Protect yourself from sales scams

The City of Guelph and Guelph Police Services sometimes receive reports of residents being approached by sales people who claim to represent the City for the purposes of selling a variety of water–related systems and products, including treatment systems and water heaters. These sales people ask to enter residents’ homes to view or inspect their water systems.

City employees do not go door–to–door selling water–related products. Any City employee visiting a residence will carry photo identification, and anyone being approached by those claiming to represent the City, or asking to enter their home, should request to see official identification, and may call Water Services at 519-837-5627 to verify the identity of the person.

There is currently no mandate, from the provincial or federal government, or the City of Guelph, requiring residents to install additional filtration equipment on their water systems.

What can I do?

Residents are advised that homeowners 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 Guelph Police Services for assistance at 519-824-1212 extension 0.

Those wishing to report a visit can also call Water Services at 519-837-5627.

Know your rights

The Ministry of Consumer Services provides the following tips, in relation to aggressive sales tactics:

  • Don’t sign on the spot. If the salesperson pressures you to sign, insist you need more time to read the contract, including the fine print.
  • Get it in writing. Ask about rental fees, installation, repair and extra service charges and promises, including warranties, and insist on getting the details in writing.
  • Ask for identification. Ask for photo ID, the name of the company the salesperson works for, and to keep a copy of any sales material that the salesperson shows you.
  • Be sure before you buy. Once a water heater is installed in your home, you will have to pay some costs if you change your mind. These costs include the rental payments still due when you terminate, the expenses the rental company incurs to remove the water heater, and charges for unreasonable or excessive wear or use of the water heater.

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