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Woman receives free gift, but signs contract for $7,000 vacuum cleaner

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“I wish I never would have clicked on that link at all,” said Daphne Vasquez of Toronto.

Vasquez said she was on Facebook last month when a friend told her she had a chance to receive a free gift.

“My friend made a post on Facebook saying, ‘look at this air purifier’ and there was a smaller unit, ‘click here to get yours for free for no obligation,’ so I clicked on it,” Vasquez explained.

To get the air cleaning device, Vasquez had to agree to sit through a sales demonstration for the Rainbow Home Cleaning System in her home.

“It’s basically a multi-function vacuum cleaner that has a water tank to filter out impurities and it’s supposed to freshen the air,” she said.

After the demonstration, Vasquez received the small air purifier, but said the salesperson told her if she could sign up 12 other people to buy the cleaning system she could have the vacuum for free as well.

“The next thing you know, she is shoving these forms at me and I’m signing things. She didn't even let me look at the contract to fill everything out myself," Vasquez said.

A Toronto woman says she signed a contract for a $7K vacuum after receiving a free gift.

When the salesperson left, Vasquez became concerned that if she didn't sign up 12 other people to buy the vacuum, the contract stated she would have to purchase the cleaning system for $4,519.

The other option on the contract was to pay the money owing through a payment plan over three years. The 36 payments of $197 per month totalled $7,092.

“I want them to come and pick up the unit and I want something in writing saying my obligation is severed and that my obligation is also severed with the finance company" said Vasquez.

CTV News Toronto reached out to Rainbow and a company spokesperson said when people click on the link it’s clear they will be contacted by the company for an in-home demonstration.

“By clicking submit, I agree to be contacted by Rainbow Systems to showcase the Rainbow home cleaning system. (No purchase obligation). Before submitting to receive the small air purifier, customers have to agree to taking a look at the bigger model, no purchase obligation required, just like her friend who filled out the survey, she received the small air purifier for taking a look at the bigger model and did not purchase.”

Rainbow added “We have looked up this customer and our records show that she has already cancelled her purchase last month, and she is in arrangement with the salesperson to pick up the machine.”

Vasquez said she is hopeful she is free of the contract and says she will be more careful accepting free gifts in the future.

“I would say no to a free gift. It’s not worth getting stuck in this kind of situation,” said Vasquez.

Always be cautious if you see anything advertised for free but if you do agree to a demonstration in your home and sign a contract you have a ten day cooling off period to cancel it for any reason. 

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