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National Home Services to pay $7 million for misleading door-to-door water heater promotions

Agreement includes money back to Ontario and Quebec consumers

November 24, 2014 — OTTAWA, ON — Competition Bureau

The Competition Bureau has determined that sales agents for National Energy Corporation (National) were making false or misleading representations regarding their identity and the purpose of their visit to the customers’ homes. During the course of the investigation, the Bureau became aware of thousands of complaints received by other organizations, including the Ontario Ministry of Consumer Services, the Better Business Bureau and the Office de la protection du consommateur in Quebec.

To address the Bureau’s concern, National and Just Energy Group Inc. have signed a consent agreement that:

As part of the Consent Agreement, National is also required to put in place and pay for an independent compliance monitor, whose role will include, among other things, monitoring and reporting on:

National cooperated with the Bureau throughout the investigation.

In an effort to protect Canadians, the Bureau has been and continues to be active in the water heater industry by taking a number of enforcement actions to ensure that businesses comply with the Competition Act. Recent actions in this area include:

Quick facts

  • National, operating as National Home Services and Services aux foyers, is a subsidiary of Just Energy Group Inc.
  • National, operating as National Home Services and Services aux foyers, is a subsidiary of Just Energy Group Inc.
  • The Bureau continues to investigate alleged deceptive door-to-door marketing practices by other water heater providers.

Quote

"Consumers rightfully deserve the truth when choosing service providers for essential goods, such as water heaters. The Bureau is pleased that this agreement will protect consumers from being deceived by representatives of businesses who falsely identify themselves in order to make a profit. This type of behaviour will not be tolerated by the Bureau, and we will not hesitate to hold those responsible accountable for their actions. Our important work in this area continues."

John Pecman,
Commissioner of Competition

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