The government wants to hear the public’s views on contract-related issues, such as warranties and cancellation rights, as well as shopping-related concerns like transparency in pricing and reward points. Potential policy solutions will be outlined at the sessions for public feedback.
Albertans who cannot attend the open houses have until Sept. 15 to complete an online survey.
“I am very pleased at the level of interest in the survey. So far, we’ve received more than 2,500 responses. I look forward to seeing this number grow and I invite Albertans to join me at some of the open houses. Your feedback is important to help us better protect consumers from unfair practices and businesses from unfair competition, and make life more affordable for all Albertans.”
The survey and open houses are gathering public input on 15 consumer topics. The most popular topics so far are the need for a Bill of Rights, ticket sales, car repairs and return policies. Other issues about marketplace fairness, such as moving services and debt-collection practices, are also generating input.
Session dates and locations:
Sept. 6, 4:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. – Edmonton, Whitemud Crossing Public Library
Sept. 7, 4:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. – Calgary, Nicholls Family Public Library
Sept. 11, 4:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. – Grande Prairie, Grande Prairie Regional College
Sept. 13, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. – Fort McMurray, Wood Buffalo Regional Library
Sept. 14, 4:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. – Red Deer, Downtown Public Library
Sept. 19, 4:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. – Medicine Hat, Medicine Hat College
The online survey and open houses are part of a consultation to make life more affordable for Albertans by improving Alberta’s consumer protection laws. The public’s input will help strengthen consumer protection and help businesses compete fairly.
Updates on the consultation are available on Twitter with #ABConsumerProtection and online at ServiceAlberta.ca.
- The survey explores these consumer topics:
- a Consumer Bill of Rights
- fairness between consumers and businesses
- door-to-door sales
- ticket sales
- talent agencies
- rewards points
- vet services
- high-cost credit
- debt collection
- automotive sector
- household moving
- cancellation and contract rights
- gift cards
- truth in pricing
- Albertans can fill out one or all 15 sections of the survey.
- As part of the efforts to strengthen consumer protection and ensure a level playing field for Alberta businesses, the government has already taken the following steps:
- Payday lending: Stopped 600 per cent predatory interest rates on payday loans to prevent Albertans from spiralling into poverty. Alberta now has the country’s strongest protections and lowest interest rates for borrowers.
- Door-to-door sales: Prohibited misleading, aggressive sales tactics by banning door-to-door sales of energy products and services, including furnaces, hot water tanks, air conditioners, windows, energy audits and electricity and natural gas contracts.
- Electricity price cap: Introduced a price cap to make life more affordable and ensure electricity bills are fair.
- New home buyer protection: Introduced a builder licensing framework to protect consumers as well as the reputation of good builders.
- Service Alberta investigates potential violations of consumer protection laws, reviews complaints for transactions between businesses and consumers and takes enforcement action where legislative breaches have occurred.
- The Fair Trading Act is the primary legislation that ensures transactions between businesses and consumers are conducted fairly.