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Registrar’s Directive: Price list disclosure on websites

It has come to the BAO’s attention that some operators are requiring consumers to do certain things prior to allowing access to the operator’s price list on the operator’s website. Such things include forcing the consumer to supply their contact information or requiring acceptance of a privacy policy or other terms or conditions prior to accessing the price list.

This practice is not allowed and must cease immediately.

Ontario Regulation 30/11 section 68(3) regarding access to price lists on a licensee’s website states:
Every operator who maintains or makes use of a website to promote the sale or provision of a licensed supply or service or to enter into a contract for the sale or provision of a licensed supply or service shall ensure that the operator’s price list is available, without charge, in a printable form in a clearly visible place on the website.

The intent of this regulation is to provide simple, unconditional access to a licensee’s price list to enhance transparency for consumers. Requiring that the consumer provide their identity or contact information or acceptance of any other terms prior to accessing the price list is contrary to the objectives of the legislation and can be interpreted as creating barriers for consumers.

Price lists must be easily accessible and clearly visible on a website and not concealed, or otherwise positioned to force a consumer to “hunt” for it.

In addition, operators are reminded that their licence number and type of licence (example: Funeral Establishment Class 1) must be displayed in a clearly visible place on the website without using abbreviations (example FE1).

– Carey Smith, CEO/Registrar