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Contracts

What should I know before signing a contract?

Credit checks (by signing you may consent to a provider checking your credit, which can negatively impact your credit rating).

Cancellation policies (how can I cancel if needed?)

Changes to the contract (can your provider change it without notifying you?)

Privacy/confidentiality (is your personal information protected? How so?

Dispute resolution (do you waive your rights to sue by signing? check if there is a forced arbitration clause)

What kind of questions can salespeople ask me?

Salespeople need to inform you that they will collect your “personal information” and must get your consent to do so. Personal information includes:

bank account numbers/balances;

transaction histories;

debt-related information;

mortgage applications/renewals;

tax returns and net worth;

credit reports and credit scores

Note: you can refuse to give personal information to a salesperson (e.g. cell provider) but they may refuse to let you sign for post-paid services. Consider pre-paid or working out a security deposit arrangement.

What should I do if there’s an issue with my contract?

The first step when trying to solve a contract-related issue is to contact the supplier.

Read your rights, either on Consumer Protection Ontario’s website or in an industry-specific document, like the Wireless Code.
-Review your contract and the supplier’s terms & conditions.
-If you cannot resolve with the supplier, you may file a complaint with Consumer Protection Ontario, or an industry ombudsman like CCTS (for wireless) or OBSI (for financial services).

Find out more: CRTC – information about the wireless code | Your Legal Rights – information about cell phone contracts