remind consumers of their rights:
- Know your cancellation rights. For example, you have 10 days to cancel your door-to-door sales contract for any reason.
- Be cautious of down payments. If you’re asked to make a down payment, it can’t be more than 10 per cent of the total cost or $100, whichever is less.
- Keep a copy of your contract. You must receive a copy of the contract at the time of signing or it’s not binding.
- Watch out for government rebate or environmental incentives. Sometimes these tactics can be exploited. If you’re ever unsure about a particular rebate, do your research and contact the source directly (i.e. BC Hydro, Fortis, etc.).
- Ensure you understand any financing in the contract. Do you know the total cost of the contract? Is it actually a long-term lease with costly financing?
- Know who to contact if there’s a problem. Consumer Protection BC regulates the contents and cancellation rights for door-to-door sales contracts.