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National Home Services - Water Heater

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Member
User avatar
Jan 4, 2007
231 posts
32 upvotes
Just had one come by my place in Ajax. Figured it was some scam...anything remotely related to Direct Energy = scam for me.

Used the excuse that I had no clue about those things since my hubby handles that and we works late.

Googled and found this thread...thanks again RFD.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jul 18, 2005
3055 posts
31 upvotes
I smelled a scam as soon as the woman walked through the door. No documents were signed, and RFD just confirmed the scammer :cheesygri

If it sounds too good to be true ... it usually is!!!
My Heatware: 100% positive
Newbie
Dec 24, 2008
3 posts
I filed a complaint against these guys with the Ontario Government:
http://ontario.ca/consumerprotection

Here is what I submitted:

[INDENT]On Saturday Nov 21, 2009 an agent from National Home Services talked to me about our hot watertank. I told him it was replaced a year ago and we didn't need a new one. He said this new one was "High Efficiency". Big red flag there! A new tank today is no way more efficient than the tank Iinstalled last year. Finally he got the hint and left.

On Monday Nov 23 2009 another (different) agent from National Home Services showed up at my door wanting to inspect our water tank so he could
schedule a free replacement. He said that he was in the neighbourhood replacing all of the older rental hot water tanks. He just wanted to see our Enbridge bill to schedule the replacement. Although he was very pushy, my wife refused to allow him into our house.

The first thing is we don't rent our tank, so how could he be "replacing the old rental hot water tanks in the neighborhood"?

Second, we don't rent our tank, we own it. There is no way he would have come to our door if he was legit, he would have known we don't rent.

Third, this was the second attempt by this company to trick us into signing a multi-year contract for a hot water tank.

After checking the internet (RFD), it seems like this is the standard business model for this company. Go door-to-door and offer a 15 year warranty (actually a 15 year contract) for a hot water tank. They remove the existing tank (rental or not) and replace with a new tank locking you in for 15 years.

I worry that my older neighbors will fall for this scheme and signing multi-year contracts with this company.[/INDENT]


Maybe if enough people file complaints, the government can do something about these yahoos and shut down the practice.
Jr. Member
Nov 2, 2004
189 posts
I just started a thread on rental tanks from DE, and then I found this one. Be careful with DE, not sure about others. We just had Enbridge red tag our rental hot water heater because it's leaking CO, and now we have to PAY for them to come and look at it and replace the RENTAL unit!!!!
Newbie
Oct 9, 2007
30 posts
1 upvote
So the NHS guys were in my neighbourhood recently (and judging buy how many tank replacements I've seen so far, they did quite well) - I was aware of issues with them from reading here, but I was in the mood to be entertained so let the sales guy in.

My Direct Energy tank was replaced 2 years ago - the NHS salesman acknowledged this, and said it was quite energy efficient already and a replacement wouldn't be in the cards. What he proposed was a simple buyout, or transfer of ownerhips of the tank from Direct to NHS. Monetarily, I'd get a slightly reduced monthly rate (from $11.63 to $10.47 for a CV40), 3 months no rent at all, and rate increases limited to yearly CPI.

So, what are the downsides here? Assuming I was intending on continuing to rent from Direct indefinitely (likely), I'd save a bit of money over that arrangement. My wife is vehemently against going tankless, so no real changes would be stymied by having to do a costly buyout from NHS in the future.

I was a little put off by the poorly defined term of the contract - "the useful life of the equipment". There's also a line buried in there that NHS can "register its interest" at my expense against the title of my home - what's that all about?

Anyway, now I'm not at all sure if perhaps letting NHS do a buyout might actually make sense. Comments?
Banned
Oct 29, 2009
153 posts
3 upvotes
GTA
heinrich wrote:
Dec 5th, 2009 10:41 am
So the NHS guys were in my neighbourhood recently.......... Monetarily, I'd get a slightly reduced monthly rate (from $11.63 to $10.47 for a CV40), 3 months no rent at all, and rate increases limited to yearly CPI.

I was a little put off by the poorly defined term of the contract - "the useful life of the equipment". There's also a line buried in there that NHS can "register its interest" at my expense against the title of my home - what's that all about?

Anyway, now I'm not at all sure if perhaps letting NHS do a buyout might actually make sense. Comments?
I think you answered your own question...you don't like the wording in the contract..don't ever sign any type of contract for ANYTHING where you don't like the wording. I am not a lawyer but it sounds like you would be agreeing that they can put a lien on your property in case you don't pay the rental charges etc...For 10 bucks a month rental I would not agree to that!

