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  #1  
Old 1/22/11, 10:53 AM
Roy D. Cooke, Sr's Avatar
Roy D. Cooke, Sr Roy D. Cooke, Sr is offline
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Default Rental water heaters


Back to Roseman: A $980 problem with rented water heater
http://www.moneyville.ca/article/926...d-water-heater
Roseman: A $980 problem with rented water heater

January 21, 2011
Ellen Roseman

When Robert Weaver and his wife took ownership of their new home last November, they received a nasty shock.
The previous owner had changed the rental water heater three days before the deal closed, choosing an updated model from Direct Energy.
They decided to have it removed because it didn’t fit their renovation plans. But when they called Direct Energy, they were told to pay a termination fee of $980.
Weaver said he had no information about the rental terms and conditions. But as a precaution, he had checked the company’s website to see if he could run into problems.
“Unlike other water heater rental companies operating in Ontario, as a customer of Direct Energy you are not bound by a fixed-term service contract, not for six months, not for 15 years,” the website said.
“In addition, as a customer of Direct Energy (and once again, unlike other water heater rental companies in Ontario), you are not subject to possible termination fees if for some reason you exit your contract.”
By the time he learned about the termination fee, it was too late. The tank had been drained and disconnected by his heating contractor.
Weaver spent a frustrating six weeks trying to deal with Direct Energy.
In early December, he was told he could drop off the tank himself at no cost. He arranged to borrow a friend’s pickup truck, only to get a call later, saying there had been a mistake.
“I had to call off the favour with my friend, who was already on his way to my house and had rearranged his schedule to help us out,” he says.
He called Direct Energy until he reached a supervisor, who said she’d try to work out an agreement. Two weeks later, she told him nothing had happened but she’d keep trying.
“She continued to say that Direct Energy would not bill me and she’d have the fee for the hot water tank removal waived.”
He never spoke to the supervisor again. At least six times, he was promised a call back from her the next day.
Last Wednesday, he contacted me after another fruitless call. He didn’t like being told to sue the previous homeowner, who was in his 70s and was only trying to help.
Direct Energy dropped the fee within a day.
“The situation was unique, as the previous homeowner changed the tank without consulting with Mr. Weaver after he purchased the house,” says spokeswoman Crystal Jongeward.
“We appreciate the situation this left him in and we’re sorry for the time it took to get this done.”
So, what happened? Why did he have to fight so hard to avoid a fee that wasn’t supposed to exist?
In 2002, Direct Energy signed a consent order with the federal Competition Bureau that protects customers from long-term contracts and exit fees.
The consent order runs out in 2012. But the company asked for relief, saying it faced intense competition from door-to-door rivals using those tactics.
The Competition Bureau said it could usse long-term contracts and exit fees with water heaters installed after Sept. 16, 2010, or in new homes built after Jan. 1 of this year.
Direct Energy has now removed the outdated language that Weaver found. But its new contract refers to “a buy-out schedule located on our website.”
I couldn’t locate the buy-out schedule. So, I’m issuing this warning.
When offering to purchase a home with a rented water heater, ask for a copy of the contract.
Find out if there’s a termination fee to get out early. Then, adjust your offer so that the seller pays the fee.
Ellen Roseman writes about personal finance and consumer issues. You can reach her at eroseman@thestar.ca.
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  #2  
Old 1/22/11, 10:25 PM
Vern Mitchinson, CCHI CMI's Avatar
Vern Mitchinson, CCHI CMI Vern Mitchinson, CCHI CMI is offline
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Default Re: Rental water heaters

Why would anybody rent a water heater. they only cost 400 to 600.00. and 100.00 to install. They last 10 to 20 years. So why rent. Makes absolutely no sense at all.



