By David Klassen
A warning has been put out by Manitoba’s Consumer Protection Office after reports of substandard paving services being sold door-to-door by unlicensed contractors.
The Consumer Protection Office warns consumers to always deal with reputable companies. Licenced companies that direct sell goods or services door-to-door have to go through the CPO in order to conduct business.
While the majority of home renovation companies in the province are reputable, complaints are sometimes made on others that do not perform the work promised or advertised.
The Consumer Protection Office advises consumers to do the following before entering into a contract or providing any payment for home renovations services:
- Ask to see a valid direct seller’s licence if approached by an individual selling door-to-door. If the salesperson can’t provide a licence, write down the person’s name and the name and address of the company represented and contact the Consumer Protection Office.
- Get at least three written estimates from different companies outlining the work to be done, materials to be supplied, labour specifications, total cost, cost breakdown, amount of deposit, and the start and completion dates.
- Ask for and check references to verify the quality of the work and the contractor.
- Check with your local municipality to see if any permits, licences or inspections are necessary. If they are, make sure the contract states whether they are the responsibility of the contractor or the homeowner.
- Take a couple of days to decide. Tell the business or the salesperson to leave if you feel you are being pressured to buy the service or the goods.
- Read the whole contract before signing. Don’t sign it if there is something you don’t understand. Consider contacting a lawyer to read through the agreement.
- Remember that you have the right to cancel a direct sales contract within 10 days.
For more information call 945-3800 or 1-800-782-0067 (toll-free) or send an e-mail to [email protected].