What if you think they have overcharged you and you have a dispute? The only people that should have a right to put a lien on your house is the mortgage company as you could owe them a substantial amount ie hundreds of thousands of dollars.

After doing the transfer of ownership... all they can save you is $1 per month... that's it?....definitely not worth the potential hassles.
Newbie
Dec 11, 2009
1 posts
Ottawa
There in the Ottawa now. I can't believe I let this guy into our home. Made it sound like it was mandatory to replace the heater and that they were affiliated with Enbridge. I signed but I'm not the homeowner. They had to see the gas bill was when my Spidy Senses really started tingling. I'll have my mom cancell just to be sure when she gets home. Stuuuupid! :mad:
Newbie
Dec 11, 2009
1 posts
mississauga
OliverT wrote:
Mar 16th, 2009 9:40 pm
I had a national sales rep come by too, and I signed up. However, before doing so I asked him many questions and made sure that I completely understood what was happening.

For years direct energy had a monopoly on the market and left thousands of customer's with old tanks that were not being taken care of or maintained; therefore wasting money on the gas. National Home services in my opinion, is building on and correcting the weak points that Direct Energy has in their services.
Oliver i agree with you-might be wrong or rite. I signed with NHS, because DE sucks,their customer service sucks, my wife called dem 3 times and dey couldnt even tell us wht kind of tank we have.( databases--hello!).DE shows all traits of a monopolist which we all canadians love to hate.

Yes, i did sign to rent from NHS, but i was renting from DE anyways. Yes i will pay $4.14 more, but with a new tank hopefully i will burn less gas.
My DE tank was 14 yrs old, previous home-owner didnt beleive in preventive maintenance. I was running out of hot water every often, so we called DE to come in service it, but those poor souls couldnt even find our tank or they didnt want to, so they dont have to come in to fix it.
NHS might be correcting the weakpoints and being aggressive in marketing. One funny thing is that after signing this contract, i heard about this radio AD from DE warning consumers about replacing water heaters. I think DE is feeling a pinch, as all monopolists should eventually, so they tried to negate that effect with ADS.
DE, word of wisdom, why dont you start valuing your customers, give them a call, ask about problems/concerns, den you wont have to worry about NHS.
Any1 have same experience plz share plus NHS sweetened :razz: the deal by giving 2 months rent-free.
Sr. Member
User avatar
May 6, 2005
852 posts
10 upvotes
Looks like I'll be making my cancellation call very soon (thank you for this thread)
Newbie
User avatar
Apr 25, 2004
46 posts
My wife signed with this NHS guy today (as it seemed like a good deal) but I just called and cancelled.

I live in the Hilcrest area.

Take heed, he was going into a lot of houses.
Agent #: 70000098
Geoff: 416.624.9785
Farhan
unhub.com/fnthawar
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jun 22, 2007
4555 posts
878 upvotes
Mississauga
What is even sad for us is we bought the house from "National Homes" .. these idiots know that and they just say " we are from National Homes to inspect the water heater ..."

My poor wife once fall for this and let him in .. how ever she is smart enough to call me right away and i told her to chase that guy away ..
Newbie
Feb 1, 2010
1 posts
Toronto
[I've signed up today to offer my experience after researching on this site AFTER signing a contract].

NHS has been making the rounds today in the Bluffs. A hot water heater was on our list of things to replace as we recently moved into the area/house and the people before us didn't do much to the house for the 2 years they were here, so we were game. Turns out we own our water heater, proven by the fact that our bill is only two pages, rather than 3. The salesman was new, but we were quickly double-teamed by a more experienced salesman. He said the water heater was 7 years old, and is around the time that they are usually replaced. Fine. It's loud (one of those chimney-less kinds), doesn't seem to send hot water very quickly to taps), and the Energy Star thing is important to us in our pursuit of perfection.

After going through the 8 pages of this topic, I did further searching, and found that the first 4 numbers in the serial are month and year. 1103 was ours. Probably not even installed till a few months later, and some fast math says it's only 5 years old. Online, a few sites suggested the diff between Energy Star and recent models isn't THAT much. Certainly not worth paying monthly when we already are paying essentially nothing for ours currently.

I didn't find the salesmen to be pushy. The cost quoted was $15.90 + GST for a 40 gallon tank, and I could find no reference to the contract being any longer than 5 years on the back or anywhere else. They were going to replace the black piping with white PVC and I'm certain the newer model would be quieter and more efficient. The more experienced salesman mentioned something about potential dangerous emissions with the black piping, which was a bit much. I also received a pamphlet about Direct Energy's tactics, with a quote from their annual report about reducing attrition. There's a war out there, apparently.

