Home & Garden

The Great Water Heater Rental Scam

  • Last Updated:
  • Jul 17th, 2018 5:38 pm
Deal Fanatic
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Oct 6, 2010
9101 posts
3145 upvotes
Toronto
Acheewawa wrote:
Aug 2nd, 2017 10:10 pm
I've often wondered why water heaters are so frequently rented. Soon, you will see more furnace/AC rentals too and new home buyers will need to assume those contracts!

I've purchased a new build and of coarse, it comes with a rented water heater from Reliance. I'm not sure what the buyout amount will be at this point as I haven't moved in yet, but I've heard that I can just get them to remove it before I get my first bill and I can just install a new one from another company. Anyone heard this before or had any success with it?
I believe this was covered already in this thread and you would need to buy it out after 2 years.
Deal Addict
Jan 25, 2007
4364 posts
1399 upvotes
Paris
rcmpvet wrote:
Aug 1st, 2017 3:38 pm
If you choose to have Direct Energy disconnect, remove or retrieve the rental water heater, in most cases there
will be a $75.00 charge for these services. (There is no
charge if you are more than 32km (20 miles) from a
Direct Energy return location or if we fail to retrieve your water heater within two weeks of your request or your
water heater has been rented for 15 years or more.)
SON OF A ^*&%%&*((. I fought with them so hard when my water heater died. First to even PRODUCE terms and conditions that were in effect at my assumed acceptance of such terms in 2007 when we bought our house. Then we fought that I had to return the water heater to a service centre in Kitchen (easily 40 kms from my house) between 9-11am or 1-3pm and I couldn't return it any other location as "they are geo tagged" or pony up $60ish bucks for them to pick it up.

In the end I returned it to the Burlington depot which couldn't have been more than 4 mins away from where I worked and they accepted them 8am to 6pm. The Burlington depot was about 66 kms from my house.

Edit: I'm so mad right now I want to call them up and yell at them some more. This all happened 6 years or more ago.
Gbill2004: Thanks but I'll just smell the couch before/if I buy it.

jonnyb: I go in there like PICASSO and toss the glue everywhere, I don't care what house I'm on.
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2004
28109 posts
3756 upvotes
East Gwillimbury
Here is my story, builder installed the hot water heater in February 2017. And I took possession in June. Was told that I couldn't get occupancy with out a hot water heater.

On the 27th of July, Cricket Comfort sends me a contract to sign. The rental agreement is $43.04 + HST, the term is 180 months (15 YEARS!!!). Third party billing through Enbridge, I quickly called Circket and was disconnected several times. Eventually got through and talked to Rita.

She explains to me that it is an Energy Star Home and this is a special tank. I can't just replace it with any conventional tank. Blah, blah blah. Then she tells me at the back of the contract is the buy out schedule. See attached


IMG_0299.JPG



You believe the cost? I checked online and no one lists pricing and I can't find this model in the big box stores. It is a GSW 6G50 76N VC02 110. Which means it is a John Woods Enviro Sense Power Vented Unit, 50 Gallon capacity 76,000 BTU. After a searching for awhile, I decided to just call an HVAC company and was quickly quoted $2,200, installation included

I call Cricket back and was going to blast them. No way I was going to pay more than double retail for the unit. She quickly drops the price to $3,200 + HST and says she can't go any lower. It is still $1,000 more than a new one (granted, the one I have is only 5 months old)

She then tells me that even though I haven't signed the contract, they have my information because the builder sent it to them and they already setup billing with Enbridge. I want to terminate the contract and she wants to charge $500 termination fee because the builder hasn't paid any rental fees since it was installed. Then there is a disconnect charge, fee to come and pick up the unit etc.

I was so fed up, I just paid the $3,200 + HST on the phone. I figured with all the extra fees and hassles it would probably cost $1,000 after all said and done.

They're all thieves
Last edited by Gee on Aug 4th, 2017 3:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Deal Fanatic
Apr 20, 2011
7747 posts
2633 upvotes
ON
Gee wrote:
Aug 4th, 2017 3:01 pm
Here is my story, builder installed the hot water heater in February 2017. And I took possession in June. Was told that I couldn't get occupancy with out a hot water heater.

On the 27th of July, Cricket Comfort sends me a contract to sign. The rental agreement is $43.04 + HST, the term is 180 months (15 YEARS!!!). Third party billing through Enbridge, I quickly called Circket and was disconnected several times. Eventually got through and talked to Rita.

