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Consumer Rights

By: News Canada

(NC)-If you've just purchased a product that doesn't meet your expectations, here's how the Canadian Consumer Information Gateway suggests you proceed:

Give the merchant a chance to solve the problem. Go to customer service or talk to the manager. A face-to-face discussion is best. Be firm, but polite and business-like. Calmly and accurately describe the problem and what action you would like taken. Request specifics as to how and when something will be done, and get the person's name in case you have to refer to this conversation later. Keep a record of your efforts to resolve the problem.

If this doesn't work, visit the Canadian Consumer Information Gateway Web site at and click on 'File a complaint'. This will hook you up to 'the Complaint Courier' which takes you through a six step process that deals with:

  • Complaint assessment
  • Your rights and responsibilities
  • Contacting the business
  • Writing the business
  • Submitting a complaint form
  • Your legal options

This process also includes a 'letter writing wizard' to assist you in articulating your complaint to the business. Taking legal action should be the last resort. Be aware that you might have to act within a certain time period. Small Claims Court is an informal and relatively inexpensive method of resolving disputes.

The Canadian Consumer Information Gateway is a new Web site designed by Industry Canada. It's the place to go for objective, reliable, current Canadian consumer information launched by federal, provincial, territorial governments and their partners specifically to serve the interests of Canadian consumers .

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