RCMP in Chilliwack received complaints about individuals going door-to-door claiming to represent a utility company

RCMP in Chilliwack received complaints about individuals going door-to-door claiming to represent a utility company

Energy marketers going door-to-door in Chilliwack

Some have been showing up in Chilliwack using questionable tactics and asking to look at the furnace

Don’t be taken in by pushy sales people trying to get inside your home.

Some have been showing up on Chilliwack doorsteps in recent weeks, using questionable tactics.

They ask to get a look at the furnace, or offer special deals if you sign up.

That’s the word from RCMP in Chilliwack after several calls came in from local residents reporting suspicious behaviour.

“Police received complaints about two individuals going door-to-door claiming to represent a utility company for the purpose of inspecting household natural gas or electrical heating systems,” said RCMP Cpl. Mike Rail, of the UFVRD.

The two solicitors were described as a South Asian male, 173 cm (5’8”), slim build, wearing a dark coloured toque, pants, and ski jacket, and a Caucasian male approximately 168 cm (5’6”), slim build, and short dark hair.

Those two were reported being seen on Creekside Drive, last week carrying a plastic clipboard, and showing ID with the words that were either ‘Safe Green’ or ‘Green Safe’ on it, with photos of furnaces.

“Police are alerting the public to be aware of this suspicious solicitation. If you are in doubt with the intent of a stranger at the door, call the police,” said Cpl. Rail.

Sometimes there are high-pressure sales tactics being used to get people to sign contracts. By law they’re required to make it clear what they are selling, and there is often a cooling off period in case customers change their minds.

The recent incidents on Feb. 16, are a little more than a month after City of Chilliwack also received a similar report. It was from a resident reporting that someone said they were conducting “energy assessments” on behalf of the city, which was flat out not true.

The resident told city hall how a salesperson with ‘Simply Green’ came to the door claiming their company had been hired by the city to conduct an energy assessment to meet new regulations. The resident called the city to check, and confirmed that no such company existed or had been hired.

RCMP offer these tips to avoid being taken in:

• Legitimate reps carry accredited identification. Ask to see their ID.

• They must state what they are selling

• If you have to leave the entranceway, lock the door

• Do not allow strangers to enter your home

Someone acting suspicious? Contact the Chilliwack RCMP at 604-792-4611 or call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).

Here are some tips from the Better Business Bureau.

BBB recommends the following actions, should you find yourself subject to door-to-door solicitation:

1.    Do not make decisions at your front door. If you need maintenance of any kind, research prospective contractors and sellers at www.bbb.org.

2.    Do not invite unsolicited salespeople into your home.

3.    Ask for identification and information. If someone is selling door to door, request they provide you with proper identification. Legitimate companies should be able to leave you with material to read about their products and services, allowing you the time you need to research their reputation and reliability.

4.    Check with your local municipality regarding the rules of soliciting in your neighborhood.

5.    Be wary of high pressure sales tactics. Avoid sellers who encourage you to sign a contract or provide a deposit right away, even if they are promising special rates for your immediate action.

6.    Check their credentials. Make sure they provide proof of required insurance coverage, licensing and proof of registration

7.    Request all information be provided to you in writing. A contract should contain a description of the project, labor and materials to be used, a start and completion date and payment schedule.

8.    Know your rights when signing or cancelling a contract. The Consumer Protection Act (CPA) indicates that all contracts signed in the home are subject to a “cooling off period”. For details, click here.

9.    If you feel like you might be in danger, call local authorities. If a seller or contractor gets irate and/or difficult with you (such as refusing to leave the premise after you have already asked), call the police. It’s better to be safe than sorry, and you can help report potential problems that may help others avoid precarious situations in your neighborhood.

To review a company’s marketplace history and access more consumer and business news and tips, please visit bbb.org/mbc