She explains to me that it is an Energy Star Home and this is a special tank. I can't just replace it with any conventional tank. Blah, blah blah. Then she tells me at the back of the contract is the buy out schedule. See attached



IMG_0299.JPG




You believe the cost? I checked online and no one lists pricing and I can't find this model in the big box stores. It is a GSW 6G50 76N VC02 110. Which means it is a John Woods Enviro Sense Power Vented Unit, 50 Gallon capacity 76,000 BTU. After a searching for awhile, I decided to just call an HVAC company and was quickly quoted $2,200, installation included

I call Cricket back and was going to blast them. No way I was going to pay more than double retail for unit. She quickly drops the price to $3,200 + HST and says she can't go any lower. It is still $1,000 more than a new one (granted, the one I have is only 5 months old)

She then tells me that even though I haven't signed the contract, they have my information because the builder sent it to them and they already setup billing with Enbridge. I want to terminate the contract and she wants to charge $500 termination fee because the builder hasn't paid any rental fees since it was installed. Then there is a disconnect charge, fee to come and pick up the unit etc.

I was so fed up, I just paid the $3,200 + HST on the phone. I figured with all the extra fees and hassles it would probably cost $1,000 after all said and done.

They're all thieves
If you were recording that call and she indeed said you had not signed a contract with them, you'd be off scott-free.
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2004
28109 posts
3756 upvotes
East Gwillimbury
aqnd wrote:
Aug 4th, 2017 5:40 pm
If you were recording that call and she indeed said you had not signed a contract with them, you'd be off scott-free.
She was asking me to sign the contract which they had mailed me. Said it has to be sent back within 10 days, but they had all my info because the builder gave it to them. Billing with Endbridge was already setup.
Deal Fanatic
Apr 20, 2011
7747 posts
2633 upvotes
ON
Yeah, so you could have told enbridge to remove the billing as they don't have authorization (a signed contract), and you have the proof of them saying so.
Sr. Member
Aug 18, 2009
895 posts
296 upvotes
Toronto
So I recently purchased a resale home (less than 2yrs old) with a Cricket rental unit. I took possession in April and I've been paying my Enbridge bill since then. However, the bill has no mention of the rental unit.

Is it possible that the original owner never signed a contract with Cricket and thus billing was never set up? Could it be that the rental unit has fallen through the cracks by now since it's been installed for nearly 2 years already?

If I do nothing, what are the possible scenarios that may play out?

Side note: the original owner is also the builder (custom home)
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2004
28109 posts
3756 upvotes
East Gwillimbury
aqnd wrote:
Aug 4th, 2017 10:45 pm
Yeah, so you could have told enbridge to remove the billing as they don't have authorization (a signed contract), and you have the proof of them saying so.
I have to call Enbridge. I have my first bill and I haven't paid it. There is no mention of Cricket on the invoice but he amount seems high to just run a hot water heater.
Newbie
May 2, 2014
7 posts
Toronto, ON
Okay so I just purchased an 8 year old home with a 4 year old Reliance rental water heater - model is a Giant UG60-40MFPV1-N2U-UE. Reliance is charging me $33.18 / month including HST.

I phoned Reliance and asked for the details of getting out of the rental. The options are as follows:

Buyout the existing 60 gal water heater for $1040 + HST + $40 account closure fee = $1215.20
Have Reliance disconnect and remove the water heater for $125 + HST + $40 account closure fee = $181.25
Disconnect & remove myself and drop off at Reliance depot. Only charge is for $40 account closure fee.

Based on the initial research I've performed I don't think a tankless water heater is the way for me to go because I don't like the idea of a lag for hot water or the cold water sandwich effect. What are some of the better vendors out there with good warranties on their water heaters? I thought I saw some ~$1000 products out there with 12 year warranties. If it's a fairly comprehensive warranty then I would be way ahead buying one of those considering 12 years x 12 months x $33.18 = $4777.92.

Any advice?
Sr. Member
Feb 4, 2010
914 posts
305 upvotes
hashcel wrote:
Aug 6th, 2017 10:15 pm
Okay so I just purchased an 8 year old home with a 4 year old Reliance rental water heater - model is a Giant UG60-40MFPV1-N2U-UE. Reliance is charging me $33.18 / month including HST.

I phoned Reliance and asked for the details of getting out of the rental. The options are as follows:

Buyout the existing 60 gal water heater for $1040 + HST + $40 account closure fee = $1215.20
Have Reliance disconnect and remove the water heater for $125 + HST + $40 account closure fee = $181.25
Disconnect & remove myself and drop off at Reliance depot. Only charge is for $40 account closure fee.

Based on the initial research I've performed I don't think a tankless water heater is the way for me to go because I don't like the idea of a lag for hot water or the cold water sandwich effect. What are some of the better vendors out there with good warranties on their water heaters? I thought I saw some ~$1000 products out there with 12 year warranties. If it's a fairly comprehensive warranty then I would be way ahead buying one of those considering 12 years x 12 months x $33.18 = $4777.92.

