Here are some tips to help you choose a competent trader with a good reputation.
Your central heating system is not enough and you want to install a backup device in your house? Thinking about buying a propane or pellet stove? Or a heat pump, but you hesitate because it’s a big investment? At the same time, you would like to have air conditioning for the summer… To find an experienced professional to help you make an informed choice, start by getting information from others and then browsing the Internet.
What criteria should be prioritised? The seller you will be doing business with must:
• be able to assist you in choosing the device that is best for your situation;
• be able to clearly and accurately answer your questions;
• be able to calculate the heating and cooling capacity needed for your home;
• have received appropriate training from the Corporation of Québec Pipe Masters;
• be authorized by the manufacturer to sell their devices and spare parts.
Shop with different vendors to compare prices, features of each device, warranties offered, promises of energy savings (although this information should be taken with caution), etc. Avoid doing business with a company that only provides a phone number as contact information . Indeed, if you have a problem later, you may have trouble tracking it down.
Do you think you have found a rare gem? Make sure the seller has the required licenses. Depending on the case, this may be a license from the Régie du bâtiment du Québec, a license from the Corporation of Craftsmen of Quebec, or even a license from the Corporation of Craftsmen from Quebec. If you are doing business with a traveling merchant, also make sure that he has a reputable license from the Office de la Protection du Consommateur and that he will provide you with a written contract. In any case, feel free to find out about his past using the Office’s “Learn About Trader” tool. By entering his name, you will know if he has a permit, if the Office has already received complaints about him, or if he has been the subject of official notices from clients. If so, this tool will also tell you the number of them and how these interventions ended (plea of guilt or innocence, judgment, fine). Also check if the seller has civil liability insurance and inquire about the length and scope of the warranties they offer, as well as after-sales service. Finally, if possible, ask him to provide you with recommendations from some of his clients so that you can collect their comments.
This tip is taken from 100 TIPS for Consumers, Your Rights on a Daily Basis, produced in collaboration with the Consumer Protection Authority. On the occasion of its 50th anniversary, the Authority is offering this guide free of charge to all consumers.