Complaints about rental agreements for water heaters jumped into second place on our Top Consumer Complaints list in 2011, a sign that some businesses and salespeople may be using aggressive or misleading practices.
Water heater rental agreements are typically “door to door” agreements. Here are some tips to keep in mind when the salesperson knocks on your door:
Don’t even let the salesperson start the pitch until you’ve seen a photo ID. Get the name of the business and the name of the salesperson – or close the door.
Ask about the rental fees, installation, repair and extra service charges and promises, such as warranties – and insist on getting these details in writing. Demand to keep a copy of any written material that the salesperson shows you.
If the salesperson pressures you to sign on the spot, don’t. Shut the door, or insist you need more time to read and understand the agreement, including the fine print.
You should also know that when you buy a home, you may be taking on the responsibility for an existing water heater agreement that comes with the home. Ask the homeowner, your real estate agent or your lawyer for more information before you buy.