Water Heater Replacement Scam

Article posted September 4, 2011

You answer your door to find a person standing there looking very authentic, safety vest, clip-board, name tag, etc. who after a short introduction will very quickly mention your hot water heater. Using a variety of different lines they will imply your water heater needs changing. They may even tell you they are actually there to schedule the replacement.

BE AWARE! In all probability this is a scam. And it is very prevalent throughout Halton Region. Do not let this person into your home and above all do not sign any contract to have your water heater replaced. In all likelihood the person at your door is a salesperson representing an alternate service provider. Tell the person in no uncertain terms that you are happy with what you have and will not be changing.

Some of these alternate water heater service providers have convinced homeowners to unnecessarily replace their water heater and to sign a contract that typically locks them in for a long period of time at expensive rates.

These home owners are left with long-term commitments, high rental rates and expensive cancellation fees.

Direct Enery has a website, CLICK HERE where it has warnings and advice on how to protect yourself.

Reliance also has a website, CLICK HERE which talks about misleading practices by salespeople.

The following quotes from their website:

Some door-to-door sales agents employ unscrupulous tactics when it comes to trying to make a sale. Below are examples of misleading practices some door-to-door salespeople employ.
• Telling you that your current provider is no longer in business and they are taking over the contract and service of your water heater
• Dressing as a technician and saying they’re in the neighborhood to schedule water heater replacements
• Implying they represent the government or a utility
• Showing you safety bulletins implying your water heater isn’t safe anymore and that you have to replace it
• Telling you incorrectly that if your water heater is over a certain age, it’s inefficient
• Showing you pictures of water heaters cut in half to show corrosion inside, implying your water heater is in the same condition
• Citing savings of up to 30% that only applies when switching from electric to gas
• Describing a locked-in term as a “guarantee and maintenance plan”

If you have any questions or concerns about your current hot water heater contact your service provider. Make this call yourself from the privacy of your own home using the contact phone number provided on your billing statement.