Unfair practices

Preventing & resolving problems

How consumers can prevent unfair practices and resolve problems.

Preventing problems

You can prevent unfair practices from occurring if you:

  • make sure you understand what is being offered in any advertising and what a salesperson tells you about a product or service
  • get answers to your questions before you buy
  • never sign a contract unless you have read it to make sure it includes all the terms and conditions to which you agreed
  • never sign a blank contract that a salesperson says will be filled in later
  • make sure all verbal claims that a salesperson makes about the goods or services are listed in the contract
  • write into the sales agreement any statement the supplier says that encourages you to buy the product (e.g. the car has never been in an accident)
  • always keep your bills of sale, contracts, warranties, instructions and cancelled cheques

Resolving problems

The first step to resolving a problem is to talk to the business or supplier.

If that isn't successful, you may be able to file a complaint with the Consumer Investigations Unit.

As an alternative, if you are otherwise unsuccessful in resolving the problem and have suffered a loss because of an unfair practice, you can start an action against the supplier in the Court of Queen’s Bench.

If the claim is less than $50,000, it can be heard before the Provincial Court of Alberta, Civil Division. This level of court can only award damages for losses suffered.

Contact this service

1-877-427-4088
(toll free in Alberta)

Northern Alberta (north of Red Deer):
ciu.north@gov.ab.ca

Southern Alberta (Red Deer and south)
ciu.south@gov.ab.ca

8:15 am - 4:30 pm (Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)