Don’t get burned by fraud, BBB warns

Fall is the ideal time of year to have your furnace serviced — before the busy winter season starts.

  • Sep. 13, 2012 6:00 a.m.

Fall is the ideal time of year to have your furnace serviced — before the busy winter season starts. Better Business Bureau warns the public to be cautious about misleading door-to-door heating contractors who may use misleading sales tactics to convince homeowners to buy a new furnace or hot water tanks.

In one recent scenario a consumer was sold a hot water tank by a company who stated it was a 2011 model when in reality the tank was from 2003. Reports are this same contractor is operating around British Columbia and does not have proper safety licensing and is having consumer issue cheques with no company contact information for payments.

In the past the BBB has received reports of con artists who tried to frighten consumers into purchasing a new heating with warnings that their heating system is leaking dangerous gases that could explode or poison those inside the house.

Before you choose a heating contractor consider the following tips:

Start with the BBB. You can find out helpful information like, owners, company addresses, and customer service information by visiting the company’s Business Review at: www.mbc.bbb.org.

Hire heating contractors who:

• Are licenced with the BC Safety Authority; call 1-866-566-SAFE (7233)

• Are or employ certified gas fitters

• Are bonded and insured for liability and property damage

• Can provide you a copy of the gas permit authorizing the company to work on your heating system

• Offer warranties that cover equipment, materials and labour

• Offer maintenance and service after installation and after warranties have expired

• Provide customer references

Get at least two estimates for the work. All bids should be in writing and should provide a full description of the services to be provided and the materials to be used.

Compare more that just cost. Check the size and rated efficiency of the equipment each contractor recommends. Ask each contractor how they arrived at recommending a particular sized system. Check the warranty offered and make certain you understand it.

Inspections every year are recommended but not mandatory. The BC Safety Authority states that it is recommended and not mandatory for a consumer to have their heating system inspected yearly. Be wary of any company that states it is call from your municipality, or stating that it is required by law to have an inspection.

Know your rights and read your contract carefully. Consumer Protection BC regulates door-to-door sales contracts. Consumers should know that they have 10 days to cancel these types of contracts and that there are limits to the deposit required.  For more information, contact the Consumer Protection BC at 1-888-564-9963 or go to: www.consumerprotectionbc.ca.

If you smell gas and suspect that you have a leak, leave. Contact Fortis BC at 1-800-663-9911 and leave the building, keeping the door open and any windows that may already be open.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

100 Mile Conservation Officer Joel Kline and YEP student Jill Matlock found themselves wrangling four horses on Highway 97 on Feb. 17. The horses were travelling at a steady trot up the highway after escaping their corral. (Jill Matlock photo - submitted).
Conservation officers wrangle horses on Highway 97

Jill Matlock never expected to be herding four horses in a truck.

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: B.C. seniors aged 80+ can start to sign up for vaccination on March 8

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

Williams Lake RCMP are investigating after suspects assaulted two employees at a convenience store and fled with cash and merchandise. (Black Press file photo)
Williams Lake RCMP investigating robbery at local convenience store

The robbery occurred Saturday evening, Feb. 27

?Esdilagh First Nation health department staff were thrilled to rollout out the community’s first COVID-19 vaccines Friday, Feb. 26. L-R: registered nurse Sam Riczu, elder worker Marie Conway, wellness coordinator Linda Siwalace, community health representative Sharon Palmantier and youth coordinator Dakotah Casey. (photo submitted)
?Esdilagh First Nation receives first COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccination clinic held Feb. 26 for high-risk elders

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Highway 97 two-vehicle crash near 150 Mile House claims one life

The collision closed the highway at 150 Mile House

Langley resident Carrie MacKay shared a video showing how stairs are a challenge after spending weeks in hospital battling COVID-19 (Special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Stairs a challenge for B.C. woman who chronicled COVID-19 battle

‘I can now walk for six (to) 10 minutes a day’

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C. Attorney General David Eby speaks in the legislature, Dec. 7, 2020. Eby was given responsibility for housing after the October 2020 provincial election. (Hansard TV)
B.C. extends COVID-19 rent freeze again, to the end of 2021

‘Renoviction’ rules tightened, rent capped to inflation in 2022

Face mask hangs from a rear-view mirror. (Black Press image)
B.C. CDC unveils guide on how to carpool during the pandemic

Wearing masks, keeping windows open key to slowing the spread of COVID-19

Churches, including Langley’s Riverside Calvary Church, are challenging the regulations barring them from holding in-person worship services during COVID-19. (Langley Advance Times file)
Det. Sgt. Jim Callender. (Hamilton Police Service screenshot)
B.C. man dead, woman seriously injured after shooting in Hamilton, Ont.

The man was in the process of moving to the greater Toronto area, police say

(Black Press file photo)
Child in critical condition, homicide investigators probe incident near Agassiz

The child was transported to hospital but is not expected to survive

Sewage plant in Lower Mainland, operated by Metro Vancouver. (Metro Vancouver screenshot)
‘Poop tracker’ launches as researchers test Lower Mainland sewage water for COVID-19

‘Studying the virus in wastewater allows researchers to look at an entire population…’

Most Read