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Unfair practices: When sellers break the rules

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What kinds of agreements are covered?

The Consumer Protection Act makes it illegal to use unfair practices in most consumer agreements where:

  • the total charges are more than $50, and
  • you or the seller are in Ontario when you make the agreement.

A “consumer agreement” means that you are buying something for personal use, not for business use.

The agreement could be to buy goods, such as household items, clothing or even a car. Or it could be for services, such as home or car repairs, fitness club memberships, or cell phone service. It could be for a time share in a property, such as a vacation home or resort.

The agreement could be made in a store, over the phone, by mail, online, or at your home. It could be for something you get right away, or something you are supposed to get later.

Some types of agreements are not covered by the Consumer Protection Act because they are covered by other laws. For example, agreements for:

  • financial products or services
  • professional services, like a lawyer or dentist
  • buying or leasing real estate (except for time share agreements)
  • rental of a house or apartment.