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Old 2009-04-22, 02:52 PM   #1
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Location: GTA, Canada
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Exclamation Water Heater Rental Discussions

There have been threads before on salesman...but just wanted to chime in on this specific company and my experience.

This past weekend I was working outside and a salesman came by. He informed me that they were upgrading the hot water tanks in my area as they are inefficient (tank is currently 5 years old). I specifically asked if he was with Enbridge and he said they were doing it on behalf of Enbridge. He informed me that the service and installation is free and the piping inside would be upgraded to the new standards. Sounded great to me...free new tank that is energy efficient and I would see 30% energy savings. I signed up a very happy man! Then I read the fine print and did some research online (Thank goodness). Some findings:

- Locked in for 15 years!!! That's right...the water tank that costs less then $1000 bucks will now cost you over $4500!
- If you move you are responsible to inform the new buyer that they MUST take on the balance of the 15 year agreement or you end up paying the difference!
- And to top it off, their rental is $4 more per month then competitors.

Needless to say, I called Direct Energy (which turned out bought my rental agreement from Enbridge) and they informed me, no long term contracts..if you need to end the agreement they simply pick up the rental. And the monthly price is cheaper.

In the end, I cancelled the installation (Under the consumer protection act you have the right to cancel any agreement you sign at the door within 10 days). Beware of pushy salesman who misrepresnet themselves! And a lesson I learned...read the fine print!!

On a side note, this expereince taught me a lot about rental heaters. Ontario is one of the only provinces that continues to be so heavy into renting. Think about it, you don't rent your fridge or stove...however the appliance the costs less then $1k and lasts up to 20 years or more...you rent? Doesn't make sense at all. Looking into purchasing the tankless heater.
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Old 2009-04-22, 02:55 PM   #2
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Never, never buy from someone showing up at your door or telemarketing.
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Old 2009-04-22, 03:03 PM   #3
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Think about it, you don't rent your fridge or stove...however the appliance the costs less then $1k and lasts up to 20 years or more...you rent?
I agree, but one reason that someone may rent is if they don't plan to stay in the home for long. Unlike a fridge or stove, you don't take a water heater with you.

I have always been an advocate of purchasing instead of renting. It's rarely less expensive to not own, after all, the people who are renting/leasing, etc are in it to make money, not to lose money.
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Old 2009-04-22, 03:04 PM   #4
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I know Hugh...stupid me! I had one good experience...5 years ago I locked into my natural gas at 22cents! Have been enjoying it for 5 years...now contract is up and gas is pushing 40 cents...

However, I could not believe how "snowed" I got...he really had me convinced that I was getting an awesome deal hahahahhaa
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Old 2009-04-22, 03:08 PM   #5
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Absolutely 57...and if you don't have capital to invest...the rental is easy! Even tho it is paid for in 2-3 years and will last you 15+, it is still an out of pocket expense.

For those into the tankless system and can't afford the up front costs, Direct Energy does rent them as well as the tanks...think the rental is around 30 bucks compared to 20 for the tank system...but is an option for those looking to have constant hot water and lower energy costs (Natural gas only tho).
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Old 2009-04-22, 04:37 PM   #6
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Just to ad some more info to this. I work for DE as a service tech, and get to respond to some of our concerned customers, here are some of the things these companies are telling you that are simply not true:

-Its 5 years old and is no longer effecient. This is wrong. Just like a furnace the effecieny does not magically disapear after 5 years. A tank has a lifespan of approximatly 15year i have serviced some 20-30year old tanks that where still going strong. DE realizes the tanks have have a life span and wont argrue if a customer wants a replacement on there 16year old plus tank....

-On the effeciency note... Tanks are fairly inefficient.. Its a fact. The most popular domestic water heaters have the following approximate effeciencys
Conventionals(standing pilot)- 60%
Power Vented(electronic ignition with electric ventor motor)- 60-65% plus electrica costs
I have heard in many cases sales people trying to pass off a PV tank as a high effeciency tank. They suggest that plastic venting and ventor motor make it more eficient. Totally wrong the flue temps are lower because there is induced venting going on and the whole design is to work around not having a chimney.

-The tank is not up to code. 99.9% this is wrong if where true and they where a licenced gas fitter they should be red tagging the water heater or contacting the local utility to tag it.

-The plastic venting is not up to code(ABS/PVC) Wrong again. The new code states that excisting installations are exempt and only when the tank is to be replace is it code to change to the new 636PVC venting system. Bacially if the vent is leak free it gets a grandfather clause.

-The tanks is limed up and full of sediment. Check for your self, if your in the city your not going to see sediment coming out of the drain vavle, the only people that could see liming and sediment are people on hard water. And its so rare that we see limed tanks. Eitherway if we find them like that we exchange them at no cost but encourage the use of water treatment.

