List of summaries, consolidations and regulations
The Consumer Protection and Business Practices Act
The Consumer Protection and Business Practices Act is a consolidation of consumer protection legislation.
The Act sets out obligations of suppliers in their interactions with consumers, requires a consumer to make a reasonable effort to minimize any loss and to attempt to resolve a dispute with a supplier before taking further action.
The Act makes it an offence for a supplier (retailer, manufacturer or distributor) to engage in an unfair practice by making a false claim or by doing or saying anything, or failing to do or say anything, if that might reasonably deceive or mislead a consumer. It also makes it an unfair practice for a supplier to take advantage of a consumer not in a position to protect the consumer’s own interests.
Suppliers are deemed to give minimum warranties known as statutory warranties whenever they sell a new or used consumer product.
The minimum statutory warranties include that:
The Act provides that when unasked for goods are received, the recipient has no legal obligation to pay for the goods unless the recipient has first acknowledged, in writing, that he or she intends to accept the goods.
Consumer contracts are contracts for goods and services between a consumer and a supplier. They include:
The regulations establish specific obligations of suppliers to provide disclosure to consumers, set out the required elements of each consumer contract, and detail consumers’ cancellation rights for consumer contracts.
Other types of consumer contracts can be added to the regulations in the future.
The Act sets out rules regarding gift cards and gift certificates (prepaid purchase cards). With some exceptions, it:
Designated Activities and Licensing
The Act sets out a framework for licensing of certain businesses. It allows regulations to make specific rules for different business types setting out requirements for:
The Director has inspection and investigatory powers under the Act, including the right to enter premises, and search and seize documents.
The Director may order a person who fails to comply with the Act:
The Director may take a supplier to court to force compliance with the Act. The court may make any order it considers necessary.
A consumer who has suffered a loss may commence an action in court against a supplier.
It is an offence to contravene any provision of the legislation. The penalties are:
Corporations cannot be jailed.
Prosecutions must be commenced within three years of the facts becoming known to the Director.
Mistake and due diligence are defences to a prosecution.