Canadians, what is wrong with you?

Posted by: DL30

Canadians, what is wrong with you? - 12/03/12 06:28 PM

I have always looked to Canada as the sensible, yet still cool neighbor to the north. Sensible politics, logical health care system, good music, fantastic speakers. Kinda like a cool, older brother who just says his O's funny.

But then I found out something that has left me crestfallen, broken-down and disheartened:
MOST CANADIANS RENT THEIR HOT WATER HEATERS!!!!
And yes, it deserves all caps. Of all the things sensible
Canadians do well, they are taken like rubes at a carney by renting a product that is easily cheaper to buy than rent.

One service, Direct Energy, charges over $15 a month for a water heater. Direct Energy has over 1.4 million customers in Ontario. So that's $180 a year for a product that lasts 10-15 years and is virtually maintenance free.

We just paid $750 for a top of the line 50 gallon water heater (heater and labor installation costs included). Barring any substantial mishap (our last heater lasted 12 years), we are paying $5.20 per month or approx $62.50 per year to own our water heater, or at a Direct energy customers rate of pay, we will have paid off the water heater in a little over 4 years.

Canadians are raked over the coals leasing water heaters. It's horribly irresponsible. Canadians, I thought I knew you. Please tell me you don't fall for those Nigerian $$$ scams too. Please tell me you are the cool brother I thought you were.
Posted by: real80sman

Re: Canadians, what is wrong with you? - 12/03/12 07:58 PM

Ah, younger brother's. Always thinking you've got everything figured out. wink There are a number of reasons why, (at least here in ontario) we rent.

1) Our water is incredibly hard. Even with a softener, most tanks only last 8 to 10 years. The company I work for changes out ~10 per week, and 90% of them are of this vintage.

2) Crap is more expensive here. A quality 50 gallon, natural gas, power vented tank, would cost around $2300 PLUS TAX to have installed. Once the government gets paid, that's $2600 out of pocket.

3) Canadians love credit. Even more than you do. The non-mortgage debt load of the average Canadian is $26,000. We hate paying for stuff out right. Ok, the last comment was presumptuous, but the $26k is legit. The average Joe just doesn't have the dough to pay cash.

So there it is. $2600 amortized over 10 years is just over $21 per month. And in just 6 to 8 years, the warranty is already over. The rental payment covers 100% of all repairs, and emergency replacement if the thing fails. We're ok with that.

Let me know if you need me to score you a fake ID, get you into the strip club, or run interference with the old man. Luv ya brother!
Posted by: real80sman

Re: Canadians, what is wrong with you? - 12/03/12 08:02 PM

And we will have to have a talk about what you consider "sensible politics". LOL
Posted by: DL30

Re: Canadians, what is wrong with you? - 12/03/12 10:54 PM

Bro,

Thanks for the reply. Surely in the spirit of capitalism someone has to try to make a buck off of sellling inexpensive water heaters. Maybe I've found my career calling?

Can you get me a case of beer so I can think about the implications of what you've said?
Posted by: jakewash

Re: Canadians, what is wrong with you? - 12/03/12 11:49 PM

There is more to Canada than Ontario, never heard of renting a water heater here in Alberta.
Posted by: framer2180

Re: Canadians, what is wrong with you? - 12/04/12 01:03 AM

I have owned homes in four provinces and never heard of a HW heater rental. And sorry Shawn but 2600.00 for a convential heater seems way over the top. In my last place, I got ten years out of 375.00 heater twice.

Just my opinion anyway.
Posted by: Murph

Re: Canadians, what is wrong with you? - 12/04/12 07:42 AM

Me neither. Never heard of renting a water heater. At least not at a residential level.
Posted by: DL30

Re: Canadians, what is wrong with you? - 12/04/12 09:42 AM

Well, I have read the majority of people in Ontario rent water heaters. You guys need some type of Occupy Ottowa thing to bring awareness to the gov't of this mass inefficiency.
Posted by: Murph

Re: Canadians, what is wrong with you? - 12/04/12 10:10 AM

Well, as long as you researched one of our thirteen provinces and territories, I'm sure you got it right.

And you wonder why we film things like this..........
Rick Mercer -- Talking to Americans.
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: Canadians, what is wrong with you? - 12/04/12 10:29 AM

I don't know why you film things like that, because your link is no good.
Posted by: DL30

Re: Canadians, what is wrong with you? - 12/04/12 10:38 AM

Originally Posted By: Murph
Well, as long as you researched one of our thirteen provinces and territories, I'm sure you got it right.

