How to file a complaint

To file a complaint, you must contact us to speak with an officer, who will take note of all the necessary information in connection with the situation. The officer will verify whether your complaint is receivable, that is, if it is about a subject that falls within the Office’s jurisdiction. If it does, he or she will enter the complaint in the merchant’s file. The officer could also provide tools that will help you solve your problem in accordance with your situation (e.g., information kit, formal notice form, access to Parle consommation, etc.).

If a merchant has committed an offence against the law, the officer may ask you to send all documents relevant to the situation: written evaluation, invoice, contract, warranty document, etc.

Note that you are responsible for undertaking the procedures with the merchant and that the Office cannot intervene on your behalf to solve your problem. The Office’s activities aim to regulate the consumer market, in particular by monitoring the three laws under its responsibility.

Why file a complaint?

The complaints filed by consumers are very helpful to us. They allow us to:

  • determine which sectors or commercial practices cause the most problems;
  • better target our merchant-monitoring interventions;
  • identify which merchants do not comply with the law and intervene accordingly.

We can thus act as efficiently as possible and sanction merchants that are in the wrong, if needed. For all of these reasons, the information you send us through a complaint is very valuable.

How does the Office handle your complaints?

All complaints are entered into an internal system that automatically codes the severity of the potential offence based on different levels of analysis. The Office prioritizes interventions with merchants who:

  • are suspected of having committed a serious offence (the Office has made a list of offences to laws it monitors; these offences are graded according to a severity scale);
  • have been the subject of one of the following interventions in the past 5 years:
    • the issue of a warning reporting an offence;
    • the filing of a lawsuit;
    • the filing by a merchant of a written voluntary commitment in which they commit to the Office to change some of their commercial practices;
    • the filing of an injunction;
    • the withdrawal or suspension of a permit or licence issued by the Office that is essential for the merchant to conduct its commercial activities;
  • have been the target of many complaints by consumers.

The Office can also decide to intervene with a merchant following exceptional circumstances.

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Last update : October 11, 2023

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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.