News Releases

Media Bulletin - Manitoba

September 23, 2016

CONSUMER PROTECTION OFFICE ISSUES CAUTION ABOUT DOOR-TO-DOOR SALES OF WATER FILTRATION SYSTEMS



The Manitoba Consumer Protection Office (CPO) has received an increase in the number of complaints recently about door-to-door sales and urges Manitobans to be cautious when approached by door-to-door sellers of water filtration systems. 

Consumers are reminded to be aware of their rights under the Consumer Protection Act.  In Manitoba, all consumers have the right to:
• Ask to see a salesperson’s direct seller licence.  All door-to-door direct sellers must be licensed by the CPO.  If they cannot provide a licence, write down the person’s name and the company name being represented. Before continuing with the transaction, contact the CPO to verify the company is licensed.
• Get a copy of the contract and read the fine print carefully.  A copy of the contract must be provided at the time of signing.  Make sure the contract is dated, contains all contact information for the supplier, describes the goods or services being supplied, itemizes the purchase price, and contains the cancellation rights.
• Cancel the contract if you change your mind.  Consumers have 10 days to cancel a contract for any reason, or one year to cancel a contract that doesn’t contain the required information under the legislation.  The direct seller must receive a consumer’s notice to cancel an agreement in writing.

Keep in mind the following tips for any sales offer you receive at your door:
• Keep your contract.  It contains your rights as a consumer and the details of the direct sale.  If you do not receive a contract, the agreement is not binding.
• Sellers may ask to enter your home to demonstrate their product or test the water from your taps.  Ask them to leave if you are not comfortable with the seller or not interested in their product.
• Understand the total cost of the product if you will be paying for it in instalments over an extended period of time.  Consider how much the product costs if you buy it outright and how much extra you will be paying in interest.  Compare these costs with other companies or direct-buy options, like home improvement stores.  Before signing the contract, be sure you understand all costs associated with purchasing the product.
• Contact any other parties the seller claims to be affiliated with including companies, organizations or municipalities.  Verify with the other party to ensure validity of the relationship between them and the seller. 
• Shop around and get to know the company.  Research the seller’s reputation by contacting the Better Business Bureau, checking references and looking on the Internet for reviews from reliable sources.

The Consumer Protection Office investigates complaints about unlicensed businesses and direct sellers, high-pressure sales tactics, warranty concerns on goods and services, and cancellation rights.

Manitobans are encouraged to learn more about consumer protection issues and their rights under the law.  Download the free Consumer Protection mobile app from Google Play or the Apple App store or contact the Consumer Protection Office at 204-945-3800, at 1-800-782-0067 (toll-free in Manitoba), via email at consumers@gov.mb.ca or visit www.gov.mb.ca/cca/cpo.

- 30 -