December 2022

Office of Consumer Affairs

December 2022

In this issue of Consumer Edge, find out about an opportunity for consumer research funding, get information on buy now, pay later plans, read a report on the right to repair and learn what to look out for to avoid becoming the victim of a holiday scam.

OCA Call for proposals: Consumer research and development projects

Do you know a Canadian not-for-profit thinking about conducting consumer research?

The OCA's Contributions Program for Non-Profit Consumer and Voluntary Organizations is now accepting proposals for research and development projects for 2023-2025!

For this call period, four priority areas of research have been identified and include: digital consumer protection; systemic barriers, affordability and other risks to vulnerable consumers; sustainable consumption and the circular economy; and, consumers and the financial sector. Detailed information on the Program's eligibility requirements and assessment criteria can be found in the Applicant's Guide.

Curious about previous research projects funded by the Program? Visit the Consumer Policy Research Database to view past reports.

Buy now, pay later

There are more ways to pay for items purchased online these days and with the holidays around the corner, you might consider financing your next gift purchase. In Canada, some online retailers are partnering with companies who offer the option to buy now and pay later (BNPL) at checkout. This means you have the choice to purchase something now without having to pay for it in full, right away.

If you chose to use these services, remember that companies can charge you fees for late payment, administration and processing. Make sure you understand the impacts that using a BNPL service can have on your budget.

Learn more about this payment model on the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada's Buy now, pay later plans page.

Équiterre : Right to repair

Have you ever had to decide whether to repair or replace a broken appliance or electronic device you own? A recent study by Équiterre, titled Working Towards Repairable Appliances and Electronics in Canada, shows that only 19% of Canadians choose to repair their appliances and electronics when they break down.

To better understand this tendency to replace instead of repair, Équiterre led a Canada-wide study on the barriers to, and incentives for, repairing household appliances and electronics. The report provides key findings on the common obstacles preventing repair and explores solutions to make repairs more accessible for consumers in Canada.

Équiterre received funds from the Office of Consumer Affairs' Contributions Program for Non-Profit Consumer and Voluntary Organizations to complete this national study.

Ho! Ho! Ho! Holiday scams

The holidays might have you giving away your time, money or personal information but the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre wants you to remember to protect yourself and be merry. So get familiar with Holiday scams and fraud that are common this time of year and have a holly jolly holidays.

We wish all subscribers to Consumer Edge a very happy holiday season! Thank you for subscribing and we'll be back in 2023!

Find more consumer-related information from the Government of Canada on the News for consumers page.