Corporate
Consumer Protection BC looks back on 10 years, looks forward to another 30
{July 4, 2014} VICTORIA, BC – With a decade of consumer protection services now under its belt, Consumer Protection BC announced today that the Government of British Columbia has reaffirmed support for the organization by renewing its Administrative Agreement for another 30 years.
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Consumer Protection BC issues 2013 Annual Report and Financial Statements

{June 11, 2014} VICTORIA, BC – Consumer Protection BC has released its 2013 Annual Report and Financial Statements.

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Signing up for a credit card? Top 5 things to know about the card agreement

{May 16, 2014} VICTORIA, BC – With the second-annual Consumer Awareness Week wrapping up today, Consumer Protection BC is reminding BC youth that credit cards aren’t a free ride.

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Getting a cell phone? Top 5 things to know about your contract

In partnership with Consumer Protection BC and the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association

{May 15, 2014} VICTORIA, BC – As part of Consumer Awareness Week, Consumer Protection BC and the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association have dialled up tips on cell phone contracts, reminding youth on what they need to know.

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Buying a car? Top 5 things to know about the sales agreement

In partnership with Consumer Protection BC and the Vehicle Sales Authority of BC

{May 14, 2014} VICTORIA, BC – It’s Consumer Awareness Week. Consumer Protection BC and the Vehicle Sales Authority of BC are revving their engines: advising BC youth on what they need to know before entering into a sales agreement for a new or used vehicle.

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Joining a gym? Top 5 things to know about your fitness contract

{May 13, 2014} VICTORIA, BC – With the second-annual Consumer Awareness Week now in full swing, Consumer Protection BC is reminding BC youth to do a little heavy lifting before joining a gym by reading their contracts.

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BC’s second annual Consumer Awareness Week kicks off

In partnership with Consumer Protection BC, the Ministry of Justice and the Better Business Bureau Serving Mainland BC

{May 12, 2014} VICTORIA, BC –
Marking BC’s second annual Consumer Awareness Week, the Ministry of Justice, Consumer Protection BC and the Better Business Bureau Serving Mainland BC are putting consumer contracts in the spotlight, reminding B.C. youth of the rights and obligations that come with signing on the dotted line.

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Appointment of New Vice President of Strategic Services

{March 25, 2014} VICTORIA, BC - Consumer Protection BC is announcing the appointment of Dan Stefanson as its new Vice President of Strategic Services.

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Top Ten Scams over ten years

This release is issued in partnership with Consumer Protection BC, the Better Business Bureau of Lower Mainland, the Competition Bureau, the BC Securities Commission and the Motor Vehicle Sales Authority.

{February, 28, 2014} - Over the past ten years fraudsters have seized the opportunity that comes with the rapid adoption of new consumer technologies.  Mobile phones and social media are all reaching ten year milestones, and now scammers are more active than ever using new technology for their illicit gains. March is Fraud Prevention Month, and in Canada the campaign is celebrating 10 years of educating consumers to Recognize it! Report it! Stop it!

Better Business Bureau serving Mainland BC and partners that include, the British Columbia Securities Commission, the Competition Bureau, Consumer Protection BC, and the Vehicle Sales Authority of British Columbia announce the Top Ten Scams for 2014:

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Consumer Protection BC releases 2014 - 2016 Business Plan
{December 20, 2013} VICTORIA, BC – Consumer Protection BC is pleased to present its Business Plan, covering the 2014 to 2016 period. Like preceding plans, this Business Plan is the result of an active process involving the Board, the Leadership Team and all staff at Consumer Protection BC.
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Consumer Protection BC welcomes new Board member
{Dec. 20, 2013} VICTORIA, BC – Consumer Protection BC is pleased to welcome Douglas J. Enns to its Board of Directors, effective January 1, 2014 for a three-year term.
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New Wireless Code in Effect
VICTORIA, BC – The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) new Wireless Code, which comes into effect December 2, 2013, allows Canadians to cancel their cell phone plans after two years without cancellation fees (amongst other changes).
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Our Top 5 Black Friday Consumer Tips

In partnership with Consumer Protection BC and the Better Business Bureau Mainland BC

(Nov. 27, 2013) After the US Thanksgiving many consumers start hunting for Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping deals. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) and Consumer Protection BC are advising consumers to be aware that all deals may not be created equal and to read the fine print. So before you head out the door or buy online for an unbelievable deal, consider the following tips:

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Online Dispute Resolution Tool Helps Consumers

{October 10, 2013} More and more BC consumers are turning to their computer to resolve their issues with businesses in a quick and easy manner. 

