• Home Improvement
• Automotive Repairs
• Collections/Billing Practices
• Household Goods
• Real Estate/Landlord Tenant
• Vacation/Travel Offers
• Health Club Studios
• Household Moving and Storage
• Home Repair
-Purchasing prepackaged or deli meats.
– Purchasing fuel oil.
-Checking out at a store which scans your order.
-Drying your clothes in a time measured machine.
-Purchasing milk or other liquid commodity
The Consumer protection laws prohibit unfair commercial practices between traders and consumers through five general prohibitions:-
- General Prohibition on Unfair Commercial Practices
- Prohibition on Misleading Actions (2) A commercial practice is misleading if (a) if it contains false information and is therefore untruthful in relation to any of the matters or if it or its overall presentation in any way deceives or is likely to deceive the average consumer in relation to any of the matters in that paragraph, even if the information is factually correct; and(b) it causes or is likely to cause the average consumer to take a transactional decision he would not have taken otherwise.
- Prohibition on Misleading Omissions
- Prohibition on Aggressive Commercial Practices
- Prohibition on Specific Commercial Practices that are in all Circumstances Unfair
- One of the commercial practices which are in all circumstances considered unfair is “falsely claiming that a product is able to cure illnesses, dysfunction or malformations”. The definition of “product” includes services, all forms medical products and treatments are covered.
The Consumer protection laws are very powerful in principle, But there are complications in real practice.
– One complication concerns the extent to which the onus has been moved on to the seller to prove the claims are true, rather than the accuser having to prove they are false. The law is a lot more favourable to the accuser than before, but it’s still complicated. One may agrgue “He doesn’t have to refute anything! The prosecution have to prove the claims are false”. “or what evidence is required to demonstrate that any claim is false “beyond reasonable doubt” in court.”
– The other complication concerns real enforcement of the laws, and at the moment that is often non existent. really bad. Nevertheless, enforcement is undoubtedly a weak point at the moment. The government is obliged to enforce these laws, but at the moment it is not doing so effectively. Governments are obliged not only to enact it as national legislation but to enforce it. The evidence that the government has provided adequate resources for enforcement, in the form of staff and their proper training, is often not convincing. Either they will need more people and more training, or responsibility for enforcement of the law should be transferred to some more appropriate agency. All citizens have the right to complain to all, the news media included, if their government fails to provide their protection. The media, are replete with details of inadequate health care, and inadequate consumer protection.
Fraud: To have a case for fraud, you usually have to prove that the defendant made a (1) false statement, (2) that they knew it was false, (3) that the fact was material (which is a legal way of saying significant), and (4) you relied upon that fact to your detriment (which is another way of saying you were hurt because you believed it to be true).
Contract Warranties and Ways Out of a Contract
Merchantability: is a warranty that the goods are what they claim to be based upon a “reasonable” buyers expectations. Thus, if you buy a box of ties, it suppose to be a box of ties, and not a box of socks. In some states, the seller can disclaim the warranties by selling the items “as is.”
Fitness for a particular purpose: when you buy goods with a particular purpose, and express that to the seller, it is implied that they are fit for that purpose. Another way to put that is if you order a snow board and tell the shop you want a snow board, and they send you a surf board, they’ve breached the warranty.
Title: This is simply a warranty that the seller has the right to sell the goods to you. If your sold stolen goods or goods that don’t belong to the seller, then he’s broken this warranty.
Ways to Get out of Contract: generally speaking contracts should not be broken. If contract is “breached,” which means one or both parties did not due what they agreed to, then the other party can sue for the “benefit of the bargain” as damages. However, there are some ways to get out of a contract:
1. By agreement: the parties can agree to void the contract, or “tear it up” themselves. They would both have to agree to do so. If one party says its void, or tears it up himself, he is in breach. Sometimes the best solution for both parties is to agree to forego the contract.
Example: buyer buys car from used car lot. The buyer finds some things wrong with the car, the dealer claims the agreement was “as is,” but the buyer says that he was told there was nothing wrong with the car. Buyer says he is going to sue. At this point, before the parties get
into a protracted suit, the seller says just bring it back, and he refunds his buyers money. In this case, they can agree to forego a contract. However, if seller stuck to his contract, the buyer may have to pay all under the contract. The buyer may have a consumer protection case, or some other case, but the seller would have a breach of contract case against him.
