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OMVIC Blog: Car Buying Tips

About OMVIC’s Complaints Process

May 12

Written by: OMVIC Communications
Friday, May 12, 2017  RssIcon

The vast majority of consumer/dealer transactions go well. In those rare instances when problems arise, OMVIC’s Complaints and Inquiries Team provides information and services to help address the situation. These services are provided free of charge to all Ontarians.

When Consumers have a Complaint

If a consumer has questions related to the purchase of a new or used vehicle, they can contact OMVIC’s Complaints and Inquiries department for information, even before purchasing.

Should problems arise after the purchase, OMVIC Complaints and Inquiries Team can provide the consumer with information about consumer protection legislation and can assist them in determining possible next steps.

Note: If a consumer has an issue with a dealership they should first make attempts to resolve the matter with the dealer directly. If an initial meeting with the dealer is unsuccessful, it is recommended that complaints be formalized in writing to the dealer with an explanation as to why the consumer is not satisfied and how the matter could be resolved to their satisfaction. If they are unable to come to a resolution, OMVIC may be able to assist with the complaint.

Sending Registered Letter

It is important that a consumer send a letter to the dealership by registered mail or obtain proof of delivery. Registered mail refers to a form of postal service that provides a tracking number e.g. Express Post. Courier companies may also offer tracking services for deliveries.

The letter should be kept professional, clear and concise, and if possible, no longer than one page. The final paragraph should outline a time frame (e.g. 5-7 business days from the date of receipt by the dealership) for a response. The letter should be addressed to the General Manager or owner of the dealership. If the consumer doesn’t have this information, OMVIC’s Complaints and Inquiries Team can assist.

Filing a Complaint

If a consumer remains dissatisfied with the dealer’s response, he or she can request the assistance of OMVIC’s Complaints and Inquiries Team.

There are three ways to file a complaint through OMVIC:

  1. Utilize this Online Complaint form
  2. Contact OMVIC’s Complaints and Inquiries Department by phone at 1-800-943-6002 x3942
  3. Email OMVIC’s Complaints and Inquiries Department at consumers@omvic.on.ca

In order for OMVIC to contact the dealer, consumers will need to fill out a Complaints Process Acknowledgement Form.

OMVIC’s Authority

Two important notes:

OMVIC complaint handlers will try to find acceptable solutions to complaints however they do not have the authority to compel or order a dealer to cancel a contract, return money or carry out repairs; only the courts have such authority. In the rare instance that the Complaints and Inquiries Team is unable to find a suitable solution, consumers may need to consider taking civil action.

It is possible a consumer complaint may lead to an investigation and possible charges or administrative action (a discipline hearing or proposal to revoke/suspend registration) against a dealer/salesperson. Information regarding ongoing investigations is never made public. This information is however made public should charges be laid, a discipline decision is issued or a revocation/suspension proposal is issued.



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