Vacation Time Share Operation Charged Under Consumer Protection Act

Archived Release

Vacation Time Share Operation Charged Under Consumer Protection Act

Ministry of Consumer Services

Fun For Life Club International Faces Charges In Brampton and St. Catharines QUEEN'S PARK, ON, Oct. 31 - A vacation company based in Brampton has been charged with multiple violations of time share agreements and business practices under Ontario's Consumer Protection Act. FFL Vacations Ltd., operating as Fun For Life Club International, faces a total of 55 charges related to unfair business practices and violations of Time Share Agreement regulations. Cecil Hendrix, a company official with FFL, has been charged individually with 55 identical counts. The charges were filed in a Brampton court on Friday October 26. Another six charges were filed separately against FFL and Hendrix in a St. Catharines court on the same day. The charges result from an investigation into numerous consumer complaints to Ontario's Consumer Protection Branch since January 1, 2007. Customers of Fun For Life allege they were given false and misleading statements during sales presentations, and that certain services and facilities were not delivered as promised in their agreements. The complainants also allege they could not cancel contracts during the 10-day "cooling-off" period that is mandatory under the Consumer Protection Act. On each count, an Ontario provincial offences court may levy fines in the amount of $250,000.00 for a corporation and $50,000.00 for an individual. An individual may also be subject to jail time of two years less a day on each count. The court can also order offenders to pay compensation or make restitution to aggrieved consumers. Disponible en français www.mgs.gov.on.ca Backgrounder Document d'information ------------------------------------------------------------------------- CHARGES AND CONVICTIONS THROUGH ONTARIO'S CONSUMER PROTECTION BRANCH Contact Info The Consumer Protection Branch of Ontario's Ministry of Government Services investigates unfair business practices and often brings charges against suspect businesses throughout the province. Operating with authority created under the Consumer Protection Act 2002, the branch has made significant contributions to over 760 successful convictions within the last four years. These convictions, sought through Ontario's provincial offences courts, are pursued according to several guiding principles that form the basis of all branch investigations: - marketplace fairness; - reliable disclosure; - fair value to consumers; and - a regulatory environment that is responsive to the needs of businesses and consumers. Engaging in unfair business practices is prohibited in Ontario. The Consumer Protection Act contains 92 separate sections under its regulations covering issues relevant to consumer agreements, including, but not limited to: - disclosures in various types of agreements; - cancellation rights; - timelines for receiving and issuing refunds; - monetary threshold for agreements; - calculation of annual percentage rates inside credit agreements; and - public record/disclosure of information. The Consumer Protection Branch posts information regarding consumer-related charges and convictions online at www.ontario.ca/consumerprotection. The Consumer Beware List, also posted online, is a public record database containing a comprehensive collection of operators and businesses in Ontario who are known to employ unfair business practices. Anyone with knowledge of or information about the use of unfair business practices in Ontario should call the Consumer Protection Services Bureau toll-free at 1-800-889-9768. Disponible en français www.mgs.gov.on.ca For further information: Ciaran Ganley, Communications Branch, (416) 325-8659 HELP | CONTACT US | PRIVACY | IMPORTANT NOTICES © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 2008-2009 — Last Modified: February 15, 2009 For further information: Ciaran Ganley, Communications Branch, (416) 325-8659