It can happen to the most careful of us.You lay out your hard-earned money for a product or service, only to find that you haven’t got what you paid for, or thought you paid for. When this happens, sometimes the only thing to do is complain.
If you know how to complain effectively, you have a much better chance of obtaining satisfaction, whether through a return or exchange, a full or partial refund, damages or even just an apology.
The Complaint Roadmap on the ConsumerInformation.ca can guide you through the complaint process, step by step. This powerful online tool gives you the resources and expert advice you need, from start to finish.
The first step in the complaints process is to contact the business you are not happy with — and the sooner the better. The Complaint Courier offers seven tips for complaining effectively:
If a personal visit or phone call doesn’t produce results, you’ll need to write a letter to someone higher up.You can use the Complaint Courier’s Letter Wizard to do this. Just enter some basic information, and the Letter Wizard will formulate a letter for you. You can then print the letter and send it by registered mail.
If all else fails, you can use the Complaint Courier to submit a complaint form to the appropriate regulatory agency and find advice on your legal options.
With a bit of luck, you’ll never have to do this. But if you have a consumer complaint and don’t know where to turn, consult the Complaint Courier.
It’s an unpleasant but simple fact: if you’re a senior, you’re much more likely to be a target for fraudsters and scam artists. Many con artists deliberately set out to victimize seniors.
Ask yourself the following questions:
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you could be the next victim of a fraud.
Every year, scam artists and deceptive telemarketers cheat Canadians out of more than a billion dollars, according to police statistics. Scams often cross borders, making law enforcement particularly difficult.You have to hand it to these fraudsters: they have fertile imaginations. Fake diamonds, insurance fraud, charity scams, Internet gambling, high-pressure sales — they try it all. Once the winter cold weather sets in, they turn to home heating inspection scams.
You may wonder how people could be so gullible, but it’s no mystery. Look again at those four questions we began with. Almost everyone would say yes to at least one of them. And fraudsters are master con artists. They’re likeable, smooth-talking and convincing. They may call several times to make you think you are getting to know them. They know how to exploit human weakness — how to manipulate you into shelling out money. They specialize in preying on vulnerabilities.
By far the best consumer defence is to make yourself fraud-proof.Take some basic precautions:
The ConsumerInformation.ca contains easy-to-use links to information on fraud, including the latest scam alerts. You can customize searches to focus on the province or territory where you live, helping you find out what the government there is doing. ConsumerInformation.ca contains links to the fraud branch in each province and territory, and to the RCMP as well.
And you can help by reporting fraud to RECOL: Reporting Economic Crime On-Line or to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1 888 495-8501). It’s tough being a consumer in today’s world. Don’t make it any harder by becoming the victim of a scam. Be alert, know what to do and protect yourself by being informed.
Identity theft may sound like science fiction, but it’s a very real danger for almost all of us. It targets ordinary people, and the number of victims is soaring.
Identity theft is the use of your personal information without your knowledge or consent to commit a crime, such as fraud or theft.
The thief assumes the identity of the victim, and uses the victim’s authentic personal information to fool a bank, a business or another institution into thinking that the thief has proper access to the victim’s account or credit card.
After they steal personal information, identity thieves do all sorts of illegal things. They can go on spending sprees; open new bank accounts; divert mail; apply for loans, credit cards and social benefits; or rent apartments. Sometimes they commit even more serious crimes, which they pin on their new identity — you.
Identity thieves use many sources of information, from stealing bills you receive in the mail to taking your Social Insurance card.They have even been known to go “dumpster diving” to gain information.You can reduce the risk by following these tips:
Your identity is unique; it’s yours and yours alone. If you follow these tips, the odds are good that you’ll be able to keep it that way.
For more advice on identity theft, visit www.cmcweb.ca/idtheft
Reliable, single-window access to information on consumer topics, including fraud, health, children, food, housing, the Internet, the environment and communications. The site also carries the latest consumer news and special features.
For Canadians aged 55 and over. A one-stop information resource to access relevant information found on federal, provincial/territorial and municipal government websites.
Consumer protection remains an important part of the federal, provincial and territorial governments’ agenda. In a spirit of co-operation and to improve efficiency on the consumer front, the Consumer Measures Committee (CMC) was created under Chapter Eight of the Agreement on Internal Trade. The Consumer Measures Committee has a representative from the federal government as well as every province and territory. The CMC provides a federal–provincial–territorial forum for national co-operation to improve the marketplace for Canadian consumers, through harmonization of laws, regulations and practices and through actions to raise public awareness.