As of Jan. 1

‘Predatory’ door-to-door sales banned as of Jan. 1

Stettler and area residents who have been victim of aggressive salespeople trying to pitch their energy solutions can breathe a...

Stettler and area residents who have been victim of aggressive salespeople trying to pitch their energy solutions can breathe a giant sigh of relief as the practice is about to become outlawed.

The Alberta government has banned the door-to-door sales of energy goods and services, with the ban going into effect this Sunday, Jan. 1. The ban covers the sale of furnaces, natural gas and electricity energy contracts, water heaters, windows, air conditioners and energy audits, the government said.

“In 2016, we heard from Albertans who were fed up with aggressive sales pitches at their doors, and that’s why we are putting a stop to door-to-door energy sales,” Stephanie McLean, the minister of Service Alberta, said. “I’m happy that the New Year brings relief for Albertans and I look forward to taking further action to better protect Alberta consumers throughout 2017.”

Companies that defy the new rules can find themselves charged under the Fair Trading Act (FTA), which can result in fines up to $300,000 or jail time. There may also be administrative penalties of up to $100,000, licensing actions and director’s orders.

Telephone and online sales, kiosks and advertising is still allowed. Companies that are contacted and invited to the consumer’s home may also go to make their sales.

If someone comes to your door selling items, the government suggests you should always ask for official company-issued identification, should not feel pressured to sign contracts, and show caution on any door-to-door offer.

Anyone with questions can phone the consumer protection line at 1-877-427-4088, or visit Service Alberta’s website to learn more about consumer rights.

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