Ministry responsible: Service Alberta
Consumer protection laws, under the Fair Trading Act, help protect consumers from unfair practices and businesses from unfair competition. Consumers expect protections when they buy household goods and services or sign contracts. Businesses expect a level playing field so they can compete on equal footing, and are not undermined by the bad players.
The purpose of the consultation is to understand the changes needed to keep consumer protection laws in line with marketplace trends and to fix some problem areas we often hear complaints about. The goal is to ensure consumer laws and regulations are effective and enforceable so that consumers and businesses have confidence in Alberta's marketplace.
Public and stakeholder engagement
The consultation is focused on gauging Albertans' general understanding of consumer rights and responsibilities, as well as level of interest and support for potential regulatory changes.
15 key areas are being explored, including:
- a Consumer Bill of Rights
- fairness between consumers and businesses
- door-to-door sales
- high cost credit products
- automotive sector issues
- cancellation rights
- household moving services
- talent agencies
- ticket sales
- gift cards
- reward points
- truth in pricing
- veterinary services billing
- debt collection
Out-of-scope topics include:
- issues under federal jurisdiction such as wireless services, air transportation services, product safety, food safety, product packaging and labelling, etc.
- issues related to condominium regulations as this will be addressed through a separate consultation process
- issues related to residential tenancies as the related regulations have recently been updated and a dispute resolution mechanism is available to tenants and landlords.
Albertans - consumers, businesses and stakeholders - are invited to provide input on what's important in today's marketplace through an online survey, open houses or round tables.
The online survey runs until September 15. It will take 15-20 minutes to complete. Your input will be kept anonymous and will help inform any legislative changes.
Sessions will be held in Calgary, Edmonton, Fort McMurray, Grande Prairie, Lethbridge and Red Deer in mid-September. Dates and times will be announced soon.
Community organizations and businesses will be invited to participate in round tables to ensure they have an opportunity to share their diverse perspectives.
The outcomes of this consultation and related legislative changes will help improve fairness in Alberta's marketplace for both consumers and businesses. Related legislative changes are expected to be brought forward for consideration during the fall 2017 legislative session.
For information or questions about the consultation or consumer protection, call the Consumer Contact Centre at 1-877-427-4088 (toll-free)
Help strengthen Alberta's consumer protection laws (July 27, 2017)