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Woman Looking Through DoorThey’re out there right now – high pressure sales people who knock at your door. They’re trying to get you to sign up to rent HVAC (heating, cooling and air conditioning) equipment at crazy prices. Before you know it you can get locked into a long term contract that’s hard to break once signed.

We’ve had ATEL customers report that this isn’t just a problem in major cities. These scam artists are also working the streets of places like Williamsburg, Morrisburg, Chesterville, Kemptville, Greely and Osgoode. They’re trying to get you to rent water heaters, furnaces, ACs – anything they convince you to get.

If you sign one of these leases or rental contracts, you may find yourself on the hook for way more money than the unit is worth in the long term. There’s no way to buy out of the contract, and removal fees may be astronomical. One company is even in the habit of automatically placing a lien on people’s homes according to this article.

How to Recognize a Heating and Cooling Scam

Here’s how to spot the scam artists:

  1. They knock on your door out of the blue – you did not make an appointment with them.
  2. They talk fast and try and get you to sign a contract then and there.
  3. They sometimes lie, saying things to scare you. They tell you they are from the government and here to inspect your furnace because there is a recall and safety concerns in your home.
  4. They may also try other tactics like exaggerating the value of real government rebates.
  5. They don’t take the time to walk you through the contract section by section to make sure you understand.
  6. They may call their home office and try to record you saying you agree to the contract over the phone.

These hard-sell artists generally appear to be very friendly and are skilled at winning your trust quickly. But when you think about what they’re saying or do some research, you’ll learn the truth.

Can’t These Companies Be Charged?

Yes the can, and they are. Right now, the government of Ontario investigates and lays charges, as in this case against a company called the Ontario Energy Group. If this legislation goes through, all door to door sales and rentals of heating and cooling equipment will be banned in Ontario. There are just too many people being scammed.

Protect Yourself

Remember, the only heating and cooling companies you should be dealing with are the ones you called or emailed to request help. Legitimate companies like ATEL Air will only come when called and will do a thorough assessment of your home before recommending a system. They will give you a complete price quote and will give you plenty of time to think about it before you give the go-ahead.

You can also check out companies on Ontario’s Consumer Beware list.

If somehow you or a loved one has been pressured into signing a water heater contract at the door, you now have 21 days to cancel thanks to some new Ontario legislation. As of now, however, this legislation only covers water heaters, not furnaces or air conditioners.

When you’re thinking about a getting a heating and cooling company, remember that some day the equipment may break down. Who are you going to call when you have no heat and you’re paying for a rental? Is that rental company in Toronto going to get your furnace repaired that same day?

When in doubt, just say no and close the door!

For more information please call ATEL Air at 1-888-535-2720
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