2. Misrepresentation: A misrepresentation is a lie made by the seller to the buyer that was relied upon by the buyer in agreeing to the contract. Usually, you have to prove that the misrepresentation was material. Examples might be that “this car has only 10,000 miles on it,” when in reality the odometer flipped once.
3. Mistake: this usually applies when both buyer and seller in a contract are mistaken about what they are selling and buying. Neither one are making misrepresentations, its just that they are “mistaken” about the nature of what they are selling.
4. Duress and Undue Influence: duress is basically the threat of force. Its when the godfather comes to with his armed thugs and says either your signature or your brain will be on this contract. Undue influence is similar, but its when some uses a “special relationship” to get a contract. This may be in guardian context, or parent and child relationship. A court might look at the agreement and allow a party to void it if there was undue influence used in getting an agreement.
5. Incapacity: Contracts made with children are not enforceable against the children. Also, some people might have disability, or under some limited circumstances when the person was drunk when he entered the contract, it may be voided.
Misleading , false advertising is a very common consumer concern as well as price fixing, unfair and restrictive trade practises..
Misleading, False advertising is covered under the Competition Act , the federal Competition Bureau as well the Provincial Ministry of Consumer and Business Services. File a complaint with both of them. Taking a complaint to the small claim courts can still also be time consuming, and cost prohibative,
As part of its goal to ensure consumers have competitive prices and product choice, the Competition Act prohibits a number of marketing practices.
- Misleading advertising occurs when a claim about a product or service is materially false or misleading, in an attempt to persuade the consumer to buy it.
- Double ticketing occurs when a seller puts two or more prices on a product or service, and the consumer is not charged the lowest price.
- Pyramid selling is a multilevel marketing plan that uses certain specific deceptive means to obtain money (see “Multi-Level Marketing and Pyramid Selling Schemes“).
- Bait and switch occurs when a seller attracts customers by advertising a certain product or service at a bargain price and then persuades the customer to purchase a more expensive item, since the seller does not have reasonable quantities of the advertised item in stock.
Consumers who make a purchase are also protected by laws that prohibit unfair or deceptive trade practices.
Consumers may complain to the Government of Canada about any of these practices even when they have no intention of buying the product. Consumers may contact the Competition Bureau to file a complaint or obtain additional information at 1-800-348-5358 or www.competitionbureau.gc.ca under the Enquiries and Complaints section. When the matter relates to labeling or advertising of food, contact the Canadian Food Inspection Agency at 1-800-442-2342. You may also contact your provincial or territorial consumer affairs office.
You may also complain to THE USLESS, PRETENTIOUS Advertising Standards Canada about misleading advertising. This non-governmental body is made up of advertisers, representatives from advertising agencies and the media, and consumers. It PRETENDS IT discourages false or misleading advertising by its members through codes of conduct. https://thenonconformer.wordpress.com/2010/01/18/so-much-for-any-promised-consumer-protecton/
Under the civil regime, a complaint must be lodged with the Commissioner of Competition in order to engage the process. A complaint may be lodged by: (a) calling the Competition Bureau at its toll-free telephone number (1-800-348-5358); or (b) registering a complaint over the Internet – http://strategis.ic.gc.ca by completing a confidential complaint/enquiry form.
If none of these steps work to your satisfaction, look through the directory of this Handbook, for government offices and consumer organizations that apply to your situation. If you don’t know where to start, call the government consumer affairs office where you live (also listed in the directory). Someone there will direct you to the right organization. Or, use the Complaint Courier to file your complaint online
Taking legal action should be your last choice. If you decide to sue, remember that there are often time limitations on filing lawsuits and costs. You may wish to check with a lawyer about the legal process and any limitations that may apply to your case in your province or territory. Strategies for Success. A lawsuti against a corporation even if you wwin is often non enforceable.. you are better of starting to make it all public, going to the news media, giving them a real bad name that realy hurts their business.
Do not be afraid to complain. Good businesses will be pleased to correct any mistake on their part. They know that customer goodwill is the best form of advertising.
