Resolving Complaints

If you have a problem regarding a product or service you should first attempt to resolve the problem directly with the organization. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Know what the problem is and have all relevant documentation to back up your complaint.
  • Know what solution you are seeking and request specifics as to how and when something will be done.
  • Keep a copy of all written/electronic correspondence and ask for the names of people you speak with regarding your complaint (whether in person or over the phone) and record for future reference.
  • If you are not satisfied with the initial response, take your problem to the next level in the company, for example, the manager, owner or company headquarters.

Dispute Resolution with CMA Members

All CMA Members are required to comply with the CMA Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice, available here. If you feel that your complaint with a member company has gone unaddressed, and/or the company has contravened the Code, please click here.

Alternatively, you can send a written complaint to:

Dispute Resolution

Canadian Marketing Association
55 University Avenue, Suite 603
Toronto, Ontario
M5J 2H7

Please include your name and address, the name and address of the company that the complaint is being made against, a chronological outline of the complaint including type of product/service ordered, along with proof of payment if applicable, and copies of key communications already exchanged with the company.

Once the complaint has been screened, CMA management will engage the member company and conduct an informal investigation with the objective of resolving the matter to the satisfaction of all parties. In cases where the member company is found to have engaged in activities in contravention of the Code, Section Q will apply.  

Additional Resources

If your problem is with a non-member company and you are unable to resolve the dispute yourself, CMA can assist you in dealing with one of the following bodies:

Canadian Consumer Information Gateway

Operated by the federal government, this website offers a single, central gateway to all the information and services offered by more than 400 federal departments and agencies, provincial and territorial ministries and non-governmental organizations. The site allows you to quickly search for consumer information and services and offers a complaint courier service that will assist you in making an effective complaint.

Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission

The CRTC is an administrative tribunal that regulates and supervises broadcasting and telecommunications in the public interest. Focused on achieving policy objectives established in the Broadcasting Act, Telecommunications Act and Canada’s anti-spam legislation (CASL), the CRTC runs a comprehensive complaints service on matters relating to broadcasting and telecommunications. 

Provincial Consumer Affairs Office

Each province has a provincial consumer protection agency that helps resolve complaints between consumers and businesses. Your consumer affairs office can help you with problems regarding: collection agencies, credit repair, consumer reporting, loan broker fraud, car repairs, home renovations, door-to-door sales, health clubs, modeling and talent contracts, and condominiums.

Better Business Bureau

The Better Business Bureau will help connect with the company in question and help you resolve any problem. The BBB handles complaints involving: misleading advertising, improper selling practices, non-delivery of goods or services, misrepresentation, unhonoured guarantees or warranty, unsatisfactory service, credit/billing problems, and unfulfilled contracts.

Advertising Standards Canada

Advertising Standards Canada is the advertising industry's self-regulatory body. Through ASC's independent, volunteer Councils, your complaints about advertising are reviewed using the criteria contained in the Canadian Code of Advertising Standards, the industry's principal self-regulatory instrument.

 Review our consumer FAQs.