While many of us are getting ready to start 2018, residents of Ontario already have a new consumer protection to enjoy.
The Government of Ontario’s loyalty and reward points ban is officially in effect as of January 1st, 2018. The ban is retroactive, and includes all points earned on and after October 1st, 2016.
According to the government, Ontarians will be able to “request that businesses reimburse them” for improperly expired points. Ontarians will also be able to file a complaint with Consumer Protection Ontario to recover any improperly expired points.
“These are important new ground rules that preserve the points consumer have built up over time,” said Tracy MacCharles, Ontario’s minister of government and consumer services, in a Government of Ontario media release. “Many people save their points for years to use toward a large purchase. That has real value and should be protected.”
While companies can’t expire loyalty points, consumer can still lose their points if the loyalty program already has expiry provisions set in place.
For example, if the loyalty program enumerates that loyalty accounts can be be closed if members don’t remain active for a certain amount of time, then the Ontario expiry ban will not come into play.
“With so many reward programs out there, it’s important for some basic rules to be in place from one program to the next,” said Athurt Potts, Ontario MPP for Beaches-East York, in the same media release. “ This bill was always about basic fairness and I’m thrilled to see that it’s becoming a reality.”
Ontario’s reward points expiry ban is part of a series of consumer-side laws aimed at protecting Ontario consumers.
The Ontario government also banned ticket bots in December 2017.
Source: Government of Ontario