Atlantic Health and Safety (724682 NB INC.) was found unsuitable to be licensed under the Direct Sellers Act after complaints of high-pressure sales and use of dangerous and fear-inducing tactics to demonstrate fire-safety products in New Brunswickers’ homes.
The director of consumer affairs for the Financial and Consumer Services Commission (the Commission) determined the company not only put the individuals at risk of personal harm and injury but put the safety and security of their homes at great risk and was neither competent nor trustworthy. The decision means company 724682 NB INC., operating as Atlantic Health and Safety, is not licensed to operate in the direct-selling business in New Brunswick.
In March 2023, the Office of the Fire Marshall contacted the Commission to advise of significant concerns about Atlantic Health and Safety, which was targeting consumers in Greater Moncton through Facebook. The Office of the Fire Marshall had received consumer complaints about the company’s salespeople, who were using high-pressure sales tactics to sell fire safety products, such as alarms and fire blankets.
The complaints received via the Fire Marshal raised significant concerns and included allegations of:
- Conducting product demonstrations using flammable liquids inside the complainants’ homes
- Encouraging the complainants to come into close contact with open flames
- Using statements that might reasonably deceive or mislead the complainants
In April 2023, Commission staff emailed Atlantic Health and Safety to inform it of the complaints against the company and staff’s recommendation to cancel its direct sellers vendor licence. The email also advised Atlantic Health and Safety of its statutory right to an opportunity to be heard – a hearing that would provide the company a chance to understand and respond before a decision was made on their licence.
The Commission further attempted to contact Atlantic Health and Safety with a follow up email and a letter via registered mail. As a result of not responding to the correspondence, the company waived its right to the hearing and the Director rendered her decision based on the information on file.
The Director’s decision states that the complaints demonstrate the licensee is not competent or trustworthy, and not suitable to carry on business under the Direct Sellers Act. “Companies and individuals working in the direct sales industry are asking people to open their doors so they may sell products or services to them within the safety of their homes,” said Marissa Sollows, spokesperson for the Commission. “They to need to behave in both a safe and ethical manner.”
The Commission’s mandate is to protect consumers and enhance public confidence in the financial and consumer marketplaces through regulation and education. This includes ensuring that those carrying on business in the direct selling industry are competent and trustworthy, and any potential risks to consumers are minimized.
Consumers who have concerns about a direct seller are encouraged to contact the Commission.
Audio file of Marissa Sollows, director of communications and public affairs, FCNB
FCNB has the mandate to provide regulatory services that protect the public interest, enhance public confidence and promote understanding of the regulated sectors through educational programs. It is responsible for the administration and enforcement of provincial legislation regulating mortgage brokers, payday lenders, real estate, securities, insurance, pensions, credit unions, trust and loan companies, cooperatives, and a wide range of other consumer legislation. It is an independent Crown corporation funded by the regulatory fees and assessments paid by the regulated sectors. Online educational tools and resources are available at www.fcnb.ca.