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Consumer Laws. The Customer IS NOT always right. The Acts. There are several Acts governing consumer purchasing. The three you need to know for this course are: Sale of Goods Act, Competition Act, and Fair Trading Act. It must also be noted that contract law is in effect with purchases .

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Consumer Laws

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consumer laws

Consumer Laws

The Customer IS NOT always right

the acts
The Acts
  • There are several Acts governing consumer purchasing.
  • The three you need to know for this course are: Sale of Goods Act, Competition Act, and Fair Trading Act.
  • It must also be noted that contract law is in effect with purchases.


sale of goods act
Sale of Goods Act
  • Basically protects buyers from any sale of a faulty item and protects sellers from buyers who want to return anything and everything.
  • Here is an interesting case study
  • And here is the actual act in case you need it for further research

competition act
Competition Act
  • The purpose of this act is to provide an environment that encourages the success of many different types of businesses (i.e. small business, local business, transnational companies)
  • It also assures competitive prices for the consumer
  • Prevents unfair work and business practices (i.e. prevents monopolies, undercutting, and forced sale of small business)
  • To view the actual act, check out this link.

fair trading act
Fair Trading Act
  • “The Fair Trading Act protects consumers from unfair business practices before, during or after a consumer transaction. The legislation applies if:

a. the consumer or supplier lives in Alberta

b. the offer or acceptance is made in or sent from Alberta

c. the unfair practice is made or received in Alberta and involves a supplier’s representative.

  • An unfair practice may occur even if a consumer transaction was not entered into or concluded”.
  • Here is a handy tip sheet on this act
  • Information provided by Service Alberta.
a purchase is a contract
A Purchase is a Contract
  • Buyer Beware: read all parts of a contract carefully before signing…look for the term “as is”.
  • Warrantees and Guarantees: read them carefully…there is ALWAYS exclusions and you must know what they are.
  • Returns: read carefully…stores can set their own return policy; however, they must take something back (with proof of purchase) if it cannot be used for its intended purpose
  • Deposits: money holds an item…read carefully…if deposit is returned, there is often no consequences if the seller does not end up selling the product.
  • Minor’s are not allowed to sign contracts in most cases; however, if they lie about age or identity, the minor, not the business owner, is held responsible.


in the absence of cash
In the Absence of Cash
  • If you choose to obtain credit to purchase an item, make sure you can pay the money back in the agreed time.
  • If you default on a loan there are a few things that may happen:
  • Bankruptcy: when one cannot pay her/his debt, she/he can apply for bankruptcy. Absolves all debt. HOWEVER: you lose all possessions except for your home furnishings, clothes, an inexpensive car, and a mortgaged house. You may also not be able to work at certain jobs for up to seven years.
  • Foreclosure: When you are unable to pay your mortgage, the mortgagee may force you into foreclosure and you lose your house and equity
  • Repossession: When a debt for an item is not paid (i.e. car), it can be repossessed by the “owner” who loaned the money.
when a company is wrong
When a Company is Wrong
  • If a person feels they have been “ripped off”, there are many options:
  • Small claims court: can be used to settle most disputes involving less than $25000 without a lawyer. For more info, go here.
  • File a complaint with the Better Business Bureau or Service Alberta
  • Check and see if you were covered by insurance
  • Comment on consumer review websites
  • For information for youth, check out this handy dandy thing 