Ontario Implements New Restrictions on Door-to-Door Transactions, but Delays Some New Requirements to May 1st
As described in recent posts (here and here), Ontario has implemented new provisions of the Ontario Consumer Protection Act (CPA) that will prohibit a range of door-to-door consumer transactions. The new rules, which came into effect on March 1, 2018, make unsolicited “direct agreements” unenforceable for HVAC equipment and other items such as water heaters, air cleaners and water treatment equipment (“prescribed goods and services”).
There are some exceptions to the overall ban on direct agreements for prescribed goods and services. Generally, if the consumer initiates contact with the supplier and asks the supplier to come to the consumer’s home, then the supplier is permitted to solicit and/or complete a direct agreement for prescribed goods and services at the consumer’s home. Such transactions are exempt from the general prohibition against direct agreements for prescribed goods and services. However, there are new disclosure requirements for such “exempt” direct agreements.
At the end of February 2018, the Ontario government indicated that certain of the new rules related to these new disclosure requirements will be delayed until May 1, 2018. This does not impact the overall new restrictions on unsolicited “direct agreements,” which are now in place as of March 1.
As we described in an earlier post, the new regulation titled Requirements for Direct Agreements subject to section 43.1 of the CPA sets out a list of items that must be included in each “exempt” direct agreement. The new requirements for “exempt” direct agreements for prescribed goods and services are more detailed than the requirements for other direct agreements (which are found at section 35 of the General Regulation under the CPA). Presumably because of the work that will be involved in updating suppliers’ forms of consumer agreements, implementation of these new rules has been delayed until May 1.
Note, however, that the requirement to include a new government-mandated Disclosure Statement with each new “exempt” direct agreement has not been deferred. As of March 1, the prescribed Disclosure Statement must appear as the first page of each direct agreement for a prescribed good or service.