Enquiries and Complaints

This section offers a wealth of information on how you can submit a complaint or an enquiry in addition to the necessary resources and tools for filing these through the Competition Bureau.

Complaint Criteria

The Competition Bureau, as an independent law enforcement agency, ensures that Canadian businesses and consumers prosper in a competitive and innovative marketplace.

Headed by the Commissioner of Competition, the Bureau is responsible for the administration and enforcement of the Competition Act, the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act, the Textile Labelling Act and the Precious Metals Marking Act.

The Competition Bureau is not a consumer protection agency and cannot act on your behalf to obtain reimbursement or to settle a dispute between two parties.

Any complaint examined by the Competition Bureau must fall within the scope of the:

Your complaint might be outside the Bureau’s jurisdiction. Have a look at various issues the Bureau does not deal with:

  • Bad service dealings with a person or business
  • Billing problems
  • Collection Agency harassment/problems
  • Contractual disputes
  • Information enquiry about a person and/or businesses standing or legitimacy
  • Refund issues
  • Store return and/or refund policy
  • Unethical behavior issues

You may also want to visit the Canadian Consumer Information Gateway’s Complaint Courier. The Canadian Consumer Information Gateway is a central gateway where all of the trustworthy information and services are offered by Canada's governments and NGOs. Its Complaint Courier tool is a powerful database that will educate you on the best steps to take in order to complain effectively and will also channel your complaint to the appropriate agency.

And at the international level...

As a result of joint efforts by the International Consumer Protection and Enforcement Network (ICPEN) and the Consumer Sentinel Network, www.econsumer.gov users can file complaints about misleading cross-border electronic commerce, get tips for safe shopping online and learn how to contact consumer agencies around the world.


File a complaint

You may request information or submit a complaint against an organization that adopts business practices which may be in violation with the Competition Act, the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act, the Textile Labelling Act and the Precious Metals Marking Act administered by the Competition Bureau.

If you wish to file a complaint regarding a deceptive business practice, here is what we need to know to help you:

Personal Information:

Tell us about yourself. Please note that the information collected in this section is protected under the Privacy Act.

Target of Complaint:

Tell us about the company or organization that you have a complaint against.

Details of Complaint:

Tell us about your complaint. Provide us with detailed information using products and or services supplied, products name and description.

The Bureau is committed to providing excellent client service. Employees of the Bureau's Information Centre are available to respond to your questions, record complaints and direct calls from Monday to Friday, 8:30 to 4:30 p.m., Eastern Standard Time.

You may make a general enquiry electronically regarding any of the laws under the Bureau's jurisdiction using the Competition Bureau Complaint Form. The form will be sent to the Information Centre where appropriate action will be taken.

The information on the form will be submitted through a secure server that protects confidential Information. Personal Information collected on this form is protected under the Privacy Act.

We suggest you use the Complaint Form to file a complaint.

File a complaint by phone or by fax

You might prefer to contact the Information Centre by phone or by facsimile.

Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Eastern Time.
Toll-free: 1 800 348-5358
TDD (for hearing impaired): 1 800 642-3844
Fax: (819) 997-0324

File a complaint by mail

If you chose to mail your complaint, the address is:

Competition Bureau
Place du Portage I
50 Victoria Street, Room C-114
Gatineau, Quebec
K1A 0C9

How the Bureau deals with complaints

The Bureau conducts its investigations in private and keeps confidential the identity of the source and the information provided. However, if someone has important evidence about breaches to any of the laws under the Bureau's jurisdiction, that person may be asked to testify in court or before the Competition Tribunal.

For complaints under the Competition Act, the information will be examined to determine whether a formal inquiry should be commenced. All inquiries are conducted in private. If an inquiry is opened, the Bureau may contact other customers or competitors to obtain more information.

During the inquiry stage, Bureau staff may use many tools at their disposal to determine the facts of the situation. They can apply for authorization from a court to search premises, examine or seize records, and question witnesses under oath.

For complaints under the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act, the Textile Labelling Act, and the Precious Metals Marking Act, the information will be examined to determine whether an issue is raised under the legislation. Bureau staff have formal powers of inspection under these Acts, as well as a variety of remedial powers to address issues of non-conformity.

If it is determined that a complaint warrants further investigation, Bureau officers have a number of tools available to resolve competition issues. These tools are outlined in the Bureau's Conformity Continuum and include:

  • public education, written opinions, information contacts, voluntary codes of conduct, written undertakings and prohibition orders;
  • the legal authority with court authorization to search for and seize documents and other forms of evidence, to take sworn oral evidence and to demand the production of documents and records;
  • the ability to refer criminal matters to the Attorney General of Canada, who then decides whether to prosecute before the courts;
  • the power to bring civil matters before the Competition Tribunal or other courts, depending on the issue;
  • the authority to make presentations and intervene on matters of competition policy before federal and provincial boards, tribunals and commissions such as the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission and the National Transportation Agency.

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