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In Quebec, a company is not allowed to automatically charge after a free trial period (see section 230c of the consumer protection act), they have to cancel the subscription, then they can ask if the customer wants start a new subscription and pay at the regular rate (this was confirmed with the office of consumer protection). However, in other parts of the country, merchants are allowed to charge automatically after a free trial period. So most companies make the terms and conditions that one agrees on say that the charge will be automatic after the free trial period for most of the country, but make it clear the terms are different for Quebec. Some companies have not done this, and automatically charge people, even though it's not allowed (the terms and conditions go against regulations). People often don't read the terms and assume merchants are following regulations. What does someone do if the terms and conditions were agreed upon, and the company charged automatically after the free trial period, even though they aren't allowed? The company was contacted and they contend that they are following regulations. The office of consumer protection says a formal complaint can be made, where the business could be fined (even having a website in the first place saying one is automatically charged after a free trial is not allowed, unless it states rules are different for Quebec) and should refund the money. If one is curious what businesses do this, searching for online movie services that offer free trials, without special cases for Quebec, probably give good examples.

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Make the formal complaint

Your question contains the answer. The regulator will investigate and if they decide the law has been broken require the company to repay you (and anyone else affected). The may also take legal action against the company, particularly if the company doesn’t fix the problem.

You can also tell your credit card company to reverse the transactions as they were done unlawfully.

Or you can take the company to court yourself.

  • Yes I was wondering if letting the credit card company deal with it is a valid option (I could have added that into the question), letting them investigate it (maybe they would make the formal complaint?). It's not a large sum of money, hardly worth the time for many to take the company to court. The formal complaint I think would work but I think would take more time (time spent and wait time) to actually just get a refund, though it may save others the hassle in the future. Thanks. – user27086 Jan 8 at 20:04

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