Consumer Contracts

Are your Terms of Service unconscionable?

The Supreme Court of Canada has substantially broadened the application of the doctrine of unconscionability and its application to contracts of adhesion. The result is a further elevation of the role of reasonable expectations in determining the enforceability of contractual… Read More ›

IoT security defects – are stronger consumer protection remedies required?

October is cybersecurity awareness month. So where are we in Canada on IoT security? The answer is that legal requirements are lagging technological developments. Although there have been some regulatory activity, it is slow-moving and consumers still do not have… Read More ›

Free trials and deceptive trade practices

Earlier this week, I wrote about an interesting development in Quebec regarding the interpretation of section 230(c) of the Quebec Consumer Protection Act. A Quebec court concluded that this provision did not require a merchant to obtain the fresh agreement… Read More ›

Free trials, introductory offers and negative option billing

An interesting decision of the Quebec Superior Court of Justice came out this year throwing cold water on a class action by consumers in Quebec against well-known telecommunication companies and online media service providers. The case is interesting because it… Read More ›

Linear points programs – Legal and marketing challenges

Given the cost and effort associated with customer acquisition, loyalty programs are an important customer-retention tool. However, linear reward programs in which customers simply accumulate points that can be used towards the purchase of goods and services may not always… Read More ›

Prosecuting Deceptive Privacy Practices, FTC Weights in on Security, Cybersecurity and Event Planning

Here are this week’s suggestions for summertime weekend reading resources! Using Consumer Protection Statutes to Protect Privacy: Most Canadian provincial consumer protection statutes prohibit false, misleading or deceptive representations (see e.g. s. 14 -17) of the Ontario Consumer Protection Act)…. Read More ›

Where did I agree to that? The problem of incorporation by reference

There are many reasons for incorporating provisions by reference in consumer contracts. For example, terms of service may make reference to rules for the acceptable use of the services. A purchase agreement may reference a separate document explaining refunds or… Read More ›