Home & Garden

The Great Water Heater Rental Scam

  • Last Updated:
  • Feb 19th, 2019 10:34 am
Newbie
Dec 27, 2006
69 posts
13 upvotes
So I finally have a resolution to my story. As I described in my original message what the installers presented to me wasn't a contract. After a couple of calls to Enercare they admitted that they had no record that I was ever presented with terms and conditions (I wasn't). The installers were supposed to present the terms and conditions before any work commenced. After that was a series of frustrating calls where I was told that my case needed to be escalated higher up for review and that I would receive a call back from the 'boss'/'manager'. Of course I never received a call back and then when I called back in again after the promised call back time had passed I was told my case was closed and that the agent was to 'apologize to the client' and 'tell the client their only option is to buy out the tank'. This happened over 4 calls. I have to say, the supervisors were generally nice and were helpful. Getting past the front line to them was painful though. During my last call, I was finally sent to the water heater division and they escalated the case to corporate and was told yet again I would receive a call back within 2 days. This time I did receive a call back and they offered 3 options:

1. 12 months free rental and the terms and conditions would be sent to me
2. Buy out the tank for $900 (half price)
3. Have them pickup the tank at no cost

I went with option 3.

Some thoughts:

1. If you haven't been presented with terms and conditions ask them to confirm in their system if there is a record of you ever being presented with them. If they were never presented to you, you cannot be held to those terms and conditions (barring the builder/previous owner having entered into an agreement and then transferring to you).
2. Record all calls to them. Better to have a record of what they say their system is showing and anything else that they tell you. Reference the fact you're recording the call and/or recorded previous calls if necessary.
3. Be persistent. Some of the agents will tell you (in my opinion) whatever they need to, to get you off the call and delay things (eg. 'My manager will call you back in 2-3 days'). Call back immediately after they haven't met their timeline for a call back. Request to stay on the line for escalation/resolution if possible instead of agreeing to a call back, referencing the fact that they didn't call you back when you were told they would.
4. Be familiar with the laws in Ontario. JonSnow posted some good links (thank you), check them out.

Hopefully this helps someone!
Deal Addict
Nov 2, 2011
2334 posts
903 upvotes
I'm in a low-rise condo with a water heater rental through reliance. Condo is approx. 6-7 years old. Bill was $34.99 a month for a tankless for a tiny condo.
Monthly rate appears to have gone up now. I find it super shady that they don't even break down the bill per month anymore, they just list a total charge for the 3 month bill (they bill quarterly).

A tankless water heater would have been paid off years ago if it came with this place without being a rental.
Newbie
Feb 6, 2019
1 posts
So what has happened did you get any clear answers yet? I’m in the same position with this Crown Crest Capital water heater debacle. House closed in April 2017 but we started getting letters from this in September 2018. According to our lawyer they need to provide justification in the form of a signed contract and model/serial number of the water heater. They haven’t and started sending poorly edit collection notices but it’s seems like a scare tactic. Also according to our element Corp. the heaters are our private property because our builder Fernbrook didn’t sign any contract with the main installation company and they went bankrupt. Seems like Crown Crest Capital bought them and are apparently just trying to make back whatever they can from homeowners who don’t care or are scared into paying.
Newbie
May 23, 2017
2 posts
Hi everyone. I'm hoping someone can give me a little advise.

We just bought a home and when we moved in we found out the hot water & hrv was a rental and siginifcanly more than what we were told by the seller. They are claiming since the two are from the same company telling us only about the water heater was enough even though they lied about the price.

So long story short, the rental company says I have 2 options:
1.rent
2. buy at $5000 (this is a standard basic tank and basic hrv - nothing fancy).

Legally speaking can they force you to keep the contract until the end of the term without buying all the equipment?
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jan 28, 2007
1106 posts
697 upvotes
User068254 wrote:
Feb 11th, 2019 5:37 pm
Legally speaking can they force you to keep the contract until the end of the term without buying all the equipment?
Yes, the home sales agreement typically has a clause stating that you accept and assume all rental contracts in place as part of the purchase.

On our last home, we forced the seller to buyout the alarm system and water-softner contracts as part of the sales terms ... this is why it is so important to read all the fine print and ask questions of equipment ownership.