And you wonder why we film things like this..........
Rick Mercer -- Talking to Americans.


Your link is broken. You may also want to check your personal link to tongue-in-cheek humor - I think it may be shorting. I apologize if I ruffled your feathers.
Posted by: SBrown

Re: Canadians, what is wrong with you? - 12/04/12 10:49 AM

This is a funny post because we just had to replace our hot water heater and I've never heard about leasing them before. I've lived in three provinces and never known anyone to do that.
Posted by: Murph

Re: Canadians, what is wrong with you? - 12/04/12 12:14 PM

Here is the correct link.
The correct link of "Humorous" American feather ruffling material.

DL, anyone who knows my 'tongue in cheek humor' would know that it was indeed in friendly jest, not in response to a good feather ruffling. Perhaps if the link had been correct, you might have seen where I was running with it.

It is pretty much an undisputed fact that due to the majority of popular TV & movie content originating from the US that Canadians are much more familiar with the geography and culture of Americans than vice versa. It's not a bad thing, it's just the way it is.

Like the Canadian celeb in the link above, I choose to deal with this by applying lighthearted humor vs. getting bent all out of shape over such trivialities. Sorry you took it the wrong way. You are welcome in my Igloo any day of the week and now that we have legalized VCRs we can demo my Axioms with style.
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: Canadians, what is wrong with you? - 12/04/12 12:23 PM

That's hilarious.

I learned quite a lot. That whole "Canadian Hour" thing really clears some stuff up.

Oh, and Congratulations, eh?
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: Canadians, what is wrong with you? - 12/04/12 12:58 PM

<shamefully holds up hand>

I had to google to be sure that Ottawa was the capital of Canada.

And I misspelled capital. And Ottawa. Just now.

I have no honor.
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: Canadians, what is wrong with you? - 12/04/12 01:03 PM

Is Canada on the map yet?
Posted by: SBrown

Re: Canadians, what is wrong with you? - 12/04/12 01:10 PM

See you guys later, I'm going golfing. grin
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: Canadians, what is wrong with you? - 12/04/12 01:18 PM

Originally Posted By: real80sman

1) Our water is incredibly hard. Even with a softener, most tanks only last 8 to 10 years. The company I work for changes out ~10 per week, and 90% of them are of this vintage.

2) Crap is more expensive here. A quality 50 gallon, natural gas, power vented tank, would cost around $2300 PLUS TAX to have installed. Once the government gets paid, that's $2600 out of pocket.

Indeed.
We've been lucky that ours has lasted almost 15 years so far (i never realized the install date on the heater until i checked earlier this year).
Not all people rent though. You can buy water heaters for $500-$800 but as Real80s said, they typically last 5-10 years depending.

A quality one that we are looking to buy is near $2k.

FYI, there are several companies that do this kind of work/service (renting water heaters). DirectEnergy is but one.
I have a friend who is an exec in a company called Planet Energy that also does this as part of their business although i'm not sure if they are winding that down or not.
Posted by: medic8r

Re: Canadians, what is wrong with you? - 12/04/12 01:46 PM

Reminds me of the days of land line phones. Initially they were rented, and then the day came when you could go buy a phone at a store instead and drop the rental charge. Still, there were lots of grannies and other non-DIY crowd folks who continued (maybe continue even still?) to pay $8-10 a month for a phone they could buy for not much more than that.
Posted by: Murph

Re: Canadians, what is wrong with you? - 12/04/12 02:44 PM

Originally Posted By: medic8r
Reminds me of the days of land line phones. Initially they were rented, and then the day came when you could go buy a phone at a store instead and drop the rental charge. Still, there were lots of grannies and other non-DIY crowd folks who continued (maybe continue even still?) to pay $8-10 a month for a phone they could buy for not much more than that.


You are correct Doc. Officially, we no longer rent phone sets. However, there are customers who flatly refuse to do it any other way so we still have them on the books as a rental and you are right, they are most often the elderly. At least they get a free phone if it stops working, but you are correct. It is not smart $ wise.

Actually, we still had people up to 10 or 15 years ago who absolutely refused to get off their party line because it was cheaper. We ended up just moving them to private lines and charging the older smaller rate. I doubt any of those are still on the books anymore as old age probably thinned that herd.

