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Ontario’s Consumer Protection Act-Part One

December 6, 2018

 

Part One deals with the second part of the Act consisting of sections six (6) through thirteen (13) called Consumers Rights and Warranties.

 

Scope:

 

The Consumer Protection Act (CPA) of Ontario applies to almost all consumer transactions where the consumer or the supplier is located in Ontario.

 

A court is empowered, when deciding if the Act applies to a transaction, to consider its real substance despite its wording and title. Further, all ambiguities in a consumer agreement are to be resolved in favour of the consumer.

 

The Act adds to any legal protections a consumer may already have in law and does not reduce any existings legal rights.

 

Waivers of the rights granted under the Act in a consumer agreement or contract are void and of no effect. Further clauses requiring disputes to be resolved by arbitration do not prevent a consumer from applying to the court to protect the rights granted in the Act. However a dispute may be settled by arbitration, mediation or negotiation if all parties agree to do so.

 

Transactions that are excluded include residential tenancies, most financial services, utility supplies, professional services and land sales, purchases or leases. These types of transactions are covered in other Ontario statutes.

 

Consumer:

 

A consumer is an individual acting for personal, family or household purposes but does not include anyone acting for business purposes.

 

Supplier:

 

A supplier means a person or business who is in the business of selling, leasing or trading in goods or services, reward points and includes their agents.

 

Consumer Transaction:

 

A consumer transaction means any act or instance of conducting business or other dealings with a consumer, including a consumer agreement.

 

Consumer Agreement:

 

A consumer agreement means an agreement between a supplier and a consumer where the supplier agrees to supply goods or services for payment or to provide reward points in exchange for buying goods or services.

 

Protections:

 

  • Goods: The implied conditions and warranties found in the Sale of Goods Act (SGA) apply to consumer transactions and cannot be waived or excluded;

  • Services: They must be of a reasonably acceptable quality;

  • Estimates: the final bill cannot be more than ten (10) percent higher than the estimated amount. However, if additional services or goods are required the parties can agree to additional amounts;

  • Unsolicited Goods or Services: They may be used or disposed of as the consumer sees fit and it is illegal to request payment for such goods or services. Further a request for goods or services cannot be inferred solely from any payment made, inaction or the passage of time;

  • Material Change in Periodic Supply of Goods or Services: If a material change occurs in the manner or quality of supply, the goods or services are thereafter considered to be unsolicited unless the consumer can be proven to have consented to the change;

  • Demand for Refund for Unsolicited Goods or Services: A consumer who has paid for such may, in accordance with the Act, demand a refund within one year of having made the payment.

 

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