Here's a checklist to help you on your way:
- Shop Smart. Ask about refund and exchange policies. Check for hidden fees. Keep track of your contracts, receipts, warranties and guarantees.
- Pay smart. Don't deposit more than 10% in advance for any purchase and never pay more than 10% above the price in a written estimate.
- Surf Smart. Ensure that any and al websites that you shop on is secure! Look for the lock symbol in the bottom portion of your browser window or check to see if the URL contains "https". When you see this it means that the data being sent is encrypted therefore the site is far more secure!
- Sign smart. Read the fine print on all written agreements prior to signing anything. Get all the details in writing.
- Shield smart. Safeguard your identity by protecting your PINs, SIN, bank account and credit card numbers
- Hire Smart. Get at least three references and check them carefully before hiring a professional, such as a contractor.
- Be smart. Get a free copy of your credit report at least once a year. Check it carefully and ask questions if you don't understand.
For more information please visit www.ontario.ca/consumerprotection or call 1-800-889-9768 (toll-free)