(This page was current as of March 31, 2011.)
The province of Ontario has laws that protect consumers. The main law is called the Consumer Protection Act (2002). There are other laws that are more specific and refer to an area of consumer activity such as collection agencies, electricity contracts, motor vehicle dealers or discriminatory business practices. These laws outline the way in which a consumer should be receiving a good or service in the marketplace and what can be done if ever their rights are not respected. For example, did you know that:
- If you sign a contract worth more than $50.00 in your home, you have the right to cancel within 10 days?
- A collection agency can only contact you between 1pm and 5 pm on Sunday or on holidays?
- A collection agency can’t use threatening, profane, intimidating or coercive language?
- When getting your car repaired, the shop must provide you with a written estimate unless you tell them it is not necessary and agree to pay a maximum amount?
Our Clinic does not provide service in the area of consumer protection. If you call our office we will refer you to the Consumer Protection Branch of the Ministry of Consumer Services. The contact information is listed below.
What to do if you have a consumer protection problem
If you think that your consumer rights are being violated, you should file a complaint with the business or individual that has wronged you. Ideally, you should do this through a complaint letter. In your complaint letter be sure to give as much detail as possible including the dates, description of service or good, and what happened. You should explain how you want your problem to be dealt with and when you expect a reply. Keep a copy of your letter.
If the business or individual does not deal with your complaint to your satisfaction, you should contact the Ministry of Consumer Services and file a complaint. You can do this by phone, online or by sending in a completed complaint form through the mail.