2014–15 Project Summaries: Union des consommateurs

Union des consommateurs
6226 rue Saint-Hubert
Montréal (Québec)
H2S 2M2
Tel.: (514) 521-6820
Toll free: 1-888-521-6820
Fax: (514) 521-0736

1. Cable problems: what individual recourse is there for Canadian consumers?

UC will outline the issues involved for consumers in seeking redress with respect to their cable services. The project will involve a review of the existing means of recourse, both at the federal and provincial levels, and an assessment of the experience in other countries. The project will look also at the practices or frameworks most likely to offer consumers effective ways of resolving their cable disputes.

2. The Wireless Code: who's the winner? Reviewing the new services

UC will study how wireless service provider (WSP) products, service conditions and contracts comply with the new CRTC Wireless Code (WC). UC will verify how WSPs have changed their trade practices to comply with the WC and whether the flexibility they have been given is harming consumers or impeding achievement of all of the WC's objectives.

3. The truth behind the obligation to take back returned items: return policies or take-back times for in-store purchases

Some retailers have very flexible exchange, return and refund (ERR) policies, whereas other retailers have very strict policies. The Union des consommateurs (UC) will therefore examine ERR policies to prevent an imbalance between the rights of consumers who buy online and those who buy directly in store. This research will make consumers aware of the conditions that can legally be imposed on them, help merchants adjust their practices (if necessary) and provide legislative/regulatory bodies with an analysis of the best governance and disclosure practices adopted in other countries.

4. Prepaid wireless services: protection from bill shock?

Through this research, the Union des consommateurs (UC) will determine whether prepaid wireless users are adequately protected under current legislation and regulations. The UC will study contract clause disclosure issues relating to prepaid telecommunications services, as contract issuing methods currently vary for these types of services. This research will fill the knowledge gap in the world of prepaid services.

5. Lifting of barriers to internal trade and consumer protection: the example of the European Union

This research will identify best practices that address internal trade barriers in the European Union through a review of consumer protection directives. This research will also include an overview of the measures adopted in Australia.