British Columbia

B.C. affiliate of HVAC company Simply Green banned from door-to-door sales in province

The B.C. affiliate of Ontario-based HVAC company Simply Green has been banned from door-to-door sales in B.C. for one year following an investigation by the provincial regulator.

Heating, ventilation, air conditioning company also fined $8K by provincial regulator

A furnace installed by Simply Green Home Services in Harjit Sidhu's Delta, B.C., home. (Maggie MacPherson/CBC)

The B.C. affiliate of Ontario-based HVAC company Simply Green has been banned from door-to-door sales in B.C. for one year following an investigation by the provincial regulator.

Consumer Protection B.C. announced the ban in a statement Tuesday, saying Simply Green B.C. — which supplies and services heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems — would not be allowed to resume direct sales in the province unless it demonstrably changes its business practices.

"After a thorough investigation, we have banned Simply Green Home Services from engaging in door to door sales in B.C. for one year and have ordered them to pay a $8,000 penalty," said spokesperson Tatiana Chabeaux-Smith.

Simply Green B.C. had been conducting door-to-door sales, until about a year-and-a-half ago, when the regulator said it had opened the investigation. 

In March, the CBC told Harjit Sidhu's story about what happened after she and her husband signed a rent-to-own agreement with a Simply Green door-to-door salesman.

When the Delta, B.C., couple wanted out of the contract worth $6,500, payable over six years, the company ultimately tripled what it would cost to exit the agreement.

After the interview with Sidhu, CBC News contacted Simply Green. Lawyer Alfred Apps said the company was dealing with Sidhu's complaint and her issue would be resolved.

A confidential settlement was subsequently reached. 

WATCH | Harjit Sidhu talks about her experience:

Harjit Sidhu says she's learned a tough lesson. 0:29

Company's track record

Over the past year-and-a-half, Consumer Protection B.C. says it has received more than 30 calls about Simply Green's business dealings.

In June 2016, Simply Green was cited for "engaging in deceptive acts or practices" and fined $1,200. 

Chabeaux-Smith said the COVID-19 pandemic has made it all the more important for residents to be aware of their rights and potentially deceptive business dealings.

"Not only are British Columbians spending more time at home these days, but many have been impacted financially by the pandemic. We want people to know how to spot an exploitative transaction and be able to exercise their rights under B.C. law," she said.

More information about consumer rights can be found at consumerprotectionbc.ca.

Corrections

  • A previous version of this story said Simply Green was banned from operating in B.C. for a year. In fact, the order from Consumer Protection B.C. only specified a ban on door-to-door sales for the company's affiliate Simply Green B.C. The story has also been updated to correct CBC's involvement in the settlement timeline.
    Jun 24, 2020 6:02 PM PT

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