Vern Mitchinson_CCHI_CMI
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  #3  
Old 1/23/11, 1:46 AM
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Dale Duffy Dale Duffy is offline
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Default Re: Rental water heaters

Quote:
Originally Posted by vmitchinson View Post
Why would anybody rent a water heater. they only cost 400 to 600.00. and 100.00 to install. They last 10 to 20 years. So why rent. Makes absolutely no sense at all.
Same reason someone would buy a "Pet Rock", hard to determine what could be going through their feeble minds, besides not much.
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  #4  
Old 1/23/11, 2:21 AM
Jeffrey R. Jonas's Avatar
Jeffrey R. Jonas Jeffrey R. Jonas is online now
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Default Re: Rental water heaters

Quote:
Originally Posted by vmitchinson View Post
Why would anybody rent a water heater. they only cost 400 to 600.00. and 100.00 to install. They last 10 to 20 years. So why rent. Makes absolutely no sense at all.
I was wondering that also. Is it common in Canada to rent WH's?

In my area, it is common practice to rent Water Softeners.

I guess if you are low or fixed income, an unexpected $500-$1000 is a lot of cash.



Jeffrey R. Jonas
Owatonna, Minnesota



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  #5  
Old 1/23/11, 2:36 AM
Bob Elliott's Avatar
Bob Elliott Bob Elliott is online now
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Default Re: Rental water heaters

I do not see how that would fly on a home under contract
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  #6  
Old 1/23/11, 8:33 AM
Wayne B. Wilson, TN 439's Avatar
Wayne B. Wilson, TN 439 Wayne B. Wilson, TN 439 is online now
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Default Re: Rental water heaters

It was pretty common . I see no benefit in it



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  #7  
Old 1/23/11, 9:22 AM
Brian A. MacNeish Brian A. MacNeish is offline
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Default Re: Rental water heaters

Quote:
Originally Posted by wwilson3 View Post
It was pretty common . I see no benefit in it
New Brunswick's power company rents electric water heaters at a quite good rate......presently $6.02 /month. That includes installation and/or
any future repairs.

When I left NB to come to Nova Scotia, I went back to NB on weekends for a couple of months to complete some projects prior to sale of our house (renovation of a 200+ year old hand hewn, post & beam Cape Cod style with hand split lath and horse hair in the plaster).

Mid-Saturday afternoon one weekend, I discovered that the rented tank had failed and called their service #. By 5:30 PM , a new tank was installed and heating water....no extra charge to myself.......can't beat that....and they took the old tank away. At that time (1992) rental was 3.58/month.
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  #8  
Old 1/23/11, 9:32 AM
Roy D. Cooke, Sr's Avatar
Roy D. Cooke, Sr Roy D. Cooke, Sr is offline
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Default Re: Rental water heaters

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian A. MacNeish View Post
New Brunswick's power company rents electric water heaters at a quite good rate......presently $6.02 /month. That includes installation and/or
any future repairs.

When I left NB to come to Nova Scotia, I went back to NB on weekends for a couple of months to complete some projects prior to sale of our house (renovation of a 200+ year old hand hewn, post & beam Cape Cod style with hand split lath and horse hair in the plaster).

Mid-Saturday afternoon one weekend, I discovered that the rented tank had failed and called their service #. By 5:30 PM , a new tank was installed and heating water....no extra charge to myself.......can't beat that....and they took the old tank away. At that time (1992) rental was 3.58/month.
You are correct great deal for you a bad deal for the taxpayers .
This is a good example why we need less government and less government employees.
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  #9  
Old 1/23/11, 9:46 AM
Brian A. MacNeish Brian A. MacNeish is offline
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Default Re: Rental water heaters

Quote:
Originally Posted by rcooke View Post
You are correct great deal for you a bad deal for the taxpayers .
This is a good example why we need less government and less government employees.
This work was done by a small plumbing contractor (subcontractor to NB Power) from about 25 miles away. He always has a couple of replacement tanks in his van.

Do you think you would get a government employee to my house at 4:30 on a nice summer Saturday afternoon?