Online Dispute Resolution, offered by Consumer Protection BC, is a free tool that helps consumers and businesses resolve disputes simply by logging onto their computer. While business participation in ODR is voluntary, Rogers, SHAW and Robbins Parking have committed to using this dispute resolution tool.

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New online tool helps consumers resolve disputes

NEWS RELEASE

In partnership with Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection BC

VICTORIA {June 19, 2013} – A new online self-help tool offered by Consumer Protection BC will offer British Columbia consumers a modern and alternative way to resolve disputes with businesses focused on making it easier and cheaper to resolve differences.
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Consumer Protection BC issues 2012 Annual Report

{June 11, 2013} VICTORIA, BC – Consumer Protection BC has released its 2012 Annual Report and 2012 Audited Financial Statements.

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Know More about Your Dance Lesson Contract

In a continuing services contract you receive services over a period of time, rather than all at once. These types of contracts are limited to dance lessons, personal training, weight loss, self defense, gym and travel club memberships.

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Appointment of new President and CEO

{April 25, 2013} VICTORIA, BC - Consumer Protection BC is announcing the appointment of Rob Gialloreto as its new President and CEO.

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Watch out for text scams!

INFORMATION BULLETIN
In partnership with Consumer Protection BC, the Ministry of Justice and the Better Business Bureau Mainland BC

March 25, 2013, VICTORIA –
British Columbians are increasingly losing money to text messaging-related scams. In 2012, more than $7,700 in losses were reported to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre from these kinds of schemes – a 600 per cent increase over the previous year.

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Do your Homework Before Handing Over Your Money
{March 21, 2013} VICTORIA – From choosing where to book a manicure to deciding where to get your car repaired, the options for today’s consumer can seem practically endless – and sifting through the choices can be exhausting.
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Ensure You’re in the Driver’s Seat When Buying a Car

VICTORIA – With British Columbians buying or leasing an estimated 500,000 motor vehicles each year (representing some $10 billion in sales), the Ministry of Justice, Consumer Protection BC and the Motor Vehicle Sales Authority of BC (VSA) have come together to share important tips with those consumers who are in the market to purchase a new or used vehicle.

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Protect yourself with these top five consumer tips

INFORMATION BULLETIN
In partnership with Consumer Protection BC and the Ministry of Justice

{March 18, 2013} VICTORIA – With B.C.’s first Consumer Awareness Week now in full swing, the Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection BC are sharing their top five consumer tips of all-time under the theme of “Take Five” - representing not only the number of tips released per day during Consumer Awareness Week, but also the need for consumers to pause before making any purchasing decision.

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BC’s first Consumer Awareness Week kicks off today
INFORMATION BULLETIN
In partnership with Consumer Protection BC and the Ministry of Justice

(March 15, 2013) VICTORIA – With government officially proclaiming March 15 - 22, 2013 as Consumer Awareness Week, consumers and businesses in B.C. are set to take the spotlight and have the chance to educate themselves about their rights and responsibilities in the marketplace.

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Don’t get reeled in by a phishing scam
INFORMATION BULLETIN
In partership with Consumer Protection BC and the Ministry of Justice


{March 11, 2013} VICTORIA – Many of us spend hours a day online – at work, at home and on the go. Unfortunately, so do Internet scammers who may be phishing for your personal information.
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Nova Health & Fitness Closure: What To Do If Your Gym Closes Unexpectedly
{March 8, 2013} Consumer Protection BC is aware that Nova Health and Fitness Gym in Burnaby, BC have closed their doors. We have been receiving inquiries from consumers asking about their options.
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There’s An App For That: Privacy, Security and Your Smartphone

INFORMATION BULLETIN

This Infomation Bulletin was developed in partnership between Consumer Protection BC, Ministry of Justice, and the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner for B.C.

{March 4, 2013} VICTORIA – While the clunky mobile devices and car phones of the 90s may have disappeared, the advances of smartphone technology in the 21st century have created new challenges when it comes to protecting personal information.

To mark March as Fraud Prevention Month – a month-long national initiative that helps Canadians recognize, prevent and report fraudulent activities – the Ministry of Justice, Consumer Protection BC, and the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner for B.C. have teamed up to share important information about privacy and security for smartphones.
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Top Ten Scams 2013 – Just in case a scam is around the corner

{January 15, 2013} VICTORIA, BC - Consumer Protection BC is participating in today's launch of the Better Business Bureau's Top Ten Scams brochure. The Top Ten Scams are divided up into nine major categories with the top scam highlighted in each, plus the Scam of the Year.

