The Consumer Protection Act, 2002, S.O. 2002, c. 30, Sched. A, (“CPA”) allows purchasers of certain products and services a ‘cooling off’ period (a specific number of days during which a consumer can cancel an agreement without reason or penalty). This cooling off period has previously applied to:

– time share agreements;
– personal development services (fitness club contracts);
– newly-built condominiums (under the Condominium Act, 1998, S.O. 1998, c. 19); and
– pay-day loans (under the Payday Loans Act, 2008, S.O. 2008, c. 9).

Recently, the CPA has been amended to include ‘Direct Agreements’ to its list of items and services that the cooling off period applies to. Section 43(1) of the CPA states that:

43 (1) A consumer may, without any reason, cancel a direct agreement at any time from the date of entering into the agreement until 10 days after the consumer has received the written copy of the agreement. 2017, c. 5, Sched. 2, s. 15.

In addition, products and services typical of Direct Agreements can no longer be offered or sold at your home unless you initiate the transaction (for example, by calling or emailing a business and asking them to come to your home for the purpose of entering into a contract.) These restricted products and services include:

• furnaces
• air conditioners
• air cleaners
• air purifiers
• water heaters
• water treatment devices
• water purifiers
• water filters
• water softeners
• duct cleaning services

Amendments to the CPA also provide that Direct Agreements must be in writing. A Direct Agreement must include specific information about the goods or service and your rights as a consumer. If it does not, the consumer can cancel the contract within 1 year of entering into the agreement.

Additionally, the consumer can cancel the agreement, regardless of its value, up to one year after the agreement was entered into it if the business or salesperson made a false or misleading statement about the contract.

If you have signed an unlawful Direct Agreement, and would like information about your rights and remedies, please do not hesitate to contact one of the professionals at Daniel & Partners LLP.

Blog post written by Associate Lawyer, Matteson DeLuca.

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