07/27/2015 14:30 EDT | Updated 07/27/2016 01:12 EDT

B.C. vacuum-cleaner company penalized for pressuring seniors to buy

VICTORIA — The watchdog for British Columbia's consumers has penalized a door-to-door vacuum-cleaner and air-filtration company for taking advantage of seniors.

Consumer Protection B.C. has ordered Advanced Air Supply to refund customers more than $5,100, and pay $4,100 in penalties and partial inspection costs.

The watchdog says the company and sole director Jacob Douglass represented used products as new, took advantage and failed to refund seniors, and used contracts that didn't contain legally required information.

It says the company also used questionable tactics, such as surveys and prize incentives, to access the homes of customers.

Consumer protection spokeswoman Tatiana Chabeaux-Smith says the business subjected seniors to lengthy and high-pressure sales presentations.

The watchdog is a non-profit corporation that operates under the mandate of the Ministry of Justice and regulates and licenses industries ranging from debt collection to telemarketing to funeral services.



The Canadian Press