New Ontario Consumer Protection Legislation for Online Agreements

10 Apr ’05

On July 30 new consumer protection provisions that apply to online agreements will come into force in Ontario.

Subject to specified exceptions, these provisions apply to purchases over $50 and include disclosure requirements that require merchants to provide specified disclosure (including a fair and accurate description of goods and services, prices, extra charges, important terms of the sale such as refund and return, etc.). Consumers must be provided an opportunity to accept, reject or correct the agreement and must receive a copy of the agreement (by email is permitted, but the provisions appear to require that the entire agreement be emailed, not just a link to an online copy of the agreement). Failure to comply can result in the consumer’s right to terminate the agreement.

The new provisions also affect the amendment of online agreements – unilateral amendment by the merchant is permitted, provided the original agreement permits unilateral amendment, the consumer is given at least 30 days prior notice of the amendment with prescribed disclosure and the original agreement gives the consumer at least one of the options of terminating the agreement or retaining the existing agreement.

Other provisions and further details generally are described in the statute and the regulations.

Previous post:

Next post: