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Where to Report a Credit Card Company

If you are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, tired of being pestered with constantly increasing interest rates and daunting late payment fees, you may report a credit card company to the Ministry of Consumer Protection and Canada’s Office of Consumer Affairs for help.

Know your rights

It is important to know your basic rights as a customer under the Consumer Protection Act of 2002. The Ministry of Consumer Protection warns that your rights are violated in the following cases: the contract with your credit company is not clear and comprehensible; the credit terms are not fully disclosed; and there is evidence of misrepresentation. All contracts should be written in an easy to understand manner. In case of disputes over unclear language, the contract should be interpreted in favour of the consumer. Second, providers of services and goods on credit should present a written statement with all financial charges and the annual percentage rate on the transaction. Companies are required to explain how extra charges will be calculated if the client fails to make timely payments. Third, credit card companies cannot impose extra charges that are not valid.

Reporting a Company

If you notice late payment charges, constantly increasing interest rates, or any extra fees in your credit card statement that you are not okay with, do not hesitate to open a dispute with your credit card company and ask them to immediately remove these charges and fees. The Ministry of Consumer Protection advises that customers write a complaint letter and ask the company to resolve the problem. It is important to retain a copy of the letter as well as a proof of delivery. All records of written communication with the business should be kept as well.

Customers who cannot resolve the issue directly with the company should contact the Ministry of Consumer Protection for help. They can submit an application online or download a complaint form and email, mail, or fax the copy to the Ministry.

As another option, you can file a complaint with the Canada’s Office of Consumer Affairs. You can submit an online complaint in five quick steps. First, select the province in which the reported transaction occurred. Then, choose the topic of your complaint (e.g. financial services or fraud). If your complaint is, say, about financial services, you have to specify whether the reported practice falls under lending/ credit, investments, banking accounts, etc. services. Marking lending/credit will take you to another list that contains more specific financial services such as credit cards, deferred payments, personal loans, lines of credit, etc. You can make complaint against a specific provider by scrolling down and choosing from a list of institutions. As an alternative option, you may file a complaint with the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada.

Federal Government tightens control over credit card companies

In March this year, the Canadian Government launched a $272-billion plan that aimed at tightening the state control over the credit card companies in the country, which will be closely watched by a national securities regulator. It will start functioning over the next two or three years. This is a precedent in the banking history of the country, as Canada does not have federal laws regulating credit card issuers such as Visa Inc., MasterCard Inc. or American Express Co. In addition, Canada is the only G 7 country without a national securities regulator.