Understanding Contracts

You are protected under the law when you enter a contract; the Ontario Consumer Protection Act, 2002 covers the most common types of contracts. 

Click here to see letter templates.

Your Rights

  1. The final cost cannot be more than 10 per cent higher than the original estimate – unless you agree to the price increase verbally or in writing.
  2. You have 10 days to cancel a contract for any reason and it must be done in writing.
  3. You will have to be able to prove that you cancelled the contract – proofs of registered mail, fax or an e-mail receipt are best.
  4. You cannot sign away your consumer rights and no one can take them from you.
  5. You can cancel a contract if goods or services are not provided within 30 days of the date promised.
For more information and sample letters visit the Ministry of Government Services’ website here

Before you contact the Ministry of Government Services to file a complaint, you need to take the following steps: 

  • Contact the service provider clearly outlining your complaint in writing. 
  • Keep proof of delivery of your complaint and any interaction with the service provider. 
  • If you are unable to resolve the complaint with the service provider, contact the ministry. 
  • Help for filing a complaint can be found here.

Put it in Writing

Keep your letter brief and to the point. Be sure to keep a copy of the letter for yourself before sending it to the service provider in a form you can track [hand-deliver it with a witness, registered mail, courier, e-mail or fax with confirmed delivery].

Some Tips

  • Ensure you are familiar with ABA/IBI and its philosophy before entering into a contract with a provider.
  • Deal with a provider who has a good reputation with other families; one who is known to be trustworthy.
  • Compare prices among providers.
  • Get all contracts or promises in writing and keep all documents and receipts.
  • Check references.
  • If you don’t understand the contract, ask to have it explained so that it makes sense to you.
  • Keep down-payments to a minimum; 10 percent of the total estimate is fair.
  • Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • No provider can claim that they can cure autism. Research shows that whether or not autism can be cured is yet to be proven.  

Click here to see letter templates.

Download article and sample letters in WORD  in pdf  

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