Building consumer awareness and enhancing satisfaction:
- The Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection BC (CPBC) continue to work on testing the use of online dispute resolution. The expected outcomes of this approach are to resolve disputes before they become Small Claims Court cases. This will help relieve the pressure on the justice system and will enhance consumer satisfaction.
- CPBC's online and offline Debt Campaign continues. Through partnerships with a variety of organizations, CPBC is supporting consumer financial literacy and empowering consumers to make informed decisions.
- CPBC continues to raise consumer awareness about debt settlement practices in order to help them make informed decisions when it comes to debt management options.
- The Ministry of Justice, CPBC and other organizations partnered during B.C.'s first ever Consumer Awareness Week (March 15-22, 2013) to share important tips on a number of significant marketplace issues. These tips help all British Columbians protect themselves, make informed decisions in the marketplace and encourage positive business practices.
- CPBC continues to educate consumers and businesses about their fitness contract rights and obligations, responding to fitness contract complaints, and pursuing consumer refunds where possible under the law.
Enforcing consumers' rights:
- CPBC ordered payday lender Cash Store Financial Inc. to refund consumers approximately $1 million of illegal fees charged between November 2009 and March 2012.
- CPBC educated consumers that they should not be charged with deposits on milk containers, and sought voluntary compliance from a business to refund customers who were mistakenly charged.
- B.C. was the first province in Canada to require licensing of home inspectors. Government and CPBC continue to work in partnership with home inspector associations to ensure that a home buyer's interests are protected.
- The Ministry of Justice intends to review its current home inspection regulations to determine what if any change is necessary. The Canadian Standards Association is exploring a set of national standards, and B.C. will be participating in the process.
For information on the role of Consumer Protection BC, please visit: http://www.consumerprotectionbc.ca/
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Justice