Financial Consumer Agency of Canada

Financial Consumer Agency of Canada

August 07, 2008 10:25 ET

Back-to-School and Marketing: FCAC Advises Students to Clearly Understand Their Contractual Obligations

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 7, 2008) - The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) today published a new tip sheet entitled Before You Sign Any Contract: 10 Things You Need to Know in time for the back-to-school season when young people face intense marketing efforts on school campuses.

Every year, credit card companies, cell phone providers and companies selling Internet packages and other services compete for a share of the student market. To ensure students and other Canadians can make informed decisions, FCAC has made available useful advice to keep in mind before signing a binding contract with providers of goods and services.

"You must comply with a contract after signing it because it is a legally binding document between you and the provider," said FCAC Commissioner Ursula Menke. "This responsibility shouldn't be taken lightly. When the school year begins, a wide range of products and services are offered to students. They need to consider many factors before they sign any contract and they should always read the fine print and understand it."

The tip sheet, available on FCAC's Web portal www.moneytools.ca, provides a ten-point summary of what consumers should keep in mind before they make a legal commitment.

"As a consumer, you need to be aware of your options, what kind of recourse you are entitled to and what your cancellations options are," said Commissioner Menke. "It's better to seek someone else's advice, take a bit of time to think about it, and maybe even re-assess your needs rather than sign an agreement you risk regretting later."

FCAC ensures compliance with the consumer protection laws that apply to banks and federally incorporated trust, loan and insurance companies. FCAC also provides consumers with accurate and objective information about financial products and services, and informs Canadians of their rights when dealing with financial institutions.

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