How do I complain to the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services?

4. Get a response from the Ministry

The Ministry of Government and Consumer Services will review your complaint. They may:

  • refer you to an organization or government office that might be better able to help you
  • help you and the business reach an agreement through
  • educate you and the business about the rules and laws that must be followed
  • make a compliance order that tells the business to stop giving out materials that are not true, or to correct the information in the materials
  • investigate your complaint
  • take the business to court
  • add the business to the Consumer Beware list
  • suggest that you sue the business in small claims court

The steps the Ministry takes depends on the facts and evidence in your case.

If the Ministry does not think that you have a valid complaint and that the business has not broken any of the consumer protection rules and laws, they may not help you.

If the business broke a law and you're asking them to refund less than $500, the Ministry might suggest you sue the business in small claims court. They will help you understand what you need to do.

If you're asking for a refund that is $500 or more, or there are many complaints about the business, the Ministry may mediate or investigate the complaint.

Mediation is usually tried for less serious complaints. It involves you and the business working with a Ministry mediator to reach an agreement that follows the rules.

For more serious complaints, the Ministry may investigate. The Ministry can take the business to court for breaking a law in the Consumer Protection Act. You might be a called as a witness. If the business is found guilty, they might get a fine, be sent to jail, or both. In some cases, they might also be ordered to pay you some money as restitution.

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