I know this because I had to go visit one older gentleman who kept escalating his complaint that he didn't know when he should answer anymore because he no longer had a unique ring pattern. It took all my patience to eventually explain to him how he should answer 'every' time because his neighbors no longer shared his line.
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: Canadians, what is wrong with you? - 12/04/12 03:10 PM

Originally Posted By: SBrown
See you guys later, I'm going golfing. grin

Golf: Hockey variation that can be played when the tundra un-freezes.
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: Canadians, what is wrong with you? - 12/04/12 03:14 PM

I thought that tundra never un-froze. Hence: tundra.
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: Canadians, what is wrong with you? - 12/04/12 03:20 PM

If JP doesn't stop releasing all that hot air......
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: Canadians, what is wrong with you? - 12/04/12 03:26 PM

Originally Posted By: MarkSJohnson
If JP doesn't stop releasing all that hot air......

we'll have to start calling him asphyxi8r?
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: Canadians, what is wrong with you? - 12/04/12 03:33 PM

I haven't sat with him in awhile, so I was only referring to his talking. I guess you have more experience with him.
Posted by: DL30

Re: Canadians, what is wrong with you? - 12/04/12 04:30 PM

Thanks for the clarification Murph!

Everything I have learned about Canada recently has come from HGTV. I believe almost their entire M-F primetime line up is filmed in and around Toronto, which may explain my short-sighted info re provinces and the Canadian water heater market.

I personally think most of those shows are filmed in Canada as an ingenious way to slowly convert 'mericans to the metric system wink
Posted by: jakewash

Re: Canadians, what is wrong with you? - 12/04/12 09:54 PM

I remember my parents buying a phone for the first time instead of renting one and it was a touch tone instead of tone dial.
Posted by: real80sman

Re: Canadians, what is wrong with you? - 12/05/12 12:06 AM

Hey Guys, just a follow-up. Indeed, it is mostly an Ontario thing. It was unfair of me to lump the rest of the country in.

But renting is huge here. Out of Direct Energy's 1.4 million customers, about 600,000 rent water heaters. And that's just one company. Kitchener Utilities also has a massive customer base that rents.

Framer - Yep, it's steep. But do a quick on-line search for a PV50 gas water heater. Prices range from $1000 to $1500. Add shipping, overhead, installation, a small mark-up, and you hit $2300 before you can even blink. Net profit is only about $350.

Oh, and I remember how excited my mother was when she rented our first touch-tone "Contempra" phone! It was sometime in the mid 70's, and we had arrived!! Too funny.
Posted by: jakewash

Re: Canadians, what is wrong with you? - 12/05/12 12:09 AM

That's it, that was the phone!
Originally Posted By: real80sman
Oh, and I remember how excited my mother was when she rented our first touch-tone "Contempra" phone!
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: Canadians, what is wrong with you? - 12/20/12 06:08 PM

Originally Posted By: DL30
I have always looked to Canada as the sensible, yet still cool neighbor to the north. Sensible politics, logical health care system, good music, fantastic speakers. Kinda like a cool, older brother who just says his O's funny.

But then I found out something that has left me crestfallen, broken-down and disheartened:
MOST CANADIANS RENT THEIR HOT WATER HEATERS!!!!
And yes, it deserves all caps. Of all the things sensible
Canadians do well, they are taken like rubes at a carney by renting a product that is easily cheaper to buy than rent.

One service, Direct Energy, charges over $15 a month for a water heater. Direct Energy has over 1.4 million customers in Ontario. So that's $180 a year for a product that lasts 10-15 years and is virtually maintenance free.

We just paid $750 for a top of the line 50 gallon water heater (heater and labor installation costs included). Barring any substantial mishap (our last heater lasted 12 years), we are paying $5.20 per month or approx $62.50 per year to own our water heater, or at a Direct energy customers rate of pay, we will have paid off the water heater in a little over 4 years.

Canadians are raked over the coals leasing water heaters. It's horribly irresponsible. Canadians, I thought I knew you. Please tell me you don't fall for those Nigerian $$$ scams too. Please tell me you are the cool brother I thought you were.


This news should make you happy DL. The competition bureau is after Direct Energy for their business practices regarding water heater rentals.

http://www.thestar.com/business/article/...energy-reliance
Posted by: DL30

Re: Canadians, what is wrong with you? - 12/21/12 11:45 AM

Originally Posted By: BlueJays1


This news should make you happy DL. The competition bureau is after Direct Energy for their business practices regarding water heater rentals.

http://www.thestar.com/business/article/...energy-reliance


Ahhh! Good to see. Canadians have firmly reclaimed revered brother status in my mind wink