There have been reports from several homeowners that they have been receiving aggressive telemarketing calls from someone claiming to represent Ottawa Home Services. We want to assure you that this is NOT us.
Ottawa Home Services Does Not Use Door to Door or Telemarketing Sales Tactics
At Ottawa Home Services, we NEVER try to sell you our services over the phone or by coming to your house uninvited. If you are receiving calls from someone claiming to be a part of Ottawa Home Services, please let us know right away so we can make a formal complaint.
We never use high-pressure or scare tactics; we believe in friendly, professional service. That includes itemized expenses in written quotes that are valid for 30 days. The decision is completely up to you.
HVAC Scams Are a Big Problem in Canada
HVAC scams, from furnaces to water heaters, are a big problem in our country. Just last year, CTV’s W5 did an investigative documentary on the door to door furnace schemes that take place across the country. Their findings are shocking.
Scammers Make You Pay More
According to W5, tens of thousands of homeowners have been scammed in Ontario alone. These sales people call or show up at your home, sometimes posing as energy inspectors to gain access.
Then they convince you to sign onto a rental or financing plan that ‘will save you money in the long run’. That’s not the case; just ask a woman from Stratford.
This elderly homeowner was approached by a salesperson from the Ontario Energy Group. Under the guise of an inspection, this person used high-pressure sales tactics to convince the homeowner to take out her almost new high efficiency furnace and replace it with an inferior system.
Her rental agreement was for $80 a month, for about 15 years. That’s $14,400. A new, high-quality furnace costs much less.
Unfortunately, that’s not even the worst case.
Another homeowner in Peterborough believed that she was being approached by the government for an inspection. By the end of the visit, she had been sold a new furnace with a rental rate of $158 a month for a 15 year period. That’s $28,440.
When she tried to get out of it, the company’s lawyer warned her what it would cost to break the contract – $20,000 to be paid in the span of a week.
The goal of the HVAC scams is to, as one of the homeowners put it, ‘hose you’. But it’s presented in such a sophisticated, professional way, that it’s almost impossible to disagree with them.
Scammers Confuse and Scare You Into Signing
If these salespeople can’t convince you in a friendly way, they’ll try using confusing numbers about savings and high-pressure scare tactics.
One couple was scared into replacing their HVAC system after their salesperson told them about a family who had died from carbon monoxide poisoning. Now they’re locked into a costly contract.
Carbon monoxide is a real danger, but you should always call a company you trust to do any inspections.
Beware of Any HVAC Company Who Contacts Your First
If someone comes to your home or calls you about inspections or furnace sales, be on your guard. Reputable and certified heating and cooling companies will never contact you unless you first contact them (that includes us).
Protect Yourself from HVAC Scams
There are a few things you can do to protect yourself against HVAC scams.
- Always read the contract thoroughly – the fine print is what’s going to cost you thousands of dollars.
- Research the company thoroughly. Chances are they’ve had complaints made against them. You shouldn’t make any purchases without gathering all the information possible. Check Ontario’s Consumer Beware List for potential frauds.
- Don’t sign anything on the spot – we know it’s hard to resist high-pressure sales tactics, but it’s important to stay firm. Take the time you need to understand what you’re signing.
- Use Ontario’s cooling off period – you have the right to cancel any door to door purchase of over $50 within 10 days.
Have You Received a Call from Someone Claiming to Be Us?
If you’ve received a call from someone claiming to be part of Ottawa Home Services, please let us know right away.