I've heard all about those door-to-door scammers who try to sell you terrible gas contracts. But I would never fall for a scam like that...or would I?
Loud knocking on the door. A woman flashes her badge and explains she's been sent to check my water heater from "National." I'm hesitant but she looks so official with a badge, clipboard, and pamphlets. I let her look in my furnace room. She clucks her tongue at our old heater, "clearly a money-sucker" she says. She explains that we definitely need a new hi-efficiency water heater to help us save money on our bill. Plus she notices we have BLACK PIPES which is extra terrible. They've been leaking CARBON MONOXIDE. My heart starts to race. OMG my family is going to die from carbon monoxide poisoning.
She's hooked me. She quickly writes out a contract and asks me to sign, mentioning words like "free," "no charge," and "no problem." Did I mention that she was writing quickly?
Something started to bother me. Why am I signing a contract for such a big purchase so quickly? So I ask her to wait a minute while I call Enbridge Gas to make sure this is all on the up and up. She waits patiently. When I speak to a customer service rep at Enbridge, he doesn't yell SCAM. However, he does tell me that I may not actually need a new water heater and not to rush into anything. My spidey sense is awakened.
I put the phone down. She's waiting for me to sign. Instead I say no, that I will contact her once I confer with my husband. She responds with something like, "this offer is only good now while we're in your neighbourhood" or some other bullshit. I show her the door and actually break out in a sweat.
Holy Shit! I was thisclose to being scammed!
I tweeted out that had almost been scammed. And these are some of the responses I got:
So the moral of this story is that anyone can get scammed. Don't sign any contracts with someone breathing down your neck. Or call me! I'll talk you down! Power to the people.
Make sure you read this Consumer Alert on water heather rentals. You're welcome!