Moving company fined $7,500 for deceiving consumers

VICTORIA, Dec. 8, 2016 /CNW/ - The Canadian moving company Coronation Van Lines (2013) Inc. (doing business as Canadian Van Lines) is facing a series of penalties, following a Consumer Protection BC investigation.

"Through our investigation, we found Canadian Van Lines had engaged in deceptive business practices and we feel it's important for consumers to know," says Tatiana Chabeaux-Smith, spokesperson for Consumer Protection BC. "Not only was this company knowingly – and repeatedly – making false pickup and delivery promises to customers, but it also refused to issue required refunds, used non-compliant contracts, misrepresented its business location and failed to provide our inspector with required information."

As a result, Consumer Protection BC issued a $7,500 administrative penalty to James Mahama (who also goes by the names James Johnson, Stephen Hume and James May) and Bakari Gregorio Usseni (also known as Greg Davis) for engaging in deceptive acts or practices under the Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act and for not providing required information to an inspector. Consumer Protection BC also ordered the company to immediately comply with BC's consumer protection laws and pay $1,500 in inspection costs.

"Through calculated investigation work, we were able to facilitate nearly $5,100 in consumer refunds," says Chabeaux-Smith.

"It had been two weeks since my belongings were supposed to be delivered and I was tired of hearing every excuse in the book," says Christian Seon, an Alberta resident who hired Canadian Van Lines to help him move from Manitoba in May 2015. "I finally learned my items had been left in a Saskatoon storage locker – not only had I lost nearly $2,100, but I now had to hire a new moving company. My advice to others? Do your research: ask your friends and loved ones, and really be aware of who you're hiring."

Canada's moving industry is unregulated; however, Consumer Protection BC opened an investigation based on specific sections of the Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act (deceptive acts or practices and contract requirements and cancellation rights). Consumers who feel they are owed money by Canadian Van Lines have the option to pursue a judgement though their provincial small claims court.

To read Consumer Protection BC's compliance order and notice of administrative penalty in full, visit www.consumerprotectionbc.ca. All money received from administrative penalties is deposited into the Consumer Advancement Fund (as required by section 169 of the Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act).

For a video statement from Consumer Protection BC about this investigation, please click here

A backgrounder on deceptive acts or practices in BC can be accessed on Consumer Protection BC's website, www.consumerprotectionbc.ca. Recent enforcement actions are published on Consumer Protection BC's corporate website, at www.consumerprotectionbc.ca.

Please note: Canadian Van Lines should not be confused with the similarly-named moving company Great Canadian Van Lines.

About the Consumer Advancement Fund:
The fund is administered by Consumer Protection BC and is a designated statutory fund that can only be used for the purposes of educating consumers and suppliers about any matters relating to the Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act (BPCP Act) or the Cremation, Interment and Funeral Services Act, or for the purpose of increasing compliance with those Acts. Click here to view the section of the law that speaks to the consumer advancement fund. 

About Consumer Protection BC:
Consumer Protection BC is the regulator of a variety of industries and specific consumer transactions in the province. Our mandate is to license and inspect our regulated businesses, respond to consumer inquiries, investigate alleged violations of consumer protection laws, classify all general release motion pictures and provide information so consumers can self-assess the fairness of a transaction. Our vision is a province where all citizens of BC are empowered in their transactions as a result of rigorous and consistent business compliance and through the provision of solution-based information.

For more information about our organization, please visit Consumer Protection BC's corporate website at www.consumerprotectionbc.ca. You can also follow Consumer Protection BC on Twitter @ConsumerProBC, like us on Facebook and read our blog for valuable consumer tips and resources.

SOURCE Consumer Protection BC

Video with caption: "Tatiana Chabeaux-Smith, spokesperson for Consumer Protection BC, talks about a recent investigation into the business practices of Canadian Van Lines.". Video available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8WBrW8xwBPE

Image with caption: "Tatiana Chabeaux-Smith, spokesperson for Consumer Protection BC. (CNW Group/Consumer Protection BC)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20161208_C6862_PHOTO_EN_834126.jpg

Image with caption: "Consumer Protection BC logo. (CNW Group/Consumer Protection BC)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20161208_C6862_PHOTO_EN_834130.jpg

For further information: Media contact only: 1-888-564-9963 ext. 2802, media@consumerprotectionbc.ca; Consumer inquiries: 1-888-564-9963, Info@consumerprotectionbc.ca

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