Section 4 of the Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act protects consumers from deceptive acts or practices in British Columbia. It is important to note that this Act does not apply to a sale, lease, mortgage of or charge on land. Deceptive acts or practices may be oral, visual, descriptive or take some other form. They may occur before, during or after the consumer transaction.
If you are a business or a consumer, then you should be aware of this Act. If you are concerned about your business' acts or practices or think that someone has violated your consumer rights through a deceptive act or practice, then you should talk to a lawyer. You can also take a look at the Consumer Protection BC website and at the Competition Bureau's website related to Misleading Advertising and Labelling for more information.
There are many ways that a deceptive act or practice may occur. For example, a person may say that a product has sponsorship, approval, performance characteristics, accessories, ingredients, quantities, components, uses or benefits that they do not have. They may say that a product is of a particular standard, quality, grade, style or model that it is not. They may say the product has a particular prior history or usage that it does not have, including a representation that it is new if it is not. They may say that a product is available for a reason that differs from the fact. They may say a product is available, when it is not available as represented. They may say a product is available in quantities greater than is the fact. Or, they may state that a product will be supplied within a stated period, but know or ought to know that the product will not be.
Matthew J. Van Den Hooven
Matthew is a lawyer based in Nanaimo, B.C. Please note that the accuracy of the information in this blog is not guaranteed and that the law does change. It is not a replacement for independent legal advice. Contact Matthew to arrange for an appointment today.