Reliance Home Comfort

Reliance Home Comfort

October 20, 2009 10:30 ET

Majority of Ontarians Feel Pressure to Buy at the Door

Sixty-one per cent of Ontario consumers experience "buyers' remorse" after signing on the dotted line

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 20, 2009) –

ATTN News, Lifestyle and Assignment Editors.

In a new survey commissioned by Reliance Home Comfort, Ontarians were asked how they felt about the door-to-door sales industry and about their experiences with salespeople. According to the survey conducted by Angus Reid Strategies, 58 per cent of Ontarians have felt pressured into purchasing an item or signing a contract for a service at the door.

28 per cent of respondents completed a transaction on their doorstep and over half of them said they regretted it shortly afterwards. Of those who made a purchase or signed a contract at their door, 61 per cent experienced buyers' remorse and 53 per cent realized afterward they had been misled.

To combat misleading door-to-door sales tactics, 98 per cent of the survey respondents would like to see the door-to-door sales industry implement of a code of conduct to make companies accountable for their practices. Respondents felt a code should include a system to register complaints (76%), penalties for proven complaints (83%), advising consumers of their rights (62%), customer satisfaction guarantees (59%) and times and days when door-to-door activity is allowed (54%). Interestingly, only 4 per cent of respondents called for an end to door-to-door sales.

"We have listened to Ontarians and Reliance has taken action by developing our own code of conduct which will set a new industry standard," said Rob Jutras, VP Sales, Reliance Home Comfort. "Reliance's new code of conduct will enforce the principles of respect, honesty and transparency amongst our door-to-door sales force and throughout our organization." The Reliance Home Comfort Code of Conduct can be viewed here.

Other highlights of the survey include:

Ontarians don't know their rights:

The survey revealed the following findings about what Ontarians expect of their rights as consumers:

  • 54 per cent of Ontarians are not aware of the '10-day cooling-off period' they are entitled to through the Consumer Protection Act after signing a contract
  • 77 per cent felt that the salesperson and the homeowner are jointly responsible to go over the 'fine print'

For more information on the Ontario Consumer Protection Act, please click here.

Consumers Not Yet Banding Together:

84 per cent of Ontarians upset by door-to-door practices report it to the company. Of those who know someone that has been misled into buying something (41%), only 27 per cent warned others they felt may be at risk and only 16 per cent warned others in the community.

"We're making it easy for Ontarians to take action and tell their family, friends and neighbours to beware of questionable tactics and warn the more vulnerable in the community," said Rob Jutras, VP Sales, Reliance Home Comfort. "Burnedatthedoor.com is a new resource where Ontarians can learn more about door-to-door selling, report questionable activity in their area and spread the word to their community. When Ontarians band together, they can hold companies accountable for misrepresentation."

For more information visit www.burnedatthedoor.com.

ABOUT THE RELIANCE HOME COMFORT SURVEY:

From September 15 to September 17, 2009, Angus Reid Strategies conducted an online survey among 608 randomly selected Ontario adults who are Angus Reid Forum panellists. The margin of error-which measures sampling variability-is +/- 3.97%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and region Census data to ensure a sample representative of the entire adult population of Canada. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

ABOUT RELIANCE HOME COMFORT:

Reliance Home Comfort provides residential water heater and heat recovery system rentals and service, and the retail sale, rental, service, maintenance of heating, ventilation and air conditioning equipment. Its water heater rental business, based largely in Ontario, is the second largest in Canada. For more information, to go www.reliancehomecomfort.com.

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