The Consumer Protection Act, 2002 (CPA) applies to most Ontario businesses (not just dealers) and it covers both goods and services, including vehicle sales, leasing and repairs. It applies to consumer transactions if either the consumer or the supplier is in Ontario. If an Ontario-based business has sales with a consumer in another jurisdiction, that consumer is protected under the CPA.
However, the protection provided in the CPA applies only to “consumers”. The Act does not extend protection to businesses/corporations nor to an individual who is engaged in a business-to-business transaction.
The protections granted to consumers by the CPA cannot be nullified in a contract. Should a consumer sign a document that would waive some Consumer Protection Act rights, the piece of paper is worthless; the consumer is still entitled to all of his or her rights under the Act.
What is the difference between a customer and a consumer?
A “consumer” is someone who buys, leases or receives services from a dealer while acting for personal, family or household purposes, but is not an individual acting for business purposes or a corporation.
A “customer” is anyone who buys, leases or receives services from a dealer. A customer may be an individual acting for personal, family or household purposes, an individual acting for business purposes (such as a sole proprietor) or a corporation.
Therefore, not all customers are consumers, but all consumers are customers.