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Better protecting consumers with bill of rights. A new document will boost consumer confidence by educating Albertans about their rights when making a purchase.

Posted in Canada Provinces

Published on March 15, 2019 with No Comments

The one-of-a-kind Consumer Bill of Rights follows four years of work to strengthen consumer protection rules in Alberta. The simple two-page document is the first of its kind in Canada. It summarizes the main protections in the Consumer Protection Act into an easy-to-digest format that will help people understand their rights, be protected from potential financial losses and know where to turn if they’re treated unfairly. “We know that educated consumers are confident consumers. The Consumer Bill of Rights will help educate people making purchases in Alberta. It’s another example of how our government is standing up for everyday Albertans. From cracking down on payday lending to banning door-to-door energy sales and ticket bots, we’ve spent four years beefing up consumer protection in Alberta. This new Consumer Bill of Rights is a step forward that ties together much of our recent work on this file,” said  Brian Malkinson, Minister of Service Alberta.

The government’s consumer protection record includes:

  • Consumer protection laws: Strengthened protections in areas consumers said were the highest priority including:
    • Banning the use of ticket-buying bots and improved consumer access to refunds from resellers.
    • Introducing industry-wide standards for vehicle sales and repairs to improve accountability in the sector and better protect consumers from unexpected or unauthorized charges.
    • Introducing a licensing framework for high-cost lenders to ensure responsible operations and help consumers better understand the nature of high-cost credit products.
  • Payday lending: Put an end to 600 per cent interest rates on payday loans to help prevent people from becoming trapped in a cycle of debt. Today, payday loan borrowers pay lower fees, have more time to pay off their loans and are paying them off in smaller installments.
  • Door-to-door sales: Put an end to misleading, aggressive sales tactics by banning door-to-door sale of energy products and services. The ban includes furnaces, hot water tanks, air conditioners, windows, energy audits, and electricity and natural gas contracts.
  • Electricity price cap: Introduced a price cap to make life more affordable and ensure electricity bills are fair and reasonable.
  • New home buyer protection: Introduced a builder licensing framework to protect consumers as well as the reputation of good builders.
  • Condominium living: Introduced condo regulations to improve buying and living in a condo.
  • Utilities Consumer Advocate: Expanded the advocate’s free mediation services to water bills and improved the advocate’s ability to report on the performance of gas and electricity companies to help consumers make well-informed choices.

 

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