This month The Social Paralegal will be looking at consumer rights. The objective is to keep individuals informed of their rights and help you protect yourself against scams. I find many individuals are unaware of their rights and fall victim to large corporations. Why? Because they feel helpless.
This article takes a step towards empowering you and making sure you can make informed decisions. If you need further assistance, a paralegal can assist you with navigating the legal system.
Below are some of the most important and fundamental rights and warranties guaranteed to consumers under the Consumer Protection Act, 2002. I believe s.11 will be of great assistance to individuals who have trouble interpreting what conditions are being offered in a contract.
Consumer Rights and Warranties
- 9(1) – creates a general warranty that services provided pursuant to a consumer agreement must be of “reasonably good quality”
- 9(2) – incorporates the implied conditions and warranties from the Sales of Goods Act into consumer agreements
- 9(3)- any implied conditions and warranties may not be contracted out. If the contract consists of implied terms (anything that should be guaranteed under the Sale of Goods Act ie. your rights and guaranteed warranties) that negate your right to the warranty/conditions they are considered void.
s.10– Estimates– Suppliers cannot charge more than 110% of the original estimate price
a. can amend the estimate if parties agree to further of good/services being provided
Performance of consumer agreement
s. 10 (2) “If a supplier charges an amount that exceeds the estimate by more than 10 per cent, the consumer may require that the supplier provide the goods or services at the estimated price.” 2002,c. 30, Sched. A, s. 10 (2).
s.11- Ambiguities– if there are ambiguous terms that can be interpreted in more than one reasonable way, the terms will be interpreted in favour of the consumers, no matter who drafted the agreement.
s.12 A supplier is prohibited from charging a consumer for any benefit, right or protection conferred by the Consumer Protection Act
s.13 A consumer has no obligation with respect to unsolicited goods (they are free). If you do pay for unsolicited goods/services that you did not ask for, you can ask for a refund of your money (year limitation to do so).
What are unsolicited goods? (Taken directly from the act)
(9) In this section, “unsolicited goods or services” means,
(a) goods that are supplied to a consumer who did not request them but does not include,
(i) goods that the recipient knows or ought to know are intended for another person,
(ii) a change to periodically supplied goods, if the change in goods is not a material change, or
(iii) goods supplied under a written future performance agreement that provides for the periodic supply of goods to the recipient without further solicitation, or
(b) services that are supplied to a consumer who did not request them but does not include,
(i) services that were intended for another person from the time the recipient knew or ought to have known that they were so intended,
(ii) a change to ongoing or periodic services that are being supplied, if the change in the services is not a material change, or
(iii) services supplied under a written future performance agreement that provides for the ongoing or periodic supply of services to the recipient without further solicitation. 2002, c. 30, Sched. A, s. 13 (9).
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