Consumers

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Where can I get help doing my taxes?

    If your taxes are relatively simple, a volunteer at a free tax clinic may be able to help you complete and file your taxes. Tax clinics are usually offered in March and April of each year throughout Canada. In 2022, some community organizations are also hosting free virtual tax clinics.

    For more information about these clinics, visit the Government of Canada’s website here. You can also click here to find a clinic near you.

  • How can I tell if a call from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is real?

    The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) may call you if they need to discuss your tax or benefit situation—for example, if you owe taxes, did not file a tax return, or . However, there are many scams out there involving a caller who pretends to be from the CRA in order to get personal or financial information from you.

    Before giving any personal or financial information to a caller, you should first verify that they are actually calling from the CRA. To do this, you should:

    • Ask for their name, phone number, and office location
    • Check that the call you received was legitimate by contacting the CRA yourself and verifying the information the caller gave you.

    There are also some “red flags” to look out for that could indicate the caller is a scammer. These include:

    • The caller is asking you to pay with gift cards or cryptocurrency (like Bitcoin)
    • The caller is asking you for information that would not be included on a tax return (such as a credit card number)
    • The caller is contacting you by email, or asking you to respond by email. CRA will never ask you to provide personal information by email.
    • The caller is telling you you must pay taxes on lottery or sweepstakes winnings.

    For more information and other things to look out for, visit the Canada Revenue Agency website here.

  • I purchased a new TV and did not buy the warranty that came with it. The television did not work as soon as I set it up at home. Do I have any recourse?

    There is an implied warranty that retail goods are fit for the purpose for which they are sold, unless a specific defect was mentioned upon the sale. If the store refuses to address the problem, you can contact the Consumers’ Bureau of Manitoba for assistance or consider court action.

    The Consumer Protection office can be contacted by phone at (204) 945-3800, toll-free (outside of Winnipeg) at 1-800-782-0067, or by email at .

  • I received a gift certificate for a manicure and it has an expiry date. I thought that new laws prohibited expiry dates on gift cards or certificates?

    There are certain exceptions to the general rule of no expiry dates for gift cards. If the gift card is for a specific good or service, like a manicure, there may be an expiry date provided. Also, if the gift card was given without any payment (i.e., promotional item) it also may contain an expiry date.

    For more information, visit https://www.gov.mb.ca/justice/cp/cpo/info/cards.html

  • Can a car dealership sell me a vehicle that is not safetied?

    A dealership must provide you with a Certificate of Inspection (or “safety”) if they are selling you a used vehicle. A Certificate of Inspection ensures that a vehicle meets minimum equipment and performance standards before it can be driven. If the vehicle is new, you should receive a New Vehicle Information Statement.

    For more information, visit https://www.mpi.mb.ca/Pages/about-vehicle-safety.aspx

  • I joined a gym and signed a one year membership. Can I change my mind?

    Yes. You have 7 days to cancel the contract, not including Sundays or holidays. To cancel the contract, you must give notice in writing to the gym, clearly saying that you are canceling the contract. You must personally give the notice to the gym at their business address or send it by registered mail to that address.

    For more information, contact the Consumers Bureau at (204) 945-3800, toll-free outside of Winnipeg at 1-800-782-0067, or by emailing .

  • I changed my mind about something that I purchased from a clothing store and they refuse to refund my money or exchange the item. Is this allowed?

    Yes. Businesses are not required to offer a refund or exchange policy. Unless the item is defective or inadequate for the purpose of which it was sold, the business does not have to consider taking the item back.

  • I just bought a new car from a dealer but am having second thoughts. How much time do I have to change my mind?

    None. There is no “cooling off” period after you agree to buy a car from a dealer. Once you sign a contract to buy the car, you have to follow through with what you agreed to. If there is a problem, contact the dealer where you bought the car and explain it to them. They may be willing to deal with you. If you are still not satisfied, contact the Consumer’s Bureau. They might be able to help you find a solution that satisfies both you and the dealer.

  • Someone came to my door selling aluminum siding. I signed the contract but am having second thoughts. How much time do I have to change my mind?

    You have 10 days from the day you get a statement of cancellation rights from the seller.

    If you want to cancel the contract, give written notice to the seller. The notice should clearly say that you are canceling the contract. Give the notice by mail, fax or in person. It is a good idea to make sure that you have proof that you gave the notice.

    Once the contract is canceled, you are entitled to get back any money you paid for the sale, and any goods you gave as a trade-in. For more information, contact the Consumers Bureau.