A door-to-door sales company that was selling residential hot water heaters and water filtration systems while misrepresenting themselves as being associated with the City of Red Deer must pay $15,000 for operating without a business licence.
A number of complaints about Eco Global, an Edmonton-based company, were reported to the city and RCMP in 2016. Eco Global had applied for and received five business licences in October 2016 but they were revoked by the city just days later based on the volume of complaints received and the context of the concerns identified.
The city said in a release on Friday that the company appealed the revocation in November 2016 but the Red Deer Review and Appeal Board upheld the decision to revoke the licences.
Then more complaints were reported by residents in December 2016 when Eco Global representatives were found to be going door to door once again, targeting primarily seniors with aggressive sales tactics and misleading residents into thinking Eco Global was there on behalf of the City of Red Deer or province.
The city issued a total of three tickets to Eco Global for operating without a business licence.
Companies found to be in contravention of Red Deer bylaws can be refused a licence, have a licence revoked, and/or incur tickets and penalties.
The city reminds residents that there are several things people can do to protect themselves when dealing with door to door salespeople:
- Do not let strangers into your home unless they have displayed their business licence and identification; even then, it is always your right to refuse to allow them entry.
- Never provide personal information (bank account information, bills, SIN, date of birth, credit card numbers or PIN) at the door or over the phone, unless you have initiated the business relationship.
- Citizens can also call City of Red Deer Inspections and Licensing at 403-342-8182 to verify if a business has a licence.
- Research a business and ask questions before making a transaction.
- Avoid high-pressure sales tactics and immediate decisions.
- Report wrongdoing or suspect behavior to Red Deer RCMP at 403-343-5575.