-They work for Enbridge or Direct Energy. They dont. And Enbridge has not rented tanks nore done service in 11years, that portion of the business was sold to Direct Energy. So your Rental contract is with Direct Energy, and in some areas you could be renting for Union or Reliance.

If you have any concerns contact your rental company if your happy with them. From what i have heard they are not cheaper then DE and i have no idea who does there service work. We have 400+ technicians in ontario servicing the rental tanks. So that thanks are covered. DE will issue a service call to check out your rental tank if you have any concerns.

Any questiosn about rental tanks let me know i would be glad to help out.
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Old 2009-04-22, 07:13 PM   #7
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I had someone come to the door tonight about Hot Water Heaters. I didn't let him get anymore than a few words out before I said no thank you, and closed the door. I did just have my Hot Water heater replaced though, but I'm sure it wasn't related.

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Old 2009-04-22, 10:10 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by ilyo View Post
I know Hugh...stupid me! I had one good experience...5 years ago I locked into my natural gas at 22cents! Have been enjoying it for 5 years...now contract is up and gas is pushing 40 cents...
Actually the regulated rate was about $0.30 over the winter and has dropped down to a net of just over $ 0.17. Of course this will fluctuate every quarter, but it'll be interesting to hear what your gas marketer offers you this time around.
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Old 2009-04-22, 10:25 PM   #9
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Ya, 19.9 for next 6 mths on a variable...average is a lock in around the 30 cent mark. Is a tough decision because everything is so unstable right now...historically a lock in over 5 years will save you money over the long term as the unregulated rate will usually be higher over the same time period...but in the interim...prices are very nice!!

www.energyshop.ca is a great resource for getting he latest prices on this stuff.
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Old 2009-04-22, 10:36 PM   #10
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I had these clowns come to my house as well. It was a saleswoman in my case....showed up at my door just after 7pm on a Saturday as I was sitting down to watch the hockey game. She was very pushy on trying to get me to sign a contract which I refused to do until I researched the company.

To make a long story short:

My old water heater was 20 years old. My wife called DE about the visit and they were well aware of who it was. Due to the age of our heater they offered to replace it with a higher efficiency unit at no charge. They told my wife it was their policy to replace any heater 15 years old or older. 4 days after the Saturday night visit they showed up on time and replaced my old heater within an hour with a new larger unit at no charge and no increase in the rental fee. I would rather buy my own water heater but we plan on moving in a year so I didn't feel like spending all that money on something I personally won't benefit from.
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Old 2009-04-22, 11:36 PM   #11
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I had my 15+ yrs old rental unit replaced by DE, free of course. However, the cost of upgrading the valve and the exhaust cost me about $300, due to these new provincial codes.
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Old 2009-08-26, 08:19 AM   #12
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Default National Home Services Scam

A salesman came to my door in Ottawa this past weekend. He said that his company, National Home Services, would be installing new energy efficient water heaters in my area. I asked what relationship his company had with Embridge, my gas supplier. He said that his company is a subcontractor to Embridge. He clearly implied that such a relationship already existed.

He showed me a document that was a replica of an Embridge invoice. He said, "see, you can save lots of money on this bill." I asked, and he denied that it was my bill. This was clearly a distraction tactic, to imply a relationship with Embridge.

I told him that I rented my water heater from Direct Energy, and asked what relationship his company had with them. He was amazing! He threw up his hands and said "ok, if you don't care about the environment!" What a line!

It took five minutes of my repeated questioning for him to tell me that his company is a competitor with Direct Energy, and he showed me a contract, which had written at the bottom, just above the signature area, NATIONAL HOME SERVICES HAS NO AFFILIATION WITH DIRECT ENERGY. At least I think those were the exact words. One would have had to agree to sign the contract with National Home Services before one would realize that this fellow's company was a competitor, if one hadn't questioned him as severely as I did. I asked him to leave a copy of the contract with me, and I would research his company and consider siging up. He refused. He told me I had to agree now, or I could not see the contract again.

NEVER buy at the door!
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Old 2009-08-26, 08:56 AM   #13
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Are these the clowns in the blue shirts? A team of them swamped our neighbourhood a few days a go. I think he said something about water and energy as I was closing the door. I don't buy like that to start with, and it was supper time.

Later that evening I drove by a mini-mall in the area and there were about 8 of them gathered. It looked like they were waiting for a lift, so I guess they move in to an area with a big team and sweep the area in one shot.
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Old 2009-08-26, 09:12 AM   #14
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It's been a while since they've bothered me. The last time one of these aggressive clowns disturbed me, I properly executed a citizen's arrest under the Trespass to Property Act.
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Old 2009-08-26, 09:14 AM   #15
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This is why I don't open my door. I always know when somebody is coming over.
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