Standards impact consumers in different ways – from the businesses they interact with on a day-to-day basis, to the specific products and services they purchase and use. Having well developed, harmonized and widely adopted national standards is a foundation for effective consumer protection in Canada.
As a regulator in BC, Consumer Protection BC is responsible for licensing businesses that engage in specific transactions with consumers. These businesses often provide services that must meet a particular code or standard to ensure their services are safe. This can range from health and safety standards in funeral homes, to standards for home inspections. Our job is to work with businesses to ensure they are providing services that are consistent with the standards adopted in consumer protection laws.
Consumer Protection BC also deals with consumer complaints and ensures that all businesses in BC, and in some cases outside BC, are fair, transparent and accountable for the goods and services they provide. Standards create a common frame of reference for these transactions.
Without clear and consistent standards, consumers can find it difficult to make informed decisions, and businesses can, intentionally or unintentionally, misrepresent their products or services. In BC, it is illegal to engage in a deceptive act or practice where a supplier represents “that goods or services are of a particular standard, quality, grade, style or model if they are not…”