Jack and Lisa* had just returned from a Home & Garden Show and were greatly impressed with a paving product showcased by a local provider. Not wasting any time, they called the company into their home to provide an estimate and, after taking some measurements and drawing up a contract, the company requested a $650 deposit for the paving product. Jack and Lisa wrote the cheque and were looking forward to the next step in the process – installation. That step never came.

For months, the couple tried contacting the company without a response. Feeling like they might be getting ripped off, the couple called the company’s head office, where a representative told them they would need to send in the original contract to recover their deposit. The couple provided it the very next day, but no deposit refund came.

Finally Jack and Lisa had had enough and contacted Consumer Protection BC. “They suggested that we start by sending a registered letter, which requires a signature upon delivery, to the head office to officially cancel the contract,” says Jack. When the couple still hadn’t received a response, Consumer Protection BC stepped in. The company was informed of their obligation under the Business Practices & Consumer Protection Act to refund the consumer for services not provided, and within 15 days of the consumer giving official notice of cancellation.

The final result? Jack and Lisa received their deposit back. “We are more than happy with the result,” says Jack. “It felt like we had someone on our side. We still think we would have never had that money back if it hadn’t been for Consumer Protection BC.”

*Name changed to protect the privacy of the individuals involved

Interested in more information?

This is a real story of a consumer who came to us for help. In this situation, the type of contract is called a future performance contract and Consumer Protection BC is responsible for regulating specific parts of future performance contracts in BC – including consumer cancellation rights and what information must be included in the contract.

For more information about your rights and responsibilities when it comes to future performance contracts and other kinds of regulated contracts, please visit our consumer contracts page on our website. If you are interested in reading more consumer stories, please read our 2015 Annual Report.


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