Purchasing goods and services is part of people's daily life. Purchases can range from everyday things like buying groceries or getting your car serviced to renovating your home or purchasing major appliances. We often don't give these transactions much thought, but in the marketplace knowledge is power. Knowing your rights as a consumer can prevent things from going wrong in the first place and can help you get things back on track if they do go wrong.
The Financial and Consumer Affairs Authority has information about a wide range of consumer rights and protections.
With the global Covid-19 pandemic, fraudsters and scam artists are seeing an opportunity to take advantage of unsuspecting consumers. From fake texts about deposits related to government programs to calls pretending to gather information for Covid-19 research or contact tracing, consumers may be particularly vulnerable during this challenging period. As new scams are appearing daily, it is important for consumers to be especially alert and stay informed about new developments.
Reliable information is available from services such as the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada, or your financial institution. If you think you may have been a victim of fraud or you become aware of a scam you can use the Fraud Reporting System.
The best time to prevent problems is before they happen. Knowing your rights and options as a consumer can prevent costly mistakes.
Most of us enter into many contracts for purchase every day. This happens when we park in a paid parking lot, buy a cup of coffee or fill up our car. We might also enter into more formal contracts, for example an agreement to renovate a house. It is important for consumers to understand how these contracts are made and when and if they can be changed.
In Saskatchewan consumer purchases come with some basic warranties that are set out in the law. These apply to consumer purchases regardless of whether the manufacturer or seller also provides a warranty. Additional warranties and verbal or oral promises made at the time of purchase can provide extra protection for consumers.
Deciding on a vehicle is a big decision. Knowing your legal rights and obligations can help you make a good decision.
Products and services do not always live up to our expectations. Sometimes people have a clear legal remedy. Other times they may be relying on the business's good will. In any case knowing your rights and some tips for effective complaining can help you resolve problems.