Are you looking to register for a course? The following tips may be of interest to you before you enter an agreement with a merchant.

A merchant offering courses, such as driving, dance, music, or personal development courses, must provide a contract. Make sure the contents of the contract reflect the promises made to you by the merchant.

Contents of a course contract

The contract must include:

  • the name and address of the establishment;
  • your name and address;
  • the place and date the contract was signed;
  • a description of the services offered;
  • the date on which the courses will start;
  • the address where the courses will be given;
  • the number of hours, days, or weeks over which the courses will be given;
  • the hourly, daily, or weekly rate. This rate must remain the same for the duration of the contract;
  • the total amount you will need to pay;
  • the terms of payment;
  • a clause explaining the cancellation terms. The information that the cancellation clause must contain is presented in Article 46 of the Regulation respecting the application of the Consumer Protection Act.

The merchant must provide a copy of the signed contract along with a cancellation form. This form will be helpful should you ever want to cancel your contract.

Are you registering to driving courses? Make sure the driving school you are signing a contract with is recognized by the Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ).

Total value of the contract

The amount indicated in the contract must include:

  • the cost of the course;
  • the membership and registration fees, as well as the setup, evaluation, and administration fees, if applicable;
  • the taxes.

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Before registering for a course online or by phone, find out more about the merchant's offer. 

Information that must be provided by the merchant

Before you complete your registration, the merchant must provide the following information:

  • their name, business name, and contact information, including their phone and fax numbers and email address;
  • a detailed description of the services offered;
  • a detail of the amounts invoiced (i.e. service fees, other fees, and taxes) as well as the total amount to be paid;
  • the frequency and terms of payment;
  • the description of additional fees that could be requested;
  • the date on which the courses will start;
  • the transaction currency (Canadian dollars, US dollars, and so on); utilisée pour payer le montant de la transaction;
  • the cancellation and refund policies.

From the moment you enter an agreement with a merchant, the merchant has 15 days to send a paper copy of the contract. The paper copy of the contract must contain the same information, as well as all other mandatory clauses.

Purchase made on a group purchasing Web site

If you purchase a prepaid card or a voucher that can be redeemed for course on a group purchasing Web site, you enter into 2 different and distinct contracts.

The first contract is between you and the company that manages the group purchasing Web site. It is in fact the prepaid card purchasing contract. This contract must include all the information related to the purchase of the card, for example, the terms of use.

The second contract is the one provided by the merchant that is offering the course. This contract must feature all the mandatory information that must be included in a course contract.

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A business that offers courses cannot:

  • collect payment or a deposit to be paid before the first course is delivered;
  • collect payment in one instalment. The total amount of the invoice must be paid in at least 2 approximately equal instalments. The instalments must be claimed at regular intervals, for example, at the start and midway point of your course.

Exceptions: payment in one instalment

The business can demand payment in one instalment in either of 2 situations:

  • the total value of the course is $100 or less (including taxes);
  • the course is given over 3 days or fewer, regardless of its total value.

You may need to purchase equipment to take a course, including items such as music instruments, sheet music, workbooks, yoga clothes, dance shoes, and so on. You are free to purchase the necessary equipment wherever you would like, even if the merchant providing the course sells it.

If you decide to purchase the equipment from the merchant who is also providing the course, they must provide a written contract if the value of that equipment is over $100. This type of contract is called an "incidental contract."

Information that must be included in an equipment purchase contract

The incidental contract must feature the following information:

  • the merchant’s name and address;
  • your name and address;
  • the place and date the contract was signed;
  • a detailed description of the equipment purchased (model, brand, and so on);
  • the price of each article;
  • applicable taxes;
  • the total amount that must be paid;
  • a clause explaining the cancellation terms. The information that the cancellation clause must contain is presented in Article 50 of the Regulation respecting the application of the Consumer Protection Act.

Before registering to a course, find out more about the cancellation terms provided by law. You can always cancel a contract with a merchant providing courses at any time. Warning: depending on when you choose to cancel a contract, you may need to pay a cancellation penalty.

You recommend this page: https://www.opc.gouv.qc.ca/

Last update : November 7, 2022

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The information contained on this page is presented in simple terms to make it easier to understand. It does not replace the texts of the laws and regulations.