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Release of 2013-2015 Business Plan

{December 24, 2012} VICTORIA Bc - We are pleased to present Consumer Protection BC’s Business Plan covering the period from 2013 to 2015. Like our preceding three year Business Plans, this plan results from an active process involving the Board, the Leadership Team and all staff at Consumer Protection BC.

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Don’t be grifted by gift card fraud

INFORMATION BULLETIN

In collaboration with Consumer Protection BC and the BBB

{December 19, 2012} VICTORIA, BC - Gift cards may take the guess work out of gift giving, but you sure don’t want to leave the recipient feeling bamboozled. Better Business Bureau and Consumer Protection BC would like to offer some smart shopping advice about gift cards.

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Have you been overcharged by Budget Rent a Car?

{November 27, 2012} VICTORIA, BC – Consumer Protection BC has created a customized online form to assist consumers who wish to register a complaint against Budget Rent a Car related to overcharging for car rental repairs.  

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Consumer Protection BC welcomes two new Directors to its Board

{Nov. 26, 2012} VICTORIA, BC – Consumer Protection BC is pleased to welcome Paulette Parry and Dennis A. Cote to its Board of Directors.

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Black Friday and Cyber Monday bargains: Good Buy or Bust?


{VICTORIA - November 20, 2012} - Attention, Black Friday and Cyber Monday shoppers: While scavenging for deals, Consumer Protection BC and the Better Business Bureau warn of limited quantities and bait-and-switch tactics and reading the fine print.

Before you head out the door or buy online for a block buster, check the following five tips to help you save time and money and make smart consumer decisions:

  1. Have sale advertisements, promo codes and coupons? Bring them to stores and hold on tight. Comparison shop online to see how similar products are priced.
  2. Are there conditions or limitations? Read fine print carefully; look for asterisks and timeframes.
  3. Is it first come, first served? See if ads specify that supplies are limited. See overly-enticing signage? Review closely and snap photos to defend deals. Contact BBB if problems persist. For more insight, review BBB’s Code of Advertising.
  4. Do terms change at the end of the sale? Watch out for higher prices due to undisclosed stipulations on “percentage-off” sales and “free” offers. If you choose to shop online always review the final amount. When shipping and handling charges, fees, or taxes are tacked on, those online prices may not be as attractive as you first thought.
  5. Are there special incentives with in-store credit cards? Beware of high fees and interest rates. Too many open cards can damage credit so make you read all the terms and conditions.
  6. What about returns and refunds? Find out if items are “final sale.” Carefully inspect “clearance” merchandise and other markdowns. In BC, there is no law around returns and refunds so be sure to find out about a specific store’s policy before buying.

If you have questions about your rights and responsibilities as a consumer in British Columbia, please contact Consumer Protection BC toll free at 1-888-564-9963, or visit www.consumerprotectionbc.ca. You can also follow Consumer Protection BC on Twitter @ConsumerProBC, like us on Facebook and read our blog for valuable consumer and shopping tips.

Visit www.mbc.bbb.org for more holiday shopping tips from BBB serving Mainland British Columbia.

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Credit Education Week Canada kicks off; survey uncovers spending and saving trends

{Nov. 13, 2012} VICTORIA, BC – A recent survey commissioned by Credit Canada Debt Solutions and Capital One Canada found that more than two thirds of Canadians have felt anxious or lost sleep thinking about their financial situation over the past year.

 

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Whirlpool Washing Machine Flooding
There has been a lot of media attention recently regarding more than floods in Lower Mainland condos linked to the same model of top-loading Whirlpool washing machine (Y WET 3300XQO). Consumer Protection BC is concerned about this issue and how it has affected consumers.
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T'is the season for holiday scams

INFORMATION BULLETIN

in partnership with the Ministry of Justice

{November 6, 2012} VICTORIA – As the holiday season approaches, a time when people are typically feeling more generous, you may find that you’re getting more requests to donate to charities. And while there are many legitimate companies and charities calling you for fundraising purposes, it’s a good idea to take some precautions and be informed.

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Consumer Protection BC orders a second business to stop charging consumers unlawful fees on milk containers

{Oct. 31, 2012} VICTORIA, BC – For the second time in a week, Consumer Protection BC has learned that consumers in British Columbia are being charged unlawful fees when purchasing milk.

