Ontario bans door-to-door sales with some exceptions

The days of answering your doorbell to find someone hawking duct-cleaning services or a new furnace will be over for Ontarians when a new law comes into effect on Thursday.

However it won’t stop telecommunications companies, home maintenance services or charities from knocking on doors.

The legislation specifically targets the door-to-door sales of furnaces, air conditioners, air cleaners, air purifiers, water heaters, water treatment devices, water purifiers, water filters, water softeners, duct cleaning services or any good or service that performs or combines one or more of the above functions.

Data provided to the Canadian Press from the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services revealed door-to-door heating, air and water services sales collectively generated 7,058 “complaints, incidents and inquiries” in the last three years. Servicing and sales of water heaters, water treatment devices and purifiers and furnaces had the most complaints.

The province’s ban on unsolicited, door-to-door sales covers most heating, air and water services, but the MPP who pushed for it said it stops short of encompassing companies in other sectors because they don’t all fall under provincial jurisdiction or generate as many complaints with Consumer Protection Ontario.

Etobicoke Centre MPP Yvan Baker introduced the private members bill that shaped the door-to-door sales legislation in 2016 because of constituent complaints.

He said, “I heard from far too many seniors and also concerned constitutions of all ages, who have been taken advantage of by coercive and misleading salespeople on their own doorsteps and in their own homes.”

He said consumers will be protected with the new law because if someone signs a contract after being approached by a company through door-to-door sales, the agreement will be automatically considered void and the buyer can keep the goods or services they were sold without obligation.