Debt and Consumer Rights

We can give you advice on consumer protection problems if you are financially eligible for our services. In some circumstances, we are able to intervene on behalf of clients. However, we do not represent you in small claims court with respect to debt or consumer issues.

Examples of consumer issues that we can help with are:

  • energy contract
  • a bank garnishment
  • a payday loan

In Ontario, there are laws that protect consumers in many areas. The main law is the Consumer Protection Act, although there are specific laws that relate to collection agencies, electricity contracts, motor vehicle dealers and discriminatory business practices.  For example:

  • If you sign a contract worth more than $50.00 in your home, you have the right to cancel within 10 days
  • A collection agency can only contact you between 1pm and 5 pm on Sunday or on holidays and can’t use threatening, profane, intimidating or coercive language
  • When getting your car repaired, the shop must provide you with a written estimate unless you tell them it is not necessary and agree to pay a maximum amount?

If you have a consumer protection problem

If you think that your consumer rights are being violated, you should file a complaint with the business or individual that you are dealing with. Ideally, you should do this through a complaint letter. The complaint letter should provide details on the issue and how you would like the issue resolved. Keep a copy of your letter.

If you are not able to resolve the issue to your satisfaction, you can contact our Clinic for advice and direction on how to proceed.

The Steps to Justice website offers step-by-step information about debt, consumer rights and other common legal problems.