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Survey: strengthening consumer protection in Ontario

Share your feedback to help us improve the rules under Ontario’s Consumer Protection Act.

Closing Date: June 30, 2020

Section 1: consumer experience during coronavirus (COVID-19)

1. As most retail store locations have shut down due to the COVID-19 emergency, there has been an increase in e-commerce and curb-side or in-store pickup options. Have you increased your use of any of these shopping methods since the COVID-19 pandemic?
1a. Will you continue to use these shopping methods more often after the COVID-19 pandemic ends?
2. The government announced an emergency order to combat price gouging during COVID-19. Price gouging is a price that grossly exceeds the price at which similar goods are available to consumers. Have you experienced price gouging during the COVID-19 state of emergency?
2a. What was the product?
2b. What type of business was selling the product?
2c. Did you file a complaint with the government (for example, did you report the issue online through the price-gouging web form or report by it by phone?)
4. Have you been affected by other consumer issues that may have arisen during this emergency?

Section 2: Consumer Protection Act

1. Are you aware of Ontario’s consumer protection rules? Select one. *
2. What best describes your attitude towards how Ontario should address consumer protection rules? Select one. *
3. Do you think it is important that Ontario provides consumers with information about their rights and responsibilities? Select one. *
4. Do you think consumers are sufficiently educated on consumer protection laws in Ontario? Select one. *
5. What is your main source of information for consumer protection issues (for example, frauds, scams or consumer protection laws)? Select one. *
6. Are you aware of the Consumer Beware List? Select one. *
7. Have you ever filed a consumer protection complaint with Consumer Protection Ontario or the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services? Select one. *
Were you satisfied with the outcome? Select one.
Did you feel the process to file a complaint was easy to navigate? Select one.

Section 3: consumer experience (general)

1. Have you had a serious problem with a product or service you purchased, rented or subscribed to? Select one. *

We’d like to learn more about the problem you’ve had with a product or service you purchased, rented or subscribed to.

2. What category was the product or service? Select one.
3. When did the incident occur? Select one.
4. How did you purchase the product or service? Select one.
What type of product did you use to make your purchase? Select one.
5. What type of purchase was it? Select one.
How much did you pay for the product or service? Select one.
6. What was the problem? Select all that apply.
7. What did you do about your issue? Select all that apply.
What stopped you from acting on the issue? Select one.
What was the outcome? Select all that apply.
Were you satisfied with the outcome? Select one.

Section 4: specific industries

Towing
1. Have you experienced issues with the towing industry?
2. Should there be additional oversight on towing and storage businesses in Ontario?
3. Should there be mandatory training and licensing for tow truck operators?
4. Should Ontario use rate caps for towing and storage services?
Payday lending or alternative financial services
1. Have you ever accessed a financial product or service (for example, payday loan, line of credit, installment loan or any alternative financial service) from a business other than a bank, credit union, insurer or investment firm?
2. Do you have a clear understanding of the differences among the various products and services offered by non-traditional credit providers? These include payday loans, instalment loans and rent-to-own agreements.
4. Should payday loans and alternative financial services be used to help people improve their credit scores?
Timeshare agreements
1. Have you or anyone you know experienced an issue with a timeshare company in Ontario?
2. Should timeshare agreements always include a way for the consumer to give back the time share or end their obligations?
3. Have you worked with a timeshare exit company?
4. Should time share agreements include provisions that allow purchasers to opt-out of the agreement after some time?
Consumer contracts
2. Are you aware of the types of consumer purchases of goods and services that are covered under the Consumer Protection Act?
5. Have you ever purchased a product from a door-to-door seller?

Section 5: personal data

Companies must follow certain rules regarding how they collect, use and disclose the personal information that individuals share in order to receive goods and services.

1. Currently in Ontario, rules around how companies process personal information are governed by a federal law, the Personal Information and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA). Is it important that Ontario create its own law for protecting personal information?
2. Is privacy and the way companies manage personal information an important issue to you?
3. Do you understand current privacy issues and rules for companies in Canada?
4. Do you trust companies to manage your personal information in accordance with privacy laws and principles?
5. Are the laws that currently exist within Canada doing an adequate job in protecting your personal information?
6. From the list below, please select on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 meaning not important at all and 5 meaning very important, whether it is important that Ontario enact legislation with new privacy rules that are similar to other jurisdictions:
Not important at all (1)Not important (2)Neutral (3)Important (4)Very important (5)
Right to data portability: upon request, businesses would be required to provide customers with their personal information in an accessible and open format to allow for the customer to use that data with a different company.
Enhanced consent: businesses would be required to obtain consent for each use and disclosure of personal information. Consent must be unambiguous and given freely. Businesses would not be able to require individuals to consent to certain personal information practices in order to receive a good or service.
Enhanced transparency: rules requiring businesses to provide plain, clear and understandable language to customers about how they collect, use and disclose personal information.
Right to erasure: businesses would be required to delete or destroy any personal information about an individual upon request (and subject to certain legal limitations).
Stronger enforcement powers: larger fines for businesses that do not follow privacy rules. In order to enforce privacy laws, an oversight body would have powers to levy fines to businesses that do not follow privacy rules.
Rules related to anonymized, de-identified and derived data: provide clear rules for how companies can and cannot use data about customers that has been de-identified or anonymized and data that is derived from customer data.

Section 6: demographic information

Please tell us about yourself:
1. Please select your age.
2. Please select your approximate household income (before taxes).
3. Please tell us the language you speak most often at home:
4. What is the highest level of education that you have completed? Select one.

Your privacy matters

We are requesting your feedback in order to help us improve the Consumer Protection Act.

This feedback will be used by the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services to help strengthen consumer protection in Ontario. Your responses will not be identified, however your feedback may be used in a summary report about this survey.

We will also ask you for some demographic information to help us better understand and interpret your responses.

If you provide your email address, it will not be associated with your feedback and will only be used to update you on this survey and notify you about future consultations. Your email address will not be placed on mailing lists or released to any third party, except as may be authorized by law.

For questions on how information collected on this page will be used, please contact us:

Manager of Consumer Business and Policy Unit
Ministry of Government and Consumer Services
Consumer Policy and Liaison Branch
56 Wellesley St. West
Toronto, Ontario
M5S 2S3
(416) 326-8860

Consumerpolicy@ontario.ca