Home Renovator Convicted Under Consumer Protection Act



    Charlesworth Carter Of C.K. Carter Kitchen And Bath Sentenced In Whitby

    QUEEN'S PARK, Sept. 2 /CNW/ - A home renovator was sentenced recently to
35 days in jail after being convicted on three charges under Ontario's
Consumer Protection Act.
    A consumer signed a direct sales agreement with Charlesworth Carter of
C.K. Carter Kitchen and Bath in January 2006 to have renovations performed at
her home. The consumer agreed to, and paid, a 50 per cent deposit to Carter in
the form of a personal cheque for $5,781.00. Minimal work was performed before
Carter eventually abandoned the project. The consumer then exercised her right
to cancel the agreement under the Act.
    "We want Ontario consumers to know that the Consumer Protection Act has
real impact when it comes to protecting Ontarians from unscrupulous business
practices," said Gerry Phillips, Minister of Government Services.
    The contract provided by Carter was not in compliance with disclosure
requirements under the Act, and did not include notice of the consumer's right
to cancel the agreement within 30 days due to late delivery or performance.
Under the Consumer Protection Act, all direct sales agreements must:

    
    -   be made in writing, signed and delivered to the consumer, and must
        comply with disclosure requirements;
    -   specify the consumer's right to cancel the contract within 30 days
        due to late delivery or performance; and
    -   inform the consumer of their right to cancel the agreement within
        30 days, even when no delivery or performance date is specified.
    

    In addition to the 35-day jail term, Carter is also subject to 12 months
probation with a condition that he pay $6,000.00 restitution to the consumer.
A fine of $1,000.00 was imposed for having committed an unfair business
practice and a fine of $500.00 was also imposed for failure to deliver a valid
contract.
    "It's very important for businesses to include all necessary disclosures
in the agreements they draw up, and we want consumers to better understand
what they need to see before they sign on the dotted line," said Phillips.
    Anyone with knowledge of or information about the use of unfair business
practices in Ontario should call the Consumer Protection Services Bureau
toll-free at 1-800-889-9768.


    
    Disponible en français

                              www.mgs.gov.on.ca


    Backgrounder
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

                  CHARGES AND CONVICTIONS THROUGH ONTARIO'S
                         CONSUMER PROTECTION BRANCH
    

    The Consumer Protection Branch of Ontario's Ministry of Government 
Services investigates unfair business practices and often brings charges
against suspect businesses throughout the province.
    Operating with authority created under the Consumer Protection Act 2002,
the branch has made significant contributions to over 760 successful
convictions within the last four years. These convictions, sought through
Ontario's provincial offences courts, are pursued according to several guiding
principles that form the basis of all branch investigations:

    
    -   marketplace fairness;
    -   reliable disclosure;
    -   fair value to consumers; and
    -   a regulatory environment that is responsive to the needs of
        businesses and consumers.

    Engaging in unfair business practices is prohibited in Ontario. The
Consumer Protection Act contains 92 separate sections under its regulations
covering issues relevant to consumer agreements, including, but not limited
to:

    -   disclosures in various types of agreements;
    -   cancellation rights;
    -   timelines for receiving and issuing refunds;
    -   monetary threshold for agreements;
    -   calculation of annual percentage rates inside credit agreements; and
    -   public record/disclosure of information.
    

    The Consumer Protection Branch posts information regarding
consumer-related charges and convictions online at
www.ontario.ca/consumerprotection. The Consumer Beware List, also posted
online, is a public record database containing a comprehensive collection of
operators and businesses in Ontario who are known to employ unfair business
practices.
    Anyone with knowledge of or information about the use of unfair business
practices in Ontario should call the Consumer Protection Services Bureau
toll-free at 1-800-889-9768.

    
    Disponible en français

                              www.mgs.gov.on.ca
    





For further information:

For further information: Paul de Zara, Minister's Office, Office: (416)
327-3072, Cell: (647) 388-9671; Ciaran Ganley, Communications Branch, (416)
325-8659

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