REGINA – Two home owners in Moose Jaw are warning residents about a business selling furnaces door-to-door after getting locked into a contract they claim was not properly explained to them.
Margaret Lepla and her grandson Jamie Beaton are both signed onto a contract that could end up costing them each almost $12,000.
Secure Home Services, based out of Burlington, Ontario, is denying any wrongdoing.
READ MORE: Door-to-door sales company under investigation in Alberta
Last week, Lepla had a salesman at her front door, telling her she could save money by switching to a high-efficiency furnace.
Lepla claims the salesman explained to her that she would be paying $94 per month over five years as part of a rent-to-own agreement.
Both Lepla and Beaton signed separate contracts, but when they looked more closely at their agreement, they discovered they would not actually own the unit.
“They said ‘this agreement is only a rental program over a 10 year period at $94 a month, and if you have the option after that, then buy it out for $5600’,” Beaton said.
That deal would cost nearly $12,000 over 10 years, more than double what they were initially told they would pay.
Global News contacted Secure Home Services about the claims that Lepla and Beaton were told they were signing on to a ‘rent-to-own’ agreement’.
The company provided the following statement: “Secure Home Services takes all consumers complaints seriously and has been working with both customers to resolve their dispute. Secure trains its sales agents to accurately and truthfully represent the program and leave consumers with the complete contract which includes the terms and conditions. In addition, before Secure completes the consumer contract, it completes a verification call with the consumer to ensure that they understand the terms of the agreement, and have received all the pages of the terms and conditions. Secure completed a verification call with both consumers who confirmed their understanding of the terms of the contract, and having received the contract terms and conditions. Secure is reaching out to the consumers to resolve their dispute.”
Secure Home Services is not accredited with the Better Business Bureau and has a C+ rating on the bureau’s website. The same website shows 30 official complaints filed since starting operations two years ago.
The BBB suggests not making snap decisions at the door.
“You’re not in a store, you don’t have the ability to do comparison shopping when they’re at your door.” Better Business Bureau Saskatchewan CEO, Karen Smith said. “There’s often some high pressure tactics to force you to make a quick decision.”
Lepla and Beaton say they quickly filed a cancellation notice to the company, which has not yet been accepted.
Saskatchewan’s Financial and Consumer Affairs Authority (FCAA) is encouraging consumers to file an official complaint on its website if faced with high pressure sales tactics or misleading contract information.