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Press Room

Option consommateurs files a complaint against eight major furniture retailers
for misleading business practices
Montreal, September 21st, 2011 – Option consommateurs files a complaint with the Competition Bureau, the Office de la protection du consommateur and Ontario’s Ministry of Consumer Services against eight major furniture retailers: The Bay, Brault & Martineau, The Brick, (including The Brick Clearance Centre), Dormez-vous, Germain Larivière, Léon, Mattress Mart and Sears. An investigation by the organization has revealed that these companies may employ misleading business practices.

Among the practices observed by Option consommateurs are:

• advertising items on sale so often that the “sale price” seems to be the current price;
• advertising an “introductory price” for an item that has in fact been available in store for a long time;
• for a mattress and box spring set, increasing the price of the mattress and then offering the box spring "free";
• selling “liquidation” articles at a higher price than when they were advertised on sale.

“These business practices seems to be misleading because they might lure consumers who are looking to take advantage of sales,” says Jean-François Vinet, an analyst at Option consommateurs. “Since the Competition Act was revised in 2009, any retailer guilty of such practices is liable to a fine of up to $10 million."

Copies of the complaint letters (in French) send on September 21st, 2011 to
Competition Bureau Canada
Ministry of Consumer Services Ontario
Office de la protection du consommateur Québec 

Photographs illustrating the various problems (in French)

Research report
Genuine or Fake Sales? Review of regulatory frameworks in Canada and abroad and data collection study in the Canadian retail market.
Option consommateurs, 2011. 317 pages.

About Option consommateurs
Option consommateurs is a not-for-profit association whose mission is to defend the rights and interests of consumers and to ensure that they are respected. To this end, it maintains a close interest in business practices, financial services, energy, and agri-food, and will not hesitate to get involved in numerous class actions when it sees fit.

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For Information and interviews:

Jacinthe Lauzon
Communications Advisor
Option consommateurs
514 598-7288


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