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Homeowner Protection Centre advocates at Queens Park for protecting Ontario consumers from unscrupulous water heater sales during Ontario Legislative Standing Committee Hearing

Wednesday, October 23rd 2013 1:37:50pm

Media Release

(Toronto, Ontario, October 23, 2013) Today, is the first day of the Standing Committee on the Legislative Assembly Hearings on Bill 55, Stronger Protection for Ontario Consumers Act, 2013. Michael Lio, Executive Director of the Homeowner Protection Centre (HPC), will be making a deputation to the Committee.

The Homeowner Protection Centre supports the passage of Bill 55 so Ontario consumers will benefit by having more time to consider their water heater agreements, won’t be faced with high cancellation fees or double billing ordeals, and they won’t have people installing these water heaters within a few days of consumers signing the contract--”before the cooling off period has passed.

As of 2012 the Ministry of Consumer Services had more than 3,200 written complaints and inquiries about door-to-door water heater salespeople--”making it the second most frequent complaint received by the Ministry.

Until Bill 55 is passed, the intensity and frequency of bad practices that victimize ever more Ontarians, including seniors, new Canadians, and those on a fixed income may continue unabated.

“We need to ensure that this Bill goes through to third reading this session,” explained Mr. Lio. “Ontario consumers need to have increased protection when it comes to door- to-door salespeople.”

In March 2013, the Homeowner Protection Centre released a report, Domestic Hot Water Tanks and Other Equipment: A Consumer Perspective, with a series of recommendations related to consumer protection issues and domestic hot water tanks. Much of the report focuses on the distinct market in Ontario, where 6 of 10 homeowners rent their units.

More recently, in May 2013, HPC released polling results that found 1 in 3 Ontario families have had a negative experience with a door-to-door water heater salesperson. HPC has also launched a website (waterheaterdoortodoor.com) to help encourage the province to pass Bill 55 as soon as possible. The website helps to inform Ontario consumers of their rights when faced with door-to-door water heater salespeople.

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To arrange interviews, please contact:
Michael Zupanic, Environmental Communication Options, 416-972-7401, mzupanic@ecostrategy.ca.

The Homeowner Protection Centre was established to advocate for homeowners and their important issues. It is a network of homeowners, builders, renovators, and home product and service suppliers who are committed to improving housing and housing-related services across Canada. The HPC is not-for-profit, and is supported through memberships and donations by homeowners and companies. www.homeownerprotection.ca.

Additional features of Bill 55, Stronger Protection for Ontario Consumers Act, 2013 can be found in an Ontario government News Release from April 11, 2013.