‘Ottawa’ MPP Yvan Baker Pushing to Ban Aggressive Door-to-Door Sales in Ontario
Help may be on the way for those tired of fending off aggressive sellers on the door.
A motion tabled before provincial legislature looks to ban door-to-door sellers across Ontario, taking aim specifically to sales, leases and rentals of furnaces, air conditioners, water heaters and water treatment devices.
Etobicoke MPP Yvan Baker introduced the private member’s bill after hearing many stories of sellers using “predatory and misleading” practices to induce residents into forced contracts.
“Any contract that would be signed on the door would immediately be void,” said Baker. Sellers would still have the right to market their products at people’s doors, but any deal closing would have to be done either online or at the business offices.
Baker said door-to-door sellers sometimes create a sense of urgency – especially targeting elderly and most vulnerable residents – by presenting themselves as agents of the government, and threatening consumers about missing out on an opportunity if they don’t sign up right away.
According to a report from provincial ministry of government and consumer services, complaints totaling $3.1 million were made last year alone pertaining to coerced sales of the products mentioned, said Baker.
Baker’s proposal comes only days after Mississauga city council passed a motion to urge the province to ban door-to-door sales. The city of Markham also debated the same issue last month.
If the bill is passed into law – which could be as early as next year – residents who get duped into buying on the door would be entitled to their money back, and sellers would be fined $5,000 to $25,000.
“The idea here is to give consumers an opportunity to make a thoughtful and educated decision,” he said. “If you need that furnace you can go buy one. You don’t need someone to remind you.”