We get questions from consumers on a variety of topics through our Inquiry Centre, our Facebook page, Twitter and on our blog. When an issue falls outside of our regulatory power, we will happily offer a referral if there is an organization that is better equipped to help you. Read on for examples of some of these types of consumer questions and our answers.
A question about returning a new car:
Hi there, I recently signed all the papers for a new car from the dealership but I have not taken the car home yet. I realized when I got home that I really couldn’t afford the payments. Can I cancel my application even though the bank has put everything through?
Our answer: Thank you for your question. You may want to contact the Vehicle Sales Authority of BC as they are the regulator for this industry, I would suggest starting there. Here is their website: http://mvsabc.com/. You can also contact them at email@example.com or by phone at 604-575-7255 or toll-free 1-877-294-9889. I hope this helps!
A question about texting scams:
Hello! I am writing to you because I have been receiving texts saying that my bank accounts have been compromised. I know those are scammers trying to get my information, can you tell me how can I stop these texts?
Our answer: I know these texts can be frustrating to receive. I might suggest you block the number if you find that you are getting text messages from the same number continuously. Consumer Protection BC does not regulate any aspect of cell phones or scams, so another option for you might be to contact your cell phone provider to see what they would suggest in this situation. You can also try to register your cell phone number with the National Do Not Call List. You can do that on this page of the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission website. Best of luck!
A question about appliance warranties:
My dryer is broken and when I went to the retailer, they said that, even though other consumers had had similar issues with the product, they were only willing to give me $200 back (which is a fraction of what I paid for it). What about my warranty? Aren’t they legally required to give me a full refund? What should I do about this?
Our answer: Thanks for your question. My understanding is that household appliance warranties are not regulated by any government organizations in BC. For this reason, we always recommend that you try to reach a resolution directly with the business. They will be the best equipped to negotiate a solution that might work for you. If you are unable to work with the business, you may want to contact the Better Business Bureau to see if they can help. The Competition Bureau also has some information about misleading warranties and guarantees on their website. I hope this information is helpful to you!
Our organization is responsible for overseeing specific consumer protection laws in British Columbia. Depending on your concern, another organization may be the ones to speak to; other times, court or legal assistance may be the best option. Either way, we will do our best to give you the most relevant information.