Information for consumers

Resolve a problem or complaint

You may be looking for a simple exchange or a refund for your latest purchase. Or, you may have lost a few thousand dollars through a deposit for the work that was never done. Consumer issues span a vast variety of unique problems. Some can be solved almost instantly, and some involve extensive investigations. Regardless of the circumstances, you have the right to protect your interests and take action if you have been treated unfairly.

When you’re faced with a problem, here are the steps you can take:

  • Go back to the business – discuss the issue with the business that provided the goods or services. Be specific about your request, and make sure to get clear explanations as to how your request will be handled. It is best to start this process privately, and give business an opportunity to address the problem.
  • Contact your local Better Business Bureau – if a business you are dealing with has Better Business Bureau accreditation, you can file a complaint with Better Business Bureau. This organization may then mediate to get an action from the business to address your problem.
  • Contact a professional or industry association – if a business is part of a regulated profession (e.g., veterinarians, real estate agents, electrical contractors, etc.), business or industry association, contact the relevant organization and ask about options to resolve the matter.
  • File a complaint with Consumer Investigations Unit – if there’s no remedy from dealing with the business, you can submit an official consumer complaint. All complaints are assessed on a case by case basis to determine an appropriate course of action to address the issue. Anonymous complaints are not accepted.
  • Pursue a civil action – if you have a claim that’s under $50,000, you can file a civil action at the provincial court.

If you have issues such as gas bill charges or energy contracts, contact the Utilities Consumer Advocate for help in resolving disputes with your utility provider.