Door-to-Door Sales: Safeguarding Yourself & Vulnerable Seniors

Attractive senior woman shaking hands with visitor at her front door

Northwood Intouch has received several calls recently from unhappy clients and families who have been aggressively solicited to cancel their Intouch service and go with another company. In some cases, our clients signed contracts for services they did not even want, but felt they had to because of the tactics used to get them to sign up.


Some companies rely on door-to-door sales staff to sell their products, in particular security systems and some medical alarm companies. Dealing with salespeople at the door can be stressful. Here are a few things to keep in mind if you receive a knock at your door:


Sellers must have a license
In Nova Scotia, people selling door-to-door are required to have a license. This license ensures that their contracts meet guidelines set out by the provincial municipal affairs office and that they are a legitimate business. Contracts must include a 10-day cooling off period in which the person buying services can change their mind and have their money refunded without penalty. Should you question the credibility of the salesperson, ask them to show their license. If they do not have one, it’s a sign they should not be at your door and you should not be doing business with them.


If it’s too good to be true…
As the saying goes…if it seems too good to be true, it probably is! A “great” deal that is only available on the spot with no time to think about it before you sign into a contract is a red flag! A reputable company should always allow you the time to do your own research and ensure you are comfortable with what you are agreeing to buy. They should allow you to review the terms of the contract and ask any questions that you may have so that you fully know what you are getting into. They should allow you the time to contact the Better Business Bureau to check their rating and leave something with their contact information so that you can follow up with them in the days to follow if you so choose.


Some companies also promise that you can have your service paid for by the government. Do not just take their word for it. Check with the government first to see if you meet the criteria and qualify for the program before signing any contracts.


Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Where is their office located? How long have they been in business? Who do you contact if you have a problem? Do they have a card? What is the term of the contract? Can you cancel? Are there any penalties to cancel early? While some companies offer a low price initially, you may be stuck in a contract for 5 years with a penalty fee of $200 to cancel. Better to know these things before you sign.


What to do if you have been approached by someone like this.
If you have been approached by someone you feel is not legitimate or have been taken in by one of these companies, you should report it to your local law enforcement. You can also register a complaint with the Better Business Bureau as well as Service Nova Scotia and the Office of Municipal Affairs by calling 1-800-670-4357.


While not all door-to-door sellers are out to scam you, it’s a good practice to never sign anything on the spot and do your research first. Never pay cash at the door and be sure that you know the company name.


Northwood Intouch is a reputable medical alarm provider with an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and we have been providing service throughout Nova Scotia for almost 30 years. We have no contracts to sign and you can cancel anytime without penalty. We also have volunteers right in your community who are with reputable service clubs like Lions Clubs and Rotary Clubs who install the equipment and complete service calls.

 

If you have any question feel free to give us a call at 1-800-461-3346 or 902-492-3346 or email us at intouch@nwood.ns.ca