Port Colborne to investigate licensing of door-to-door salespeople

Port Colborne logoThe City of Port Colborne council has directed staff to begin an investigation into a procedure that will hopefully alleviate the problem of door-to-door salespeople in the community.

The issue was first brought up by Deputy Mayor Bea Kenny in Tuesday night’s regular meeting of council during the mayor’s remarks.

“We have been notified by citizens that there are door-to-door salespeople going through the community selling water filters,” she said. “They claim that there is a problem with the City’s drinking water and that Environment Canada says it’s mandatory these filters are installed.”

“I want to assure the citizens of Port Colborne that this is not true, it’s an outright lie,” she said.  “The City of Port Colborne’s water meets and exceeds strict provincial guidelines and is safe to drink.”

“We do have a company replacing water meters right now under contract, they are Neptune and the workers have photo id, wear Neptune clothing and have a vehicle clearly marked with their placard,” she said.

But, Neptune is only replacing water meters at scheduled-in-advance appointments made by the homeowner.

She also reported that there are salespeople going door-to-door saying that furnaces or water tanks need replacing. These salespeople have been described as aggressive.

“You don’t have to let door-to-door salespeople into your house,” Deputy Mayor Kenny said.

The Government of Ontario consumer protection act covers door-to-door sales and information can be accessed through their website: https://www.ontario.ca/page/door-door-sales-and-home-service-contracts . On this webpage, it also says that if you have any questions or concerns about door-to-door experiences, you can call toll-free at 1-800-889-9768. This number also applies to file complaints. There are plenty of good tips and several things to be aware of when dealing with door-to-door salespeople.

In the case of aggressive salespeople, homeowners also have the option of calling the Niagara Regional Police.

Following the Mayor’s remarks, Counc. John Mayne asked during Councillors’ Items if staff could start researching into the process to license door-to-door salespeople that come to town to insure they are legitimate.

In the discussion about this item it was discussed by councilors that the idea is not to get rid of organizations like the Girl Guides selling cookies or children selling chocolate bars to help send them go to camp, but, to maybe regulate door-to-door salespeople not representing legitimate businesses. Perhaps by having to go through a licensing process it would help weed out the salespeople who are misrepresenting the truth.

Counc. Ron Bodner asked that if the staff in research for the report could find out “How other communities deal with the door-to-door salespeople in their community. How do they enforce it if there are bylaws in place?”

The city currently does issue licenses for a small amount of businesses, examples include garages, kennels, fry trucks, but, business registration like a retail store, is covered by the Province of Ontario.

Counc. Mayne pointed out that there is a difference in those types of businesses to consider.

“There’s a big difference between a store that I go to and buy something, a person coming to my door trying to sell me something is a different story,” he said.

He referred to the salespeople as being intrusive when they come the home and with complaints of them being aggressive coming to council, he described them as more than a nuisance.

In having them have to go through a licensing process to sell in Port Colborne will hopefully discourage the unwanted nuisance of shady door-to-door salespeople leaving only legitimate businesses to operate.

“Any way we can get rid or discourage them from coming here, I’m for that,” he said.

All of council supported the direction of staff to investigate this process and await a report in a future council meeting.

“I’m sure staff will come up with something good that will deal with the problem,” Counc. Mayne said after the meeting.



Help Erie Media stay online with a voluntary subscription

Subscription Options