The Better Business Bureau is warning the public to be cautious about doorto-door heating contractors who may use misleading sales tactics to convince homeowners to buy a new furnace or hot water tank.
Before you choose a heating contractor, the Better Business Bureau asks you to consider the following tips:
. Start with the BBB. You can find out helpful information like owners, company addresses and customer service information by visiting the company's business review at www.mbc.bbb.org.
. Hire heating contractors who are licensed with the BC Safety Authority; are or employ certified gas fitters; are bonded and insured for liability and property damage; can provide a copy of the gas permit authorizing the company to work on your heating system; offer warranties that cover equipment, materials and labour; offer maintenance and service after installation and after warranties have expired; and provide customer references.
.Get at least two estimates for the work. All bids should be in writing and provide a full description of services to be provided and materials to be used.
. Compare more than just cost. Check the size and rated efficiency of the equipment each contractor recommends. Ask contractors how they arrived at recommending a particular sized system. Check the warranty offered and make certain you understand it.
. The BC Safety Authority states that it is recommended - but not mandatory - for consumers to have their heating system inspected yearly. Be wary of any company that states it is calling from your municipality, or that it is required by law to have an inspection.
. Know your rights and read your contract carefully. Consumers have 10 days to cancel these types of contracts, and there are limits to the deposit required. For more information, contact Consumer Protection BC at 1-888-564-9963 or www. consumerprotectionbc.ca.