Stutz, Brown and Self Barristers and Solicitors Law Firm Orangeville Ontario
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Contact Us:

Robert K. Brown, B.A.(Hons), LL.B.
Jason A. Self, B.A.(Hons), LL.B.
Stephen J. C. Christie, B.A., LL.B., J.D.
Carey A. Allen, B.B.A. (Hons), B.A., J.D.

Orangeville Location

269 Broadway
Telephone: 519.941.7500
Fax: 519.941.8381
L9W 1K8


Shelburne Location

219 First Ave. East, Unit 2
Telephone: 226.259.7500
Fax: 519.306.2200
L9V 3J9

Office Hours:


9:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday to Friday

News >> We are very excited to announce the opening
of our new office in Shelburne, Ontario!

more >> Voted 2014 Best Law Firm by readers of the Orangeville Banner.

Orangeville Location

Shelburne Location

News

August 27th, 2014

We are very excited to announce the opening of our new office in Shelburne, Ontario

We are located at 219 First Ave. East, Unit 2. The office offers a full range of legal services and will feature full time staff and lawyers. Look for the new office to open in early September and we look forward to becoming a proud new member of the Shelburne community.


July 31st, 2014

Thanks to all who voted! 2nd year in a row we have been
Voted "Best Law Firm" in Dufferin County by readers of the Orangeville Banner!

SBS Law We have been Voted Best Law Firm in Dufferin County by readers of the Orangeville Banner

The lawyers and staff at Stutz Brown & Self are very pleased to have been voted "Best Law Firm" by the readers of the The Orangeville Banner. We take this opportunity to thank our loyal clients for the confidence and trust they have placed in us for over 36 years. We take pride in providing our clients with highly skilled, timely and cost effective legal services in the areas of Civil, Commercial and Estate Litigation, Injury Claims, Municipal and Planning Law, Real Estate, Corporate and Commercial Law and Wills and Estates.


Follow us on Twitter @SBSLaw for up to date news with our firm.

Follow SBS Law On Twitter

August 15th, 2013

We have been Voted 2013 Readers choice "Best Law Firm" in Dufferin County by readers of the Orangeville Banner!


July 1st, 2012

We are pleased to announce that Carey A. Allen is joining Stutz Brown & Self as an associate lawyer.

Carey A. Allen

Carey brings with her experience in many fields of law which will make her an asset to our firm. Carey also brings with her an intimate knowledge of the local community that only a lifetime spent as an Orangeville resident can provide. Carey is available for appointments now!


Legal Links

 
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Courts and Legislation

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Ministry of Consumer & Business Services

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A list of websites related to local government.

 
Office of the Commissioner for Federal Judicial Affairs Canada

Town of Orangeville

Town of Orangeville, Ontario, Canada Home Page

 

The Advisor Newsletter

Consumer Protection in Ontario (2005)

By Jason A. Self, February, 2005.

On July 30, 2005, the long-awaited regulation under the Consumer Protection Act, 2002 (the "Act") will come into force. Presumably, this also means that the still unproclaimed Act will take effect on the same day. The Act is an extensive overhaul of the prior consumer protection legislation in Ontario and represents the legislative objective of providing increased protection to consumers from shoddy products and unscrupulous sellers. The purpose of this newsletter will be to provide a brief and general overview of what every consumer in the province should know about this complex statute.

Application of the Act

Perhaps one of the most often confused aspects of consumer protection legislation generally is to what transactions the legislation applies. To put it somewhat simplistically, the Act applies to most transactions, in the form of written or oral agreements, where either the consumer or the seller is located in Ontario when the transaction takes place.

The key to the application is that "Consumer" is a defined term within the Act. A Consumer is defined as a person who acts for personal, family or household purposes and does not include someone who acts for business purposes. Therefore, a person who purchases a lawnmower to cut the grass at their residential home is a Consumer and the Act would apply to the purchase. On the other hand, a landscaper who purchases a lawnmower for their business is not considered a Consumer under the Act, and therefore, the Act would not apply.

One should also note that there are specific types of transactions that are excluded from the scope of the Act. Although seemingly redundant because these transactions would not involve a Consumer as defined by the Act, one notable exclusion are transactions for the purchase, sale or lease of real property (i.e. land).

Implied Warranties

If a purchaser is a Consumer as defined by the Act, they will now enjoy a series of implied warranties that will apply to the product purchased. As these warranties are implied, there is no need for them to be written or even discussed. In addition, the Act specifically prohibits the waiver of any rights that are provided by the Act. The result is that the implied warranties apply to all transactions to which the Act applies.

When contracting for services, the Act warrants that the services supplied shall be of a reasonably acceptable quality. For example, if a Consumer has contracted to have a new counter-top installed in her kitchen, there will be an implied warranty that the counter-top will be installed in a proper manner to a standard that can be reasonably expected. It should be pointed out that the term "reasonably acceptable quality" is not defined in the Act and, as a result, will be defined by the courts.

