Curious about what we were up to last year? We’ve just released our 2012 Annual Report and 2012 Audited Financial Statements. Read on for some great stories on how we helped consumers like you!

Helping a consumer cancel a contract to receive a refund

An elderly consumer contacted our office after she had purchased a vacuum from a direct seller. After the purchase, she realized there were considerable ongoing charges and none of these had been mentioned in the contract which she had signed. She contacted our office to inquire about her rights as a consumer. Upon receiving her complaint, our office contacted the business involved and explained how the direct sales contract was not in compliance with BC legislation. In the end, the business agreed to cancel the contract and to refund the money back to the consumer. The consumer was also reimbursed for the value of her old vacuum which was taken at the time that she initially signed the contract. The consumer was very pleased with this outcome.

Resolving issues in a new, convenient and cost-effective manner

We prevented consumer loss through the use of our Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) tool. A consumer contacted Consumer Protection BC by email, complaining about a tour operator who offered, but didn’t provide, a tour in a foreign language. The consumer said that he and his travel companion did not enjoy the tour because they couldn’t understand what was being said. Our Inquiry Centre staff asked the consumer if he would be willing to participate in our ODR platform to resolve this dispute. The consumer agreed, as did the business. With the help of a third-party mediator, the business and consumer successfully came to a resolution involving a partial refund.

Recovering thousands of dollars of consumer funds

Our office received word that a number of payday lending locations were going to close without giving advance notice to our office or consumers. Our compliance inspectors were able to attend each location of the licensee and retrieve consumer cheques that might have been deposited. Depositing those cheques would have resulted in financial hardship for the borrowers of this payday lending company. Thanks to quick action by our compliance department, we prevented the potential for thousands of dollars in consumer funds being lost.

Click here to read the full Annual Report in full