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Beware of Door-to-Door Sales

The City wants residents to be aware of door-to-door sales scams. Know your consumer rights and learn how to avoid these common scams.

Each year, the City receives a number of calls from residents who have had individuals coming to their door making false claims about water quality, or to sell water heaters, furnaces or to check water filters.

Most complaints about door-to-door sales and rentals are about unclear contracts or misrepresentations by sales people. These salespeople sometimes ask to enter residents’ homes to view or inspect their water systems, check water quality or to inspect appliances.

What you should know:

  1. If a City representative needs to visit a residence or business, an appointment will have been mutually agreed upon in advance.
  2. City employees will be carrying appropriate identification
  3. City vehicles will be used for service calls

What to do if approached by a suspicious door-to-door sales person:

Residents are under no obligation to let sales representatives into their homes. If residents are suspicious of any sales people coming to their door, or if these persons refuse to leave when asked, residents are encouraged to call Barrie Police for assistance at 705-725-7025 (non-emergency) or call 911 if they pose an immediate threat to your well-being.

Before you hear a sales pitch:

The Ministry of Government and Consumer Services provides a lot of information to help consumers prevent any type of door-to-door scams. The Ministry advises people to keep the following tips in mind when you open your door to a salesperson:

  • ask for photo ID and get the name of the person and the business
  • never share personal information (for example, an electricity or gas bill)
  • if you ask a salesperson to leave, they must leave right away. If you feel unsafe, call local police
  • look at the company name on the salesperson’s business card and promotional material and see if it matches the company name on the proposed contract
  • do not rely on a salesperson’s opinion that your water heater is unsafe or should be replaced
  • local utility companies, municipalities, government agencies or regulatory organizations don’t send salespeople door-to-door
  • you do not have to sign a contract at that time
Frequently Asked Questions
What do I do if I’m suspicious of someone?

Call Barrie Police for assistance at 705-725-7025 (non-emergency) or call 911 if they pose an immediate threat to your well-being.

Do I need a Home Water Filtration system?

No. Barrie’s drinking water is produced and distributed by highly trained and dedicated water professionals under strict regulatory requirements as prescribed by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC). It is tested and safe to drink directly from the tap without further treatment or filtration. As a result, there is no “need” for residents to equip their homes with supplementary filtration systems; however residents may choose to use these systems as a matter of personal preference.

Do water inspectors need access to my home for testing?

No. Regulatory sampling is conducted on the City of Barrie drinking water system; however these samples are not obtained from residential home services.

Who do I contact if I have any questions or concerns with my water?

Please call the City’s Water Operations Branch at 705-792-7920 or email WaterOperations@barrie.ca.

What are my rights if I signed a contract?

Under Ontario’s Consumer Protection Act, 2002, you have the right to cancel a contract if:

  • You change your mind—for any reason—within 10 days of receiving your written copy of the contract.
  • The business or salesperson with whom you signed the contract has made a false, misleading or deceptive statement. In this case, you can cancel an agreement for up to one year after you sign it. You also have up to one year to cancel if the agreement does not meet all the requirements of Ontario’s Consumer Protection Act.
  • The contract you sign is not clear or easily understood, or fails to clearly disclose key information you need to know.
  • You do not have clear information about your rights in the contract itself.
  • If you have questions or concerns about the supplier of any water system, purchased or rented, call the Ministry of Consumer Services at 1-800-889-9768 or email consumer@ontario.ca.

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