I cancelled the installation which I set for tomorrow morning rather than an hour later. I simply called their national number, about 90 mins after they left, and the operator at the head office was friendly, understanding, asked no questions, and cancelled it over the phone. No charge to me. Done. All in all, I learned a ton, and am probably in a better position about it all.
Deal Addict
Jul 3, 2001
1334 posts
38 upvotes
Well, they are back in my area again. Just said "No thanks" and that was that.
Newbie
Feb 9, 2010
8 posts
Toronto
br0pbr0p wrote:
Dec 16th, 2008 10:02 pm
Hi

Just tonight, an agent from National Home Service - Water Heater Division came by to check my water heater. He said since it is 10 years old, I should probably change it. So then he explains how National will replace mine with a high efficiency model with $0 installation fee but a slight increase to my monthly rental charge (to $24.25). They will also return my existing one to Direct Energy and there will be no charge to me.

Anyone have experience with this? I can't find much information on Google so I figure I will give RFD a try. I am not very familiar with water heaters, so if anyone can share their insights, that will be great. My biggest concern is that this agreement is for a 15 year term.

Thanks
Direct quote from the National Home Services agreement

7. Termination of the rental agreement: You may terminate this Agreement and return the equipment to national provided national or a licensed technician authorized by national removes and returns the equipment. If you choose to terminate this agreement, national will require you to pay a termination free, which will include (i) our account closure charge ($250) plus (ii) if we remove the equipment, our disconnect charge ($200) or, if the equipment is disconnected, removed and returned by your own qualified contractor, our return charge ($150), plus (iii) any charge imposed on you pursuant to this agreement for unreasonable or excessive wear or use of the equipment; plus (iv) if the agreement is terminated within the first 5 years after the instillation date, the total of all "installation and other charges" described on the reverse side of this agreement *which is ($600)* regardless of whether these chargers were waived at the time of installation.

Please tell me where this 15 year term is :idea:
Newbie
Feb 9, 2010
8 posts
Toronto
jorzech wrote:
Dec 17th, 2008 3:30 pm
As Direct Energy's Director of Communications, there are a couple of points I'd like to share with you before you make your decision.

First, there are many manufacturers of water heaters which affords Direct Energy the opportunity to ensure we have the most up-to-date features and technology available on the products we provide our customers. In short, a Direct Energy water heater is built to last. Based on our years of experience, the lifespan of a water heater (which is dependant on a number of factors including the use of the water heater and the type of water in the premises), is an average of 16 years with minimal changes in efficiency.

Second, your rental water heater from Direct Energy will provide dependable hot water for as long as you wish to continue our business relationship. Unlike other rental water heater companies operating in Ontario, as a customer of Direct Energy you are not bound by a fixed-term service contract, not for 6 months, not for 15 years. In addition, as a customer of Direct Energy (and once again, unlike other rental water heater companies in Ontario), you are not subject to possible termination fees if for some reason you exit your contract.

Lastly, rental water heaters are a very important part of Direct Energy�s overall business and we are fully committed to our 1.4 million water heater customers. Supporting the hot water needs of this many Ontario families is something we take very seriously and shall continue to do so in the future. Everyday, a team of 700 highly-trained and licensed technicians are committed to ensuring the upkeep of our customers' water heaters.

If you'd like more information, please contact our dedicated water heater line at our 1-866-502-0034.
Ok number Direct Energy does not make the tanks they RENT them

*In short, a Direct Energy water heater is built to last an average of 16 years with minimal changes in efficiency.*
After the 13th year of the water tank if it were ever to flood your basement you the homeowner is responsible under your home insurance.

*In addition, as a customer of Direct Energy (and once again, unlike other rental water heater companies in Ontario), you are not subject to possible termination fees if for some reason you exit your contract.*

That is because the government BARRED them from charging ANY termination fees due to the fact that Direct Energy raised their prices above inflation +2%. So the government stepped in and said that they can either keep the monopoly or continue to raise their prices above inflation +2%. Right there that tells you that they care more about money.

*Lastly, rental water heaters are a very important part of Direct Energy�s overall business and we are fully committed to our 1.4 million water heater customers.*

They don't even know the age of your tank, how can you expect them to give you proper service? Check your tank if there is any service tags by Direct Energy, chances are there isn't. Once they bought the 1.8 million water tanks from Embridge they were supposed to service each and every one of those tanks.

*Everyday, a team of 700 highly-trained and licensed technicians are committed to ensuring the upkeep of our customers' water heaters.*

you think 700 techs can service 1.4 million people? No they cant. Which is another reason why they are not a monopoly. People have to go without hot water for 2 days if not more.
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