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What are my consumer rights and responsibilities?

This article contains information from the Ministry of Consumer Services.

You have the right to expect the marketplace to be fair. You also have the responsibility to be fair and deal with problems quickly.

In Ontario, most consumer transactions are governed by laws to protect you and the business offering the good or service.

Your Rights

As a consumer, some of your basic rights under the Consumer Protection Act are:

  • You are entitled to a cooling off period.
  • Remedies must be timely.
  • If you are sent goods you did not ask for, you do not have to accept or pay for them.
  • Contracts must be clear and comprehensible.
  • Sales incentives may not be false, misleading or deceptive.
  • Deliveries must be made on time.

Get more information on your rights for specific goods and services, such as auto repair shops, or when you shop at your door, online, or on the phone.

Your Responsibilities

You also have responsibilities, such as:

  • Research and compare products or services before you buy them.
  • Check the qualifications of service providers.
  • Read and follow product instructions.
  • Get what you pay for.

The government also has a responsibility to protect your rights as a consumer. Read What is the government's role in protecting my consumer rights? for more information.

Many community agencies can help you with filing a complaint. To find help in your area, go to Services Near Me.

For More Information

  • Consumer Protection Brochures - Information about your rights as a consumer. Available in many languages. From the Ministry of Consumer Services.
  • Resources on Consumer Protection - Publications on consumer protection topics. Some available in English and French. From CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario).
  • Consumer Beware List - This is a list of businesses that consumers have complained about to the Ministry. You can search for businesses by name or service type. It provides details on the nature of the complaint and if any charges were laid.
  • Canadian Consumer Handbook - Information about many consumer products and how to complain effectively.
  • Common Consumer Questions - Information about returns, refunds, deposits, warranties and more. From Industry Canada.
  • National "Do Not Call" List - If you register with this list, most business are not allowed to call you at home to sell products and services.
  • English for Financial Literacy - This financial literacy tool includes visual interactive lessons that can help people learn vocabulary related to banking, budgeting, taxes and more. These activities are divided by CLB levels. From the Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB).
Last Updated: February 20, 2014
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