Always keep a file of important information related to your purchase, include the sales receipts, repair orders, warranties, cancelled cheques, contracts and any letters you have written to or received from the company concerned
(Your Address)(Your City, Province or Territory, Postal Code)(Your Email Address, if you have an email address where you can be contacted)
(Name of contact person, if available)(Title, if available)(Consumer Complaint Division, when you have no contact person)(Company name)(Street address)(City, province or territory, postal code)
Dear(Contact Person):Re: (account number, if applicable):
To resolve the problem, I would appreciate you deal with the matter immediately . I look forward to your reply and to your resolving my problem, and will wait until (date), I (bought, leased, rented or had repaired) a (name of the product with serial or model number or service performed) at (location). (or the service was inadequate). I am disappointed because (explain the problem: for example, the product does not work properly, the service was not performed correctly, I was billed the wrong amount, something was not disclosed clearly or was misrepresented at the time of sale).state the specific action you would like: money back, charge card credit, repair or exchange, for example). Enclosed are copies (do not send originals) of my records (include receipts, guarantees, warranties, cancelled cheques, contracts, and any other documents associated with the purchase).(set a time limit: usually 10 working days is sufficient) before seeking help from a consumer protection agency or filing a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. Please contact me at the above address or by telephone at (home and/or office number with area codes)
KEEP ON MAILING YOUR COMPLAINTS TO ALL TILL YOU GET RESULTS FIRSTLY..
Small claims court can be an informal and relatively inexpensive way to resolve disputes when the amount involved is less than $3,000 or, in some provinces, up to $25,000. However, you will have to pay a fee to file a claim. Once the suit is launched, you may have costs for such things as serving orders, payments to witnesses and travel expenses.
You do not need a lawyer to go to small claims court, although in most provinces and territories the help of a lawyer is allowed. The court staff is experienced in helping consumers prepare the necessary forms, and the judges have the power to settle disputes. This court allows each side to explain its story and does not expect consumers to know legal technicalities.
For information on how to proceed, contact the small claims or provincial or territorial court nearest you (look in the government listings in your phone book). The websites of these courts also often list the procedures to follow and have copies of the forms you will need to complete.
Class Action Suits
The purpose of a class action is to permit a large number of individuals who have suffered similar losses or injuries to band together in an attempt to recover damages.
This means that individuals who might not be able to afford to sue on their own can act with others in the same situation against the same defendant. All the participants in the class action suit share both the costs and the outcome.
With a class action, consumers with legitimate cases can afford what could otherwise be an expensive legal procedure. Currently, class actions are only allowed in some provinces in Canada. There are a number of steps to a class action, including having the suit certified by a court in order for it to proceed. Seeking advice from a lawyer on the process and the costs involved is a good first step.
ConsumerInformation.ca This site is designed for easy navigation and features a powerful search engine capable of quickly finding very specific consumer information and associated contacts. The portal also offers you the Complaint Courier that gives fast and easy access to accurate, relevant and reliable consumer information, developed in the public interest. Information is gathered from partner departments and agencies of federal, provincial and territorial governments, and selected non-governmental organizations. http://www.complaintcourier.ca), an interactive tool to help consumers complain more effectively, and the Focus On section, which highlights supposedly timely consumer topics. If you believe everything they tell you.. you will likley be suckered again too.
General Information How to Complain Effectively
Consumers are often faced with several challenges when they wish to complain about a product or service. A resource to help you complain effectively is the Complaint Courier, which is featured at http://www.consumerinformation.ca. This powerful online tool provides instant access to the resources and expert advice you will need to navigate your way through the complaint process from start to finish, and explains how to make any type of complaint in a clear, organized and effective way. The following guidelines will also help you to complain more effectively.
First Things First
Give the merchant the first chance to solve the problem. About 6 weeks.. First Contact the salesperson, retailer or business when you have a complaint about any goods or services you bought. When there is a complaints department, use it. When there isn’t, talk to someone in authority, such as a manager. A face-to-face discussion is best? Putting it all in wrting with copies to many others is better.. Be firm and businesslike, but polite. Calmly and accurately describe the problem and what you want the company to do to resolve it
If the problem is not resolved that way, ask for the telephone number of the company headquarters and contact the customer service department. Request specifics about how and when something will be done, and get the company representative’s name in case you have to refer to the conversation later. Write down any details of your complaint and keep them in a file. Make sure to date your notes..