Don't feel bad, it has become commonplace for new homes to have the Furnace, Water Heater, HRV, etc all on a rental contract as part of the sale. It saves the builder from having to actually buy them and supply it, and the home buyer generally never questions it until they start getting their utility bills, and then it's too late,
Member
Oct 19, 2013
301 posts
41 upvotes
I called My Simply Green once I took possession of my new construction home and asked for the agreement and terms. After multiple calls and followups (no one ever called me back) I told them I don't want their water heater and after a few months they agreed to come take it back since they were not able to provide me the agreement and terms between the builder and themselves.

Just got billed "Crown Crest Capital" for a rental but the water heater was taken away months ago. Filed a dispute with my gas company (third party charge) and Crown Crest has 45 days to reply. We'll see what happens.
Newbie
Oct 5, 2016
34 posts
8 upvotes
Hello everyone,
Just want to make sure this is a fair price and if I can negotiate it down. I have a 50 gallow power vented water heater from enercare which is 9 yeard old. The buyout price is 570 plus tax. Is that worth it? Can I negotiate lower (I tried and the rep said thats there price). Monthly payments were $33 taxes in.

Please advise.

Thanks in advance.
Newbie
Mar 13, 2018
66 posts
8 upvotes
Wowzers... Face Screaming In Fear seems that either things have changed a bit in the past few years or I just got dead lucky in ending my rental with Enbridge about 3-1/2 years ago.
Never been a fan of rentals once you "do the math", but in some cases rental can be the best option. Moved in to current home over 9 years ago (assumed the gas service along with the tank rental) and it took me far too long to remove an owned tank (bought from HD for about $150.) that I had installed in a previous home back around the late 80's (still owned the house, was finally gutting it out for a proposed full reno that never happened) that had paid for itself at least 12 times over.

Put the "new" tank down in the basement ready to go, it sat there for a while when suddenly a 4 day window of not needing water / hot water opened up and I got to it. Gas off, water off, drained tank, out went the rental to the garage, in went my tank, water on, filled tank, bled water lines, gas on, fired up, all good.
Added a leak pan, (no plastic, not allowed for gas) upgraded the cold feed to 19mm right from the meter and did some other cleanup on the hot feed lines. Super happy with the results and best of all, the ROI on this tank has now gone into the stratosphere. (my estimate is $7.50 per year of the original cost)

Here's the kicker, when I rang up Enbridge to kill the deal, all I got was, "we can pick up for $75 or you drop it for free". No buy out, no sales pitches, no nuthin'.
As the yard (Finch & 400) was right near my Dad's house, it was stupid easy to drop it for very little fuel cost on my way to see him. Did I say something about being lucky?

This replacement tank is still plowing along quite nicely, despite it being some 20-odd years old and it would continue to be in service, but as I don't want to fix a dodgy chimney, I need to move up to wall vent appliances and take the chimney down. FWIW, said tank is a Rheem, made in Hamilton, at a time when a according to a local HVAC / HWT installer, "they were made to last".

Hope one of the current tank offerings is going to serve me just as well. Back to my Google searching now.....
Sr. Member
May 3, 2008
711 posts
308 upvotes
Markham
RV123456 wrote:
Feb 14th, 2019 12:53 pm
Hello everyone,
Just want to make sure this is a fair price and if I can negotiate it down. I have a 50 gallow power vented water heater from enercare which is 9 yeard old. The buyout price is 570 plus tax. Is that worth it? Can I negotiate lower (I tried and the rep said thats there price). Monthly payments were $33 taxes in.

Please advise.

Thanks in advance.
So 20 months to break even compare to rental. Its tough call given its a 9 year tank already. However when you do buy out, you dont have to pay account termination fee and tank return fee when it finally bust and you replace it with a new one. Its a tough call.

I suggest you call them back and ask for their depreciation schedule. See if you are close to when the buy out price drops soon and the drop more than the extra month(s) of continue to rent. Also see if you can negotiate a lower price or even better they give u 3 months free etc for keeping u as a rental customer. They usually offer incentive to keep u.
Newbie
Oct 5, 2016
34 posts
8 upvotes
savemoresaveoften wrote:
Feb 19th, 2019 9:37 am

So 20 months to break even compare to rental. Its tough call given its a 9 year tank already. However when you do buy out, you dont have to pay account termination fee and tank return fee when it finally bust and you replace it with a new one. Its a tough call.

I suggest you call them back and ask for their depreciation schedule. See if you are close to when the buy out price drops soon and the drop more than the extra month(s) of continue to rent. Also see if you can negotiate a lower price or even better they give u 3 months free etc for keeping u as a rental customer. They usually offer incentive to keep u.
Thanks for the advice. Ill give it a shot.

Top