News Releases

Media Bulletin - Manitoba

May 21, 2010

MANITOBANS WARNED ABOUT UNLICENSED CONTRACTORS SELLING DRIVEWAY PAVING SERVICES



Manitoba’s Consumer Protection Office is investigating reports of substandard paving services that are being sold door-to-door by unlicensed contractors.  Consumers are advised to take precautions to ensure that they deal only with reputable companies.
 
The majority of home renovation companies in Manitoba are reputable businesses with competent staff that perform quality work.  However, from time to time, the Consumer Protection Office receives complaints about a business that is not providing the goods or services that they promised.     
 
The Consumer Protection Office licenses companies and individuals that direct sell goods and services to consumers.  Most companies and individuals that sell door-to-door are required to be licensed.
 
When considering home renovations or repairs such as driveway paving, the Consumer Protection Office advises consumers to do the following before entering into a contract or providing any payment:
·        Ask to see a valid direct seller’s licence if approached by an individual selling door-to-door.  If the salesperson can’t provide a licence, write down the person’s name and the name and address of the company represented and contact the Consumer Protection Office.
·        Get at least three written estimates from different companies outlining the work to be done, materials to be supplied, labour specifications, total cost, cost breakdown, amount of deposit, and the start and completion dates.
·        Ask for and check references to verify the quality of the work and the contractor.
·        Check with your local municipality to see if any permits, licences or inspections are necessary. If they are, make sure the contract states whether they are the responsibility of the contractor or the homeowner.
·        Take a couple of days to decide. Tell the business or the salesperson to leave if you feel you are being pressured to buy the service or the goods.
·        Read the whole contract before signing. Don’t sign it if there is something you don’t understand. Consider contacting a lawyer to read through the agreement.
·        Remember that you have the right to cancel a direct sales contract within 10 days.
 
The Consumer Protection Office investigates consumer complaints about unlicensed direct sellers, high‑pressure sales, unsatisfactory workmanship, poor-quality products, contracts for unnecessary work and scams.
 
To make a complaint, get further information or to obtain a copy of the office’s pamphlet Home Improvements Sold by Direct Sellers call 945-3800 or 1-800-782-0067 (toll-free) or send an email to consumers@gov.mb.ca.   
 
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