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Furnace rental agreements are fraught with high rates and misrepresentation

Avoid pitfalls by working with an accredited business when it comes to your HVAC system

The pandemic has made money issues prevalent in many people’s lives. And when there are hard times, there are always people who take advantage of those who are just trying to provide the necessities for themselves and their families.

Recently, there have been several stories in the news about companies offering furnace rental agreements with the promise of manageable monthly fees. This is an attractive offer for those who are experiencing reduced income or ill-credit, and feel they’ve no other option.

However in many cases, these agreements have proven to be scams by non-reputable companies that leaves the homeowner paying exorbitant amounts money, some with amortization periods of 25 years, said Jennifer Dunsmoor, Community Relations for Oosterveld Heating & Air Conditioning in Guelph.

“There’s been a lot of media in the press in the last half a year about door-to-door scams and phone scams with people essentially locking…them into either rental agreements or contracts promising them long-term savings, and then what ultimately happens is you end up dealing with an unethical business that’s fly by night or you are losing a lot of money,” she said.

Not only is this a misrepresentation of business, but it’s taking advantage of people who are already disadvantaged by the hard economic times that COVID has caused. She said that most people misunderstand the terms and conditions and what it translates into long-term. Primarily, consumers paying three times more for the unit in the end.

“A lot of people are financially strapped and furnaces are essential,” Dunsmoor said. “If you need a new furnace and you don’t have the money, you feel your hands are kind of forced so you end up going for a rental agreement without understanding what you’ve locked yourself into.”

Reputable HVAC companies offer financing and have a track record of honesty and reliability

Dunsmoor said most reputable HVAC companies would never offer these types of rental agreements but instead would try to help their customers secure financing to own their own while also providing the maintenance support they need.

She encourages anyone who is in need of a new furnace to go to a company that has a longstanding reputation for good business practices that also offer financing options and sincere support so that you don’t feel backed into a corner, lose money or get locked into something unsavoury.

Oosterveld offers complete HVAC services and also have several financing options, plans and promotions, to help those who need a well-functioning furnace and maintenance support.

“We have SNAP financing for those who may be in a financial situation where they can’t afford it outright, so before you turn to a long-term rental, let us help you and get financing,” she said, adding that a fixed, start/finish financial plan with a reputable financial company is always the better option.

The continuing rise in cost of living equals a continual rise in those who take advantage of that

Unfortunately, when there are tough times there will always be those who are ready to profit from people’s needs. As people become more afraid and desperate, they’re more prone to fall for it. Dunsmoor said this is why it’s imperative to do your research and deal with a reputable company, as most of the businesses offering rentals are lender companies targeting people in financial peril.

As well, with the current cost of living, and with food, gas, lending and mortgage rates all on the rise, Dunsmoor said we’re only going to see this more and more. And it won’t be limited to furnace season; because of the financial times, these scammers will likely continue into air conditioning season.

Dunsmoor said, something else to think about is that If you do go into one of these rental contracts and want to sell your home, it can be a deterrent to the new homeowner because they will be stuck with your agreement.

“You’ll either have to buy that out or the new homeowner will because it’s not transferable typically, but if it is, the new homeowner has to endure the rest of that rental agreement,” she said.

Oosterveld Heating & Air Conditioning offers reliable, professional services, and will work with anyone to accommodates any budget. Contact or call their specialists in financing at 519-837-2351, or visit their Facebook page for more details.