The province is making homeowners aware of reports about unlicensed activity under the Direct Sellers' Regulation Act.
Representatives of life safety or home security alarm monitoring companies have been calling and visiting homeowners throughout the province and encouraging them to switch home security providers, or to install home security systems. In some cases, homeowners were told they had won a safety system, but were told they would be required to pay monthly fees between $30 – $50 for monitoring services.
Companies are pushing homeowners to install new security systems immediately – before the 10-day cooling off period has elapsed. Homeowners are also being told they need to pay for services in full when the contract is signed.
Top Tips for Consumers:
— Do not buy immediately from someone at the door or on the phone. Gather information, do your own research, and make decisions on your time. Representatives from reputable companies will give you the opportunity to do this.
— Never pay a year's worth of fees before receiving services
— Ask about cancellation policies and options, and be sure to get them in writing.
— Do not provide businesses with a blank cheque. If you pay by credit card and the fees are more than what you agreed to, you can immediately dispute them with your bank or card issuer.
— Companies that contact you after you have completed a survey or filled in a contest ballot may not be subject to Direct Sellers' Regulations.
The department urges all homeowners who are considering installing a life safety or home security system to do their own research before contacting businesses for quotes. The Better Business Bureau is a good place to start. For more information, go to http://atlanticprovinces.bbb.org/ .
If homeowners are concerned about companies marketing or using pressure tactics to sell life safety or home security systems in person or by telephone, please contact Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations at 1-800-670-4357 or visit www.smartconsumers.ca .