How you’re protected

Whether you’re buying an appliance, signing up for a gym membership, shopping online, or renovating your home, your transaction is likely covered by a consumer protection law.

The types of consumer complaints we can assist you with

We encourage you to file a complaint with us if you think your consumer rights have been violated to help the government enforce these laws.

Here are some of the types of consumer complaints the law covers:

The types of consumer complaints we cannot assist you with

We may not be able to help if your complaint:

  • Is based on events that occurred more than two years ago
  • Is about a business-to-business transaction
  • Focuses on the quality of a good or service beyond the basic guarantees in consumer protection legislation
  • Is seeking a form of damages or compensation other than a refund of monies already paid or the cancellation of an agreement as provided under consumer protection legislation

If your complaint is not covered by the consumer protection laws we enforce, we will do our best to help you find an organization or government office that can assist you.

Here is who to contact for help if your complaint relates to:

How to file a complaint

Here are the steps you should take to file a complaint with the ministry:

Step 1: inform the business of your complaint

You should advise the business of your complaint by letter, email, or by phone before filing a complaint with us. We recommend writing to the business before you file a complaint with us.

Make sure your letter or email includes:

  • the name of the business
  • how your rights were violated
  • if you’ve reached out to the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services

If you advise the business by phone, make sure to note the date and details of the conversation.

In some cases, you can also include one of the province’s consumer complaint notices to help get a response from certain businesses. There are complaint notices regarding:

If the business does not resolve your complaint after the business receives your letter, email, or phone call, you can file a complaint with us.

Step 2: submit a complaint to us

There is no cost involved.

When submitting a complaint online, you will also be asked to provide supporting documents. These include:

  • A copy of the letter you wrote to the business about your complaint and any response they have sent back to you
  • Your contract or any other related agreements (if applicable)
  • Copies of invoices, records of payments made and any other letters, documents and e-mails
  • Logs of calls from a collection agency (if applicable), consumer reports or any documentation relating to the original debt relevant to your complaint

Submit your complaint online

Submit your complaint on paper or by email. If you require an alternate format, please contact us.

In order to file your complaint in paper or by email, please use this PDF version of the complaint form.

Send your completed form with copies of any supporting documents by mail, fax or email to:

Ministry of Government and Consumer Services
Consumer Services Operations Division
PO Box 450
Toronto, ON M7A 2J6

Courier packages should be delivered by Canada Post or Purolator.

Email: consumer@ontario.ca
Fax: 416-326-8665

Step 3: after you submit your complaint

We will contact you by email, mail or phone within 15 business days.

Complaints will be examined on a case-by-case basis in order to determine what action, if any, should be taken. The ministry’s involvement may take the form of:

  • referring you to an organization or government office that is better suited to deal with the complaint
  • attempting to mediate a resolution between you and the business
  • educating the business about consumer protection laws and the consumer about their rights
  • administrative action against a business, if the business is licensed, registered, or appointed by the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services
  • issuing a compliance or other type of order
  • conducting an investigation into the conduct/activities of the business where appropriate
  • ongoing monitoring of the business through the consumer marketplace
  • placing the business on the Consumer Beware List if certain regulatory conditions are met.

Learn more about actions we take with respect to your complaints.

Questions about filing a complaint

If you have any questions about filing a complaint, call Consumer Protection Ontario between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday to Friday at:

Updated: September 09, 2021
Published: March 13, 2014