When contracting for goods, the Act also sets out certain implied warranties that apply in all cases. The Act provides that all of the implied warranties contained in the Sale of Goods Act apply to transactions for goods to which the Act applies. Again at the risk of over-simplification, in practical terms this means that the goods purchased will be fit for the purpose in which they were purchased.

In some cases, the purpose will be presumed. For example, a new camera will have the implied warranty that it will take a good and clear picture of reasonable quality. In other cases, the purpose may be defined by the factors surrounding the transaction. For example, if a Consumer informs a saleswoman that he requires a new part for his 1995 Honda Accord, there will be an implied warranty that the part he is provided will be one of reasonable quality that is able to be used in that particular model of car. To be sure, if a seller represents that a product will be adequate for a specific purpose, then there is an implied warranty that the product will be fit for that defined purpose.

Unfair Practices

In addition to providing the Consumer with guaranteed warranties, the second primary objective of the Act is to address the sales practices of unscrupulous sellers (termed by the Act as "unfair practices"). In short, this part of the Act prohibits a seller from making any false, misleading or deceptive representations. The Act goes on to provide specific examples of unfair practices. The duty not to engage in unfair practices can generally be summed up as a duty to act in good faith and be truthful. Therefore, if the salesman tells you that the used car had only one owner who was 83 and only drove the car to the store on weekends, and this turns out not to be true, then this is an unfair practice.

Interestingly, the Act also prohibits what it calls "unconscionable representations" and goes on to provide specific examples. It would seem that some of the examples could also be defined as unfair practices but there also appears to be at least a minimal duty on the seller to look out for the best interests of the Consumer. It will be interesting to see how this section will be utilized by consumers and the courts.

Specific Types of Agreements

It should be noted that the Act provides for specific rules that apply to specific types of agreements. The specific agreements addressed are time share agreements, personal development services, Internet agreements, direct agreements and remote agreements.

While a discussion of each of these specific types of transactions is beyond the scope of this discussion, a few general comments can be made. Generally, the Act provides for specific notice requirements to be abided by when dealing in these specific types of agreements. In addition, some of these specific transactions come with an implied "cooling-off" period whereby the purchaser may be entitled to unilaterally walk away from the contract within the prescribed time frame. When dealing with Internet transactions, the seller is now obliged to provide the consumer with complete disclosure of the agreement as well as a copy of the actual agreement. Provision of the agreement can be made by email, fax or ordinary mail. Performance must also be completed within a prescribed time frame or the consumer may obtain the right to rescind the contract.

In addition to the categories set out above, the Act deals with repairs to motor vehicles, credit agreements and leasing, all in separate Parts of the Act. Consumers should be aware of the categories of specific agreements that are addressed so that they understand that they may be entitled to additional rights as provided by the Act. Specific discussion of how the Act deals with transactions for the repair of motor vehicles warrants specific comment as consumers may find these provisions to be particularly empowering when dealing with an industry that has a less than unblemished track record.

Repairs

The Act has specific provisions dealing with repairs to motor vehicles and "other goods". It appears, however, that at this point, the Act will only apply to repairs on motor vehicles. The Act ensures that estimates for repair work will be accurate and that the actual cost will not exceed 10% of the estimated cost. The Act also provides that the Consumer must make written authorization of any work to be performed and can require that the parts replaced in the vehicle be returned to the Consumer.

Finally, the Act provides the implied warranty that each new or reconditioned part installed in a vehicle and the installation itself shall be warrantied for a minimum of 90 days or 5,000 kilometres, whichever comes first. What is not clear is if the general implied warranty of fitness for purpose could act to increase the prescribed minimum warranty period on vehicle repairs.

Remedies Available

Practically speaking, if a Consumer purchases a good or service in a transaction to which the Act applies, and the good or service does not conform to an implied warranty, the primary remedy for the Consumer would be to demand replacement of the good, re-performance of the service or a refund of their money. If a Consumer is the victim of an unfair practice, the Act provides the authority to the Consumer to rescind the agreement.

If there is a deficient repair made to a vehicle, the Consumer can demand that the deficiency be remedied. If the vehicle is unsafe to return to the original repairer, the Consumer may have another shop perform the repair and demand reimbursement of those reasonable costs of the repair and of the towing of the vehicle.

The court also has the authority to award exemplary or punitive damages in addition to any other remedy. This would imply that these types of damages could be awarded in any transaction to which the Act applies. The courts, however, would likely reserve these types of damages for the most egregious of conduct.

Summary

In summary, if you are a purchaser feels that you have not received the service or quality product you thought you would be getting, you should ask yourself the following questions:

1. Are you a Consumer? In other words, were you purchasing for personal, family or household purposes?

2. Did you receive poor service or shoddy merchandise? Was the product you bought not able to do the job it was supposed to do?

3. Were you the victim of unfair practice? Did the seller tell you something you found out to be false? Did the seller make a promise that was not kept?

 
 
 
 

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