Enhanced protection for Nova Scotian consumers

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The summer months are a popular time for direct sellers to conduct business with Nova Scotians.

Direct sellers are businesses who operate without a retail space, such as door-to-door sales, home parties and telephone solicitations. Most are ethical in their business practices, however, some engage in practices that could be misleading and negatively affect consumers.

To ensure Nova Scotians are better protected from unethical direct sellers, police can now issue summary offence tickets to direct sellers who are in violation of the Direct Sellers’ Regulation Act. Individuals caught selling without a permit face a minimum fine of $985, up to $2,422 for a third offence. Fines for corporations start at $2,400, rising to more than $11,000 for a third offence.

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“We want to ensure Nova Scotians who buy items from direct sellers are being treated fairly and that they are protected,” said Service Nova Scotia Minister Geoff MacLellan. “Direct sellers who mislead or scam consumers in any way, sell without a permit, or fail to comply with the act can now be ticketed by police.”

Direct seller companies require a permit to operate in the province and salespeople must identify themselves to consumers using the name listed on their identification card. Anyone who feels they have been treated unfairly by a direct seller should report the incident to the police.

“The Better Business Bureau is proud to work hand-in-hand with Service Nova Scotia, helping people across the province by giving them the information they need to be smarter consumers, and responding to concerns when things go badly,” said Peter Moorhouse, president and CEO of BBB Atlantic.

To check if a direct seller has a permit to operate in the province, visit https://data.novascotia.ca/Permits-and-Licensing/Licensed-Direct-Selling-Companies-in-Nova-Scotia/iite-snyb/data or call 902-424-5200 or toll-free at 1-800-670-4357.