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Gym Closure Prompts Consumer Questions

{August 22, 2012} Consumer Protection BC is aware that Fit City Gym locations in Burnaby and Richmond, BC have closed their doors. We have been receiving calls from consumers asking about their options.

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Top Five Tips for Back to School Shopping

{August 20, 2012} VICTORIA BC - It’s that time of year again. As August draws to a close, students and their parents are getting ready for school to start again. According to a recent consumer survey, Canadians will be spending 13 per cent more than last year on back to school shopping, with British Columbians spending an average of $397.

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Consumer Protection BC calls for advisory group members

SPECIAL NOTE: The deadline for applications has been extended to Friday September 14, 2012.

{July 16, 2012) VICTORIA, BC – Do you have a vested interest in consumer-related issues within your industry? Consumer Protection BC is seeking both industry members and consumer representatives to join one of four advisory groups.
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Notice of Board Vacancies

{June 25, 2012} VICTORIA BC - Consumer Protection BC is looking for two new members for its Board of Directors. Our Board of Directors is responsible for overseeing strategic direction and governance of the organization. Board members are appointed for an initial term of 3 years and may be eligible for re- appointment to serve a maximum of 6 years.
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Debt collection, retail and travel are top questions for Consumer Protection BC

{June 14, 2012} VICTORIA, BC – Debt collection, retail and travel questions continued to be the top 3 topics of consumer questions to Consumer Protection BC’s call centre in 2011. We received close to 3,000 enquiries about debt collection last year – that’s 21% of our total enquires.

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Keep your credit cards safe from fraud
Credit cards make our lives convenient, but fraudulent charges can be racked up if you don’t use your credit card safely.

March is Fraud Prevention Month and the Province is teaming up with Consumer Protection BC to help you keep your credit cards safe from fraudulent activity.

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Get savvy with your smart phone and avoid fraud

{March 21, 2012} VICTORIA – The rise in popularity of smart phones with social media applications can put consumers at risk of fraud.  

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Seniors continue to be victims of a classic scam

{March 14, 2012} VICTORIA – Scam artists continue to target British Columbian seniors through deceptive ‘sweepstakes’ opportunities that come through the mail. It’s an age-old trick and unfortunately seniors continue to be victims of this type of scheme.

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Computer tech support scam targets British Columbians

{March 7, 2012} VICTORIA – For several months, phone scammers have been targeting British Columbians by pretending to be with a reputable computer software company, asking to perform urgent software updates and requesting hundreds of dollars as a ‘fee’ for their service.

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Consumer Protection BC Welcomes New Board Member

{February 24, 2012} VICTORIA, BC – Consumer Protection BC is pleased to announce that Julie Winram will be joining our Board of Directors. By legislation, the Consumer Protection BC Board may consist of up to nine directors including one director who may be appointed by the Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General.

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Release of 2012-2014 Business Plan

{January 6, 2012} VICTORIA Bc - We are pleased to present Consumer Protection BC’s Business Plan covering the period from 2012 to 2014. Like our preceding three year Business Plans, this plan results from an active process involving the Board, the Leadership Team and all staff at Consumer Protection BC.

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Consumer Protection BC Welcomes New Board Member

{November 29, 2011} VICTORIA, BC – Consumer Protection BC is pleased to announce the Minister’s appointment of Deborah Kim Lovett, Q.C., to the Board of Directors. By legislation, the Consumer Protection BC Board may consist of up to nine directors including one director who may be appointed by the Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General.

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10 Ways to Save and Make Wise Decisions on Black Friday

{November 21, 2011} It’s time to start planning your Black Friday, that special day after the US Thanksgiving when retailers gear up to offer their best. Our past experience tells us that all deals are not created equal and the fine print is often the most important thing. Before you head out the door or buy online for a block buster, the Better Business Bureau and Consumer Protection BC offer the following tip sheet to help you save time and money and make smart consumer decisions.

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New Job Postings

{November 10, 2011} Consumer Protection BC currently has two job postings available. We are looking to fill the position of Inquiry Officer and Director, Industry Relations.  To view the job postings, please visit the Careers page of our website.

For more information about our organization, our corporate 2010 Annual Report is also available.

Consumer Protection BC is a not-for-profit corporation that was created to strengthen consumer protection in BC and enforce consumer protection laws. We balance the interests of all parties to promote a marketplace that is fair for both BC consumers and BC businesses. We license and inspect specific industries, respond to inquiries through our Inquiry Centre, investigate alleged violations of consumer protection laws, and educate consumers and businesses about their rights and responsibilities under the law.  For more information about our organization, please visit our corporate website at www.consumerprotectionbc.ca.

