Ontario woman signs $12,748 furnace contract after being offered free doorbell

Door-to-door sales were banned in Ontario in March of 2018, but some companies may still come to your home to try and sell you products or services.

A Brampton, Ont. woman said in October 2021 someone came to her home offering her a free doorbell.

"I said 'No one gives away anything for free. What's the catch?' He said 'No, ma'am there is none, it's really free,'" said Beverly Williamson. 

Williamson said she was told someone would come the next day to install the doorbell, but when they showed up they said they needed to go into her basement.

Once the company representative was downstairs, Williamson said he inspected her furnace and said she could save money if she installed a new one. 

Williamson said she was told there was a special offer on a new furnace, but only if she signed the contract that same day and she did.

"Once I signed on the dotted line they had someone basically outside waiting to come in and install the furnace. So the furnace was installed the same day, but they didn't install the doorbell," said Williamson. 

The doorbell was installed two weeks later, but Williamson said it no longer works and she had to have her original doorbell reinstalled by someone else. 

"The following day the doorbell was not working and it has not been working since," said Williamson. 

Williamson signed a contract to pay $69.99 a month for the furnace over a period of 15 years. The contract states there is a total commitment with other fees of $12,748.

Williamson said she regrets accepting the doorbell offer and wishes she did not sign the contract and kept the furnace she already had. 

"I'm so upset about it I haven't really relaxed since then. I would really like them to take the furnace out of my house," said Williamson.

The doorbell and furnace were installed by Simply Smart Home. 

A spokesperson for the company told CTV News Toronto "At Simply Smart, we take customer feedback very seriously. We are disheartened to hear of Ms. Williamson’s experience, and are in the process of finding some solutions with which she finds satisfactory and address her concerns."

The spokesperson added "From the onset of installation of our equipment at Ms. Williamson's home, Simply Smart did not charge her anything, nor do we plan on billing Ms. Williamson until we find a resolution to her concerns."

That came as a relief for Williamson who said she is now being given the option to buy the furnace at a reduced amount or have it removed from her home.

It's a reminder that most door to door sales are banned in Ontario, but if you make an appointment with a company and invite them into your home it's not considered a door to door sale, so be cautious if you're offered free products or rebates at your door.