2013–14 Project Summaries: Union des consommateurs

6226 Saint-Hubert Street
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1. Download limits: Issues for consumers

According to the UC, unlimited download offers are rare in Canada, because independent providers need to manage their networks in the light of the constraints imposed by the large providers. Limited Canadian research has been done on how detailed Internet services are billed in Canada nor has an attempt been made to explain why download limits are necessary and whether this approach is in the best interests of consumers. This UC research involves conducting a comparative survey of Internet services offered to consumers and practices with respect to limits and comparing them with contracts offering Internet services without download limits.

2. Spotlight on provision of financial literacy content by financial institutions

This research will enable the UC to formulate proposals for more attentive monitoring of initiatives by financial institutions (FIs), or for closer supervision of what is disseminated in the name of financial literacy. The overview of practices and conclusions of the analysis will permit UC to issue recommendations about the role FIs can play in financial literacy and to evaluate the content for inclusion into the federal strategy. UC will also undertake a literature review to establish what knowledge, abilities and self-confidence consumers need to make financial choices. UC will subsequently analyse samples from various sources (government and community organizations, FIs) to determine whether consumers are properly informed, regardless of the sources they consult for financial information.

3. Regulating distance contracts: Time to take stock

UC will examine the entire regulatory framework for distance contracts and survey consumers to find out how much they know about the protections available to them as well as adequacy and efficacy of the provisions – elements which have not been addressed in previous research.