TORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - November 07, 2016) - Enercare Inc. (TSX: ECI) and Enercare Solutions Inc. (collectively, "Enercare") commend the Ontario Government for strengthening protections for Ontario consumers with its introduction of the Putting Consumers First Act (Consumer Protection Statute Law Amendment), 2016 ("Bill 59"). Bill 59 is aimed at protecting consumers in transactions with common household and financial services, including by banning unsolicited door-to-door sales of prescribed appliances such as water heaters, furnaces, air conditioners and water filters. The government stated that Bill 59 is intended to protect consumers against 'aggressive door-to-door sales marketers who use high-pressure tactics to sell certain products and services.' Complaints to the Ontario Ministry of Government and Consumer Services about water heater rentals entered into through door-to-door sales were second on the Ministry's consumer complaints lists from 2011 to 2013. According to the Ministry, since the new rules for water heater door-to-door sales came into effect on April 1, 2015, the number of furnace and air conditioner complaints has surpassed water heater rental complaints.
Among other things, if passed as introduced and described, Bill 59 is expected to:
- Ban unsolicited door-to-door sales of prescribed appliances such as water heaters, furnaces, air conditioners and water filters;
- Void all contracts resulting from unsolicited door-to-door sales of the prescribed appliances;
- Enable consumers to demand a refund from the supplier up to one year after the payment was made under the void contract; and
- Provides consumers with a 10-day cooling off period to reconsider their decision in respect of consumer-initiated contracts related to prescribed appliances signed in their home.
As Bill 59 is a framework act, its substance will be contained in regulations passed under it. As a result, the details of the act, including the specific appliances to which Bill 59 will apply and any exceptions to the ban on door-to-door sales will be found in regulations, which have yet to be published.
"Unsolicited door-to-door sales have been a longstanding problem in our industry and Enercare looks forward to assisting in the legislative process so that Bill 59 can pass, and the necessary regulations can be implemented quickly, to better protect our customers and Ontario consumers from aggressive sales tactics," said John Macdonald, President and CEO of Enercare.
The new rules for water heater door-to-door sales that came into effect on April 1, 2015, coupled with various Enercare initiatives to educate consumers and enhance its customer value proposition, have helped to significantly reduce attrition in its rental water heater business. If passed, Enercare believes that Bill 59 will positively impact its rental water heater, HVAC and water treatment systems business.
A copy of Bill 59 can be found at http://www.ontla.on.ca/web/bills/bills_detail.do?locale=en&Intranet=&BillID=4333 and background on the proposed legislation can be found on the Ministry of Consumer Services website at https://news.ontario.ca/mgs/en/2016/11/ontario-putting-consumers-first.html and https://news.ontario.ca/mgs/en/2016/11/changes-under-the-putting-consumers-first-act.htm.
Certain statements in this news release are forward-looking statements, which reflect management's expectation regarding Enercare's growth, results of operations, performance, business prospects and opportunities. Such forward-looking information reflects management's current beliefs and is based on information available to them and/or assumptions management believes are reasonable. Many factors could cause results to differ materially from the results discussed in the forward-looking information. These factors include risks associated with the passing of Bill 59 and, if it is passed, the failure to realize the anticipated benefits of Bill 59. Although the forward-looking information is based on what management believes to be reasonable assumptions, Enercare cannot assure investors that actual results will be consistent with this forward-looking information. Except as required by applicable securities laws, Enercare does not intend and does not assume any obligation to update or revise the forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
Enercare Inc. is headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and is publicly traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: ECI). As one of North America's largest home and commercial services and energy solutions companies with approximately 3,800 employees under its Enercare and Service Experts brands, Enercare is a leading provider of water heaters, water treatment, furnaces, air conditioners and other HVAC rental products, plumbing services, protection plans and related services. With operations in Canada and the United States, Enercare serves approximately 1.6 million customers annually. Enercare is also the largest non-utility sub-meter provider, with electricity, water, thermal and gas metering contracts for condominium and apartment suites in Canada and through its Triacta brand, a premier designer and manufacturer of advanced sub-meters and sub-metering solutions.
For more information on Enercare visit enercare.ca. Additional information regarding Enercare is available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.
Source: Enercare Inc.