Door-to-door sales

Door-to-door sales techniques, used to push and sell products and services, are not as popular now as they were in the past. However, if a door-to-door salesperson does show up on your doorstep, you should know how to protect yourself and avoid being scammed.

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Dealing with door-to-door salespeople

If you find yourself with a door-to-door salesperson on your doorstep, remember the following:

  • Ask to see the salesperson's company-issued identification and seller's license or registration. Take note of their name, and the name and address of the company they represent.
  • Don't be pressured into buying on the spot.
  • If you are interested in the product, ask for a brochure, and then compare their prices with those of other merchants.
  • Never leave the salesperson unattended in any room of your home.

Rules for door-to-door sales

Some provinces or territories require door-to-door salespeople to be licensed and bonded.

When buying home repair services, make sure to get a warranty for any service completed. It can protect against poor quality work and the risk of liability should an accident or injury occur in your home.

Door-to-door sales of home heating and cooling equipment are illegal in both Ontario and Alberta—with some exceptions.

To find out about the door-to-door sale rules where you live, contact your provincial or territorial consumer affairs office.

Signing door-to-door contracts

Be wary of salespeople claiming that a contract must be signed right away to get the special price. This is a high-pressure sales tactic—don't fall for it!

Each province and territory gives you a set number of days (also known as a cooling-off period) during which you may cancel a contract you make with a door-to-door salesperson—for any reason.

Always read the fine print in the contract to make sure you are fully aware of the terms (and conditions). Don't make a payment in cash without a contract or receipt. Be aware that a door-to-door salesperson who asks for a deposit for repairs or maintenance services, without a contract, may never return to do the work.

For more information about contracts where you live, contact your provincial or territorial consumer affairs office.

Recognizing door-to-door scams

Scammers sometimes claim they can lower your energy and utility costs, so learn how to recognize energy scams.

If you are the victim of a door-to-door scam, report the incident to your local police right away. Also, consider reporting it to your provincial, territorial, or federal consumer protection agency and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

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Trusted consumer information

Published by the Consumer Measures Committee, a working group of federal, provincial and territorial governments, that helps educate and inform Canadian consumers.