British Columbians are invited to share their feedback about buying products and services, which will help inform potential improvements to B.C.’s consumer protection laws.
The Province is launching an online public survey to help identify gaps in B.C.’s consumer protection laws and understand any effects they have on British Columbians.
The consultation will open for feedback on May 16 and close on June 13, 2022, and will be available in traditional and simplified Chinese, Punjabi, Tagalog and French.
“The world is changing, and as consumers and businesses adapt to the times, we need to ensure the consumer protection we’re offering British Columbians stays relevant and robust,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. “Changes, such as online shopping, an aging and diverse population and significantly more debt, have created new challenges and vulnerabilities for consumers. It’s time we addressed them.”
The survey link can be found here: https://feedback.engage.gov.bc.ca/698712?lang=en
The Province is seeking input on a wide range of consumer purchasing experiences with the goals of modernizing laws for the digital economy, protecting more vulnerable consumers, supporting economic growth and ensuring the laws can be enforced effectively.
The survey will focus on individual consumers buying products or services from businesses for personal, family or household use. The survey covers the following topics:
- purchasing and contract issues;
- motor-dealer sales, leases and financing; and
- specific types of credit-related products and services, such as fraud alerts and credit-counselling services.
Stakeholder consultations will be held in early fall 2022 to collect input from consumer groups, business organizations and other groups, including seniors. Farnworth has requested Mike Starchuk, MLA for Surrey-Cloverdale, assist with the stakeholder engagement component.
“In addition to ensuring potentially vulnerable British Columbians are protected, I am pleased to be working with small businesses and other groups to ensure that any impacts on business will be considered, and that the livelihood of B.C.’s business owners are protected throughout this process,” Starchuk said.
Stakeholder consultations will focus on:
- results of the public survey;
- potential changes to B.C. consumer protection laws;
- issues affecting vulnerable customers; and
- anticipated business impacts.
Government has begun implementing consumer-protection measures. On May 1, 2022, consumer protection amendments came into effect, requiring businesses that provide high-cost credit products to be licensed and regulated by Consumer Protection BC. Additionally, on July 1, 2021, a new Ticket Sales Act came into effect to protect consumers who purchase tickets to recreational, sporting and cultural events in B.C., by improving refund requirements and banning bots that buy large quantities of tickets for resale purposes.
Consumer Financial Protection Action Plan: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2019PSSG0020-000263
Details on Ticket Sales Act: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2021PSSG0059-001263
Information about B.C. consumer protection laws – Consumer Protection BC: www.consumerprotectionbc.ca