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Adoption of Bill 178
Québec City, June 6, 2018 – Today, the National Assembly passed Bill 178, An Act to amend various legislative provisions concerning consumer protection, which strengthens the regulation of certain practices associated with:
- The resale of tickets for shows and events
- Funeral and burial services
- Contracts for the time-sharing of accommodations
- Offers for credit made in pre-university educational institutions
Lise Thériault, Minister responsible for Consumer Protection and for Housing, believes the adoption of this bill is good news for consumers, who will now be better protected in the face of issues that have become more serious in recent years.
Today, new rules are in force. It’s a great victory for consumers. Through this strong gesture, the Government is clearly indicating its willingness to adapt to changes and adjust its laws in order to provide the best possible protection mechanisms. I had a deep conviction that we would be able to pass this bill before the end of the parliamentary session. We succeeded in a few weeks and I am proud to have delivered the goods to Quebecers.
– Lise Thériault, Minister responsible for Consumer Protection and for Housing and Minister responsible for the Lanaudière region
- Bill 178 was introduced in the National Assembly on April 18, 2018.
- It tightens up the rules concerning the resale of event tickets by:
- Expanding the scope of the law to the resale of tickets between two merchants
- Banning the use of software to acquire a large number of tickets and the sale of tickets obtained through this medium
- Prohibiting resellers from selling tickets that they do not have in their possession
- Giving the consumer the chance to obtain chargeback of monies paid by credit card if the merchant did not inform the consumer prior to the transaction that the ticket was being resold and that the price paid for the ticket would be refunded if the event were cancelled, if the ticket did not provide access to the event (e.g. due to a fraudulent ticket) or if it did not match the description made upon resale
- New measures will also give rise to the creation of a register of prearranged funeral service and burial contracts, within 24 months. Thanks to this tool, companies in the funeral industry and authorized individuals can trace all the prearranged contracts that a person may have concluded in his or her lifetime. This information will ensure the last wishes of the deceased are respected and prevent relatives of the deceased from needlessly spending money for agreements that already exist, among other things. The necessary precautions will be put in place to ensure the confidentiality of the information contained in the register, to preserve healthy competition in this business sector, in particular.
- In addition, the law will govern funeral services and burial contracts concluded after a death. The measures include:
- The obligation to set out, in a detailed manner, the price of each of the goods and of the funeral and burial services to be provided to the deceased in contracts concluded after a death
- The requirement for the companies concerned to make an up-to-date price list of each of the goods and services that they offer available to the public
- The regulation of timeshare accommodations contracts is also coming into force, specifically:
- The obligation, for the merchant concerned, to include a precise description of the rights granted to consumers, the costs and the payment terms in contracts
- A chance for the consumer to terminate the contract without penalties or fees within a period of 10 days starting from the moment when each of the parties is in possession of a copy of the contract
- The obligation for the merchant to provide the consumer with a payment schedule for each year covered by the contract setting out the amounts that the consumer must pay by means of approximately equal annual instalments
- A new provision making it illegal to offer students at pre-university educational institutions variable credit (cards or lines of credit) in person
- The bill’s measures will come into force on the following dates:
- Resale of tickets and offers of variable credit in pre-university institutions: immediately
- Power given to the Minister to create a register of prearranged funeral service and burial contracts within 24 months: immediately
- Timeshare accommodations contracts: October 1, 2018
- A process will begin shortly to define regulatory changes needed to clarify certain provisions of the Act in collaboration with the partners of the Office de la protection du consommateur.
- Relevant information on the provisions of the new law can be found on the website of the Office de la protection du consommateur.