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  • When Should I Turn Someone Away From The Door?

Turn-Someone-Away-From-The-Door “Hello

Someone came to my house the other day claiming they were from Ontario hydro. They asked to see my electricity bill and said they could save me 20 dollars off my monthly bills. I didn’t really understand why he was at my door and he didn’t have a card. Did I do the right thing by telling him that I wasn’t interested?

Mike T., Brantford, ON

Thank you for writing, Mike. Under provincial law, Energy company sales people must hold an ID badge and a business card in order to do business with consumers door-to-door. Furthermore, it’s unlikely this person truly represented your provincial energy authority for a couple of reasons.

There is no Ontario Hydro. At least, not anymore. Ontario Hydro was a publicly owned electricity provider that was broken up and rendered defunct in 1999.

You will see the words “Ontario Hydro” on your electricity bill. However, this is under a cost associated with helping to pay down that company’s outstanding debts.

The current publicly owned electricity provider in Ontario is called “Hydro One”, and it typically does not solicit door-to-door.

There is a very real possibility the man at your door did not represent a legitimate company, and you did the right thing by refusing to show him your electricity bill. This is the information a scammer can use to defraud you or sign you into a contract you’ll have trouble getting out of in the future.

When there’s someone at your door asking to see any of your utility bills, make sure they have both a form of authorized ID or badge confirming they work for this company. Also ask for a business card that identifies this business and provides contact information if you need to follow up with something in the future.

Scammers typically carry either neither of these, or very shoddy and fake looking cards. These people aren’t worth giving the time of day, and you should definitely not sign any deal with them.

Additionally, you shouldn’t show your electricity bill to an individual at the door unless you’re confident you do want to sign a contract. Some service providers do require it, but it’s unlikely it’ll be the first thing they’ll ask for. Hear them out first, ask for the right identification, and then decide if it’s something you’re willing to commit to.

Legitimate door-to-door salespeople are offering you a service first, and need information second. Listening to the person at your door can help you spot the difference between a salesperson, and someone out for your money.

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