Any advice?
From my research when I was buying last summer, what I was told that the big box water heaters don't last as long as ones from rental companies - the ones from the rental companies are supposedly more durable and lower maintenance so a tech doesn't need to come out often (because it costs them money for each service call when it's under warranty) - not sure how much truth there is too that, but if you live in a city with hardwater and don't have a water softener either buy one or rent because your tank won't last as long - my parents are on their 3rd one in 10 years from a big box store. Reliance is just horrible so I definitely understand why you would want to break off any contract with them - if the model you have is decent (do some research on it) I would buy it outright, the price seems reasonable. As for the 12 year warranty - it's probably just for parts not labour - yours may still be under manufacturer warranty for parts.
Newbie
May 2, 2014
7 posts
Toronto, ON
Sorry the house is in Stouffville and does have a water softener that seems to be doing its job. The water seems much softer than my previous condo water was so that is a plus.

When I asked Reliance how much of the manufacturer's warranty is still remaining on the existing unit the rep told me there is no manufacturer's warranty because Reliance buys the units at a lower price not inclusive of warranty (logic being they have their own technicians to maintain the units).

Has anyone tried contacting the manufacturer's of the rental company's heaters directly and buying from them instead of the big box stores? I'm interested in alternative vendors to the big box stores.
Sr. Member
Apr 10, 2017
535 posts
188 upvotes
hashcel wrote:
Aug 6th, 2017 10:15 pm
Okay so I just purchased an 8 year old home with a 4 year old Reliance rental water heater - model is a Giant UG60-40MFPV1-N2U-UE. Reliance is charging me $33.18 / month including HST.

I phoned Reliance and asked for the details of getting out of the rental. The options are as follows:

Buyout the existing 60 gal water heater for $1040 + HST + $40 account closure fee = $1215.20
Have Reliance disconnect and remove the water heater for $125 + HST + $40 account closure fee = $181.25
Disconnect & remove myself and drop off at Reliance depot. Only charge is for $40 account closure fee.

Based on the initial research I've performed I don't think a tankless water heater is the way for me to go because I don't like the idea of a lag for hot water or the cold water sandwich effect. What are some of the better vendors out there with good warranties on their water heaters? I thought I saw some ~$1000 products out there with 12 year warranties. If it's a fairly comprehensive warranty then I would be way ahead buying one of those considering 12 years x 12 months x $33.18 = $4777.92.

Any advice?
We're in a same situation but where are you exactly?

I live in a city where there's hard water. My home came with a water softener already. We pay pretty much the same price.

My tank needs servicing and I'm thankful it hasn't exploded or anything. I called Reliance about 3 weeks ago and told me they'll phone me back to get more details on my tank situation but of course they haven't called until now.

PS
the previous owners of my home were terrible at maintenance.
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Deal Addict
Dec 4, 2004
2127 posts
327 upvotes
Jazmina wrote:
Aug 6th, 2017 10:37 pm
From my research when I was buying last summer, what I was told that the big box water heaters don't last as long as ones from rental companies - the ones from the rental companies are supposedly more durable and lower maintenance so a tech doesn't need to come out often (because it costs them money for each service call when it's under warranty) - not sure how much truth there is too that
This sounds like something Reliance would tell you. Why do I say that? Because that's what Reliance told me. When I said I was thinking of putting in my own water heater and returning theirs, Reliance told me that their tanks were way better and would last much longer etc. My reply was that I should buy it out then. All of a sudden Reliance started going on about how unreliable water heaters are in general and that I needed to keep renting in order to use their services when it broke down. I thought you can't have it both ways, but apparently Reliance can. Their tanks seem to somehow be extremely reliable yet unreliable.
Sr. Member
Feb 4, 2010
914 posts
305 upvotes
Chookman wrote:
Aug 7th, 2017 4:46 pm
This sounds like something Reliance would tell you. Why do I say that? Because that's what Reliance told me. When I said I was thinking of putting in my own water heater and returning theirs, Reliance told me that their tanks were way better and would last much longer etc. My reply was that I should buy it out then. All of a sudden Reliance started going on about how unreliable water heaters are in general and that I needed to keep renting in order to use their services when it broke down. I thought you can't have it both ways, but apparently Reliance can. Their tanks seem to somehow be extremely reliable yet unreliable.
Haha it wasn't Reliance it was the company I ended up buying my water heater from - that's why I said I'm not sure how much truth there is to it but it does make a bit of sense in terms of saving $$ sending a tech out if they're installing crappy water heaters. When I said I wanted to buy it he didn't say how unreliable it is but he STRONGLY urged me to rent rather than buy focussing on "peace of mind"
Newbie
Jun 5, 2016
44 posts
5 upvotes
VertigoM wrote:
Aug 5th, 2017 3:13 am
So I recently purchased a resale home (less than 2yrs old) with a Cricket rental unit. I took possession in April and I've been paying my Enbridge bill since then. However, the bill has no mention of the rental unit.

Is it possible that the original owner never signed a contract with Cricket and thus billing was never set up? Could it be that the rental unit has fallen through the cracks by now since it's been installed for nearly 2 years already?

If I do nothing, what are the possible scenarios that may play out?

Side note: the original owner is also the builder (custom home)
Same had happened to me after I bought resale home in mid June last year. The actual charges showed up in october in enbridge bill as lump sum rental for 4 odd months.

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