BTW, I don't mind paying taxes for having such a great country......it doesn't come from nothing. According to the conservative US "Heritage Foundation" and the Wall Street Journal, we are doing better than the US in economic freedom overall!!

http://www.heritage.org/Index/Country/canada

http://www.heritage.org/Index/Ranking

Last edited by Brian A. MacNeish; 1/23/11 at 9:58 AM..
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  #10  
Old 1/23/11, 9:50 AM
Roy D. Cooke, Sr's Avatar
Roy D. Cooke, Sr Roy D. Cooke, Sr is offline
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Default Re: Rental water heaters

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian A. MacNeish View Post
This work was done by a small plumbing contractor (subcontractor to NB Power) from about 25 miles away. He always has a couple of replacement tanks in his van.

Do you think you would get a government employee to my house at 4:30 on a nice summer Saturday afternoon?
That should be the home owners responsibility not the governments .
I think government should look after our budget and leave free enterprise alone .
The tax payer carries too big a load now, less civil servants could help save my tax dollars.
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  #11  
Old 1/23/11, 10:04 AM
Brian A. MacNeish Brian A. MacNeish is offline
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Default Re: Rental water heaters

Quote:
Originally Posted by rcooke View Post
That should be the home owners responsibility not the governments .
I think government should look after our budget and leave free enterprise alone .
The tax payer carries too big a load now, less civil servants could help save my tax dollars.
You could always move to Singapore or Hong Kong, with the best economic conditions in the world.

"The tax payer carries too big a load now."
Of course, they will....... if we keep electing governments that buy our votes with promises of spending more $$$ while at the same time reducing taxes for corporations.......with more of our companies now being foreign owned.


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  #12  
Old 1/23/11, 10:05 AM
Roy D. Cooke, Sr's Avatar
Roy D. Cooke, Sr Roy D. Cooke, Sr is offline
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Default Re: Rental water heaters

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian A. MacNeish View Post
You could always move to Singapore or Hong Kong, with the best economic conditions in the world.

"The tax payer carries too big a load now."
Of course, they will....... if we keep electing governments that buy our votes with promises of spending more $$$ while at the same time reducing taxes for corporations.......with more of our companies now being foreign owned.

We are talking about Canada .
https://www.nachi.org/forum/f48/bc-57350/#post738036

This is a prime example where Government funds have been and still are being wasted big time .
Every body wants more services and less taxes well it does not happen .
Government services are frequently more costly then private enterprise .
Next we will be asking the government to clean our windows too.
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  #13  
Old 1/23/11, 12:17 PM
Brian A. MacNeish Brian A. MacNeish is offline
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Default Re: Rental water heaters

Quote:
Originally Posted by rcooke View Post
We are talking about Canada .
Every body wants more services and less taxes well it does not happen .
Good to see that your starting to understand why taxes must rise if we have a more complicated society with more riches, drugs, cars, roads, boats, cabins, cottages, services etc.......... without a much faster growing population and tax base, taxes must rise for the people.....especially when corporations are paying substantially less than they use to!
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  #14  
Old 1/23/11, 12:22 PM
Roy D. Cooke, Sr's Avatar
Roy D. Cooke, Sr Roy D. Cooke, Sr is offline
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Default Re: Rental water heaters

Sorry I disagree we do not need more taxes and we do not need more government looking after us .
I will buy my own water heater and pay for my garbage to be removed.
It is proven tax the corporations more and more will leave Canada and then we will need more taxes to support those who used to work and pay taxes and no longer have a job.
Less government is better government .
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  #15  
Old 1/23/11, 3:34 PM
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Michael Larson Michael Larson is online now
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Default Re: Rental water heaters

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian A. MacNeish View Post
Good to see that your starting to understand why taxes must rise if we have a more complicated society with more riches, drugs, cars, roads, boats, cabins, cottages, services etc.......... without a much faster growing population and tax base, taxes must rise for the people.....especially when corporations are paying substantially less than they use to!
Have you considered reaching out to Mexico?



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