Follow Consumer Protection BC on Twitter @ConsumerProBC, like us on Facebook and read our blog for valuable consumer tips and resources.

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Consumer Protection BC 2010 Annual Report

{May 27, 2011} VICTORIA, BC – Consumer Protection BC has released its 2010 Annual Report and 2010 audited financial statements.

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Kelowna Vacuum Seller Banned from Direct Sales Due to Deceptive Practices

{May 18, 2011} Consumer Protection BC is warning consumers that it has prohibited Superior Systems of Kelowna and Michael Alvin Friedel from engaging in direct sales for a period of five years for using illegal vacuum sales tactics.  A Director’s Compliance Order has also been issued to Superior Systems which requires the company to bring their sales contracts into compliance with the requirements under the Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act and repay a $2,080 consumer deposit.

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Consumer Protection BC Takes Enforcement Action

Action Taken Against ‘Factory Save Exteriors’ around Door to Door Sales Tactics

{April 12, 2011} VICTORIA, BC – Consumer Protection BC has ordered Factory Save Exteriors (including Factory Save Windows and Factory Save Management) to bring their sales contracts into compliance with the requirements under the Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act and repay a $3,000 deposit paid by a BC consumer.

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Top Ten Scams for 2011

{January 14, 2011} VICTORIA, BC - Consumer Protection BC is participating in the launch of the Better Business Bureau's Top Ten Scams brochure today.

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Consumer Protection BC Advises of End of Prohibition Order

{December 7, 2010} VICTORIA BC – Consumer Protection BC is advising consumers that the Direct Prohibition Order against Lloyd Schell Jr. and David Schell will be expiring on Friday December 9, 2010.

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We are hiring!

{October 8, 2010} VICTORIA, BC - Consumer Protection BC is currently looking for a Manager, Accounting Services. The Manager, Accounting Services is the key financial position and functions under the general direction of the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) with considerable freedom to make recommendations and/or decisions on the issues related to financial planning, reporting and analysis and is essential in the co-ordination of the annual audit of the Consumer Protection BC.

Please visit the CAREERS page on our website for more information.


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Our Consumer Survey

We want to hear about the issues of BC consumers.  Please help us by taking 10 minutes to fill out our consumer survey.

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Appointment of New CEO

{September 1, 2010} VICTORIA, BC - Consumer Protection BC is announcing the appointment of Scott McBride as its new president and Chief Executive Officer.  Succeeding Terry Barnett who will be retiring at the end of August, Mr. McBride will begin his new position on September 7, 2010.

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Top 7 Back to School Tips for Students

{August 19, 2010} - VICTORIA/VANCOUVER, BC - It’s that time again!  Students and their parents are preparing for the beginning of a new school year.  With the high volume of sales made during this time of year and an increasing number of youth making their own purchases, Consumer Protection BC and the Better Business Bureau (BBB) remind “back-to-schoolers” that it pays to be a smart consumer.

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WE ARE IN THE NEWS - Consumer Issues

{August 16, 2010.} We invite you to listen our interview on CFAX 1070 AM with Dave Dickson about various consumer issues.

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Deadline Extended for Advisory Group Recruitment

{August 11, 2010} VICTORIA, BC - Consumer Protection BC has extended our deadline for industry members and consumers who are intrested in serving on our industry advisory groups. The new deadline for submissions is August 18, 2010.

 

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WE ARE IN THE NEWS - Door to Door Sales

{July 15, 2010} We invite you to watch our interview on CTV's Olsen On Your Side segment about door to door sales.

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Consumer Protection BC Issues 2009 Annual Report

{June 25, 2010} VICTORIA, BC – Consumer Protection BC is pleased to release its 2009 Annual Report and financial statements.

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Criminal Record Check Update for Licensees

{April 19, 2010} VICTORIA, BC - Further to the information update released on December 8, 2009 regarding changes to our licensing and criminal record check policy, Consumer Protection BC is pleased to announce it has re-obtained the ability to perform criminal record checks internally for new and renewing licensing applicants.

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Changes to Application Procedures for New Licensing Applicants

{December 8, 2009} VICTORIA, BC - Due to changes from our service provider, effective immediately Consumer Protection BC will no longer be able to perform criminal record checks internally for new licensing applicants.  Instead, applicants (except for telephone collectors and general release film and video providers) will be required to obtain and submit a criminal record check performed by their local police agency (RCMP, regional or municipal departments).

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