What is Consumer Protection?
Wikipedia states that the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada is an independent government agency of the Government of Canada. FCAC, which was created in 2001, provides consumer information and oversees financial institutions to ensure that they comply with federal consumer protection measures.
The Agency investigates cases of non-compliance with Canadian consumer protection legislation. It also provides financial tools and information for consumers, including a comprehensive comparison of credit cards, bank accounts types, and mortgages available to Canadians. In the same manner, financial education information is provided for teachers and students.
What is the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act?
This Act was accorded royal assent on December 15, 2010 and is now a law in Canada. The Act provides for the following:
o prohibits the manufacture, importation, advertisement or sale of any consumer products that pose an unreasonable danger to human health or safety;
o requires industry to report serious incidents or deaths related to a consumer product and to provide the government with information about product safety issues;
o requires manufacturers or importers to provide test/study results on products when asked;
o allows Canada's minister of health to order recalls of consumer products; and
o Imposes significant fines and penalties for non-compliance with the Act.
What are the Legal Aspects of Consumer Protection?
Consumer protection has its own separate branch in Canada which has been established to help the people understand Canada’s consumer protection legislation. It gives the right information to the customers and accepts complaints at the same time. It also mediates written complaints between consumers and businesses. This is a very vital institution which was started by the government.
The Consumer Protection Legislation provides information on the acts that are designed to protect your rights as a consumer such as:
• Business Practices Act - Statute
• Consumer Protection Act - Statute
• Sale of Goods Act - Statute
• Motor Vehicle Repairs Act - Statute
This department also involves inspection, investigation and enforcement. In case of inspection the department has its own inspectors who visit the business firms. They make sure that they are following the government rules and are doing nothing illegal. They have to make sure that they are following consumer laws in the corresponding sectors. These sectors generally include cemeteries, motor vehicle repairs, health clubs and collection agencies. If any of the consumer laws have been broken then the consumer protection department investigates.
It basically tries to create an atmosphere where both the customers and the business people can coexist and live together peacefully. The market place should be profitable to both the sides of the population. This can be done by following the rules and regulations laid down by the consumer protection department
Violators would be prosecuted under the name of the law. If any consumers complain against any of the companies then they have to investigate to find out whether the complaint is legitimate or not. In case the complaint is valid then the company would be charged and penalized. In case the company or firm is not guilty then the consumers would be blamed.
How should Consumers React to these Legislation?
When the government people investigate and they find people guilty then they enforce the laws upon them. They force them to follow the rules and regulations written down by the government. Enforcement is part of their job. Their main agenda at the ministry is to promote a fair, safe and informed marketplace. They want their consumers to know about their rights and they should be aware of the rules and regulations. They want to promote knowledge and information to the general public of Canada. Every country has its own department which has its own rules and regulations. This ministry imposes it on the business firms. They make sure that the public is aware of their rights. They have a right to right to sue or complain if they think they are being cheated or the products are not up to the standards or any such grievances.
The Essence of Consumer Protection
Consumers should be protected. Important legislation acts see the standard of protection given to the consumers. These acts protect the rights given to consumers by setting ground rules and monitoring consumer transactions. The general public should be aware of these legislation acts. They monitor most of the transactions happening in the major market places. The government tries to impart awareness among the public through various means. This includes the internet, imparting knowledge in schools, colleges and other such educational institutions. A list of all the rules and regulations which are to be followed by the consumers and the producers is given.