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消费保护法准许客户“冷却”渡假共享合同

消费保护法准许客户“冷却”渡假共享合同

CPA allows consumer to “cool off” a Time Share Agreement

陈翠颖女士于2005年9月30日向小额法庭递交的诉状中说,她和其先生应邀于2005年8月7日由Geo Holiday Club举办的一个信息讲座,于当天便与这家公司签署了一份购买合同,合同说他们每两年会收到15,000点的度假分,价格为$12,500元。

Ms. Cuiying Chen, who was invited with her husband to a information session on Aug. 7, 2005 held by Geo Holiday Club, entered into a Purchase Agreement with the Holiday Club on the same day, which offered them a biennial membership with 15,000 Holiday credits, for a purchase price of $12,500, according to the Statement of Claim filed by Chen to the Small Claims Court on Sept 30, 2005.

原告要求法庭判决作为被告的Geo Holiday Club补偿她支付的全部合同款项。

The plaintiff sought compensation of all her payments made in respect of the Agreement to the defendant, Geo Holiday Club.

被告的应诉状说,原告于2005年8月7日支付一笔合同定金为$,6250元,及一笔$375美元的不能退还的处理费。

The plaintiff made a down payment in the sum of $6,250 on Aug. 7, 2005, and a non-refundable processing fee of US $375.00, as stated in the defendant claim.

被告的诉状中称,合同规定原告可在10天之内取消合同。

The defendant claim noted that the Plaintiff may cancel the Agreement within a period of ten days, under the Agreement.

陈的诉状中说,在2005年8月7日至2005年8月18日间,她曾三次试图取消与被告签署的合同。2005年8月10日,她向被告传真了一份要求取消合同的信。8月17日,在签署合同后的第10天,她曾口头要求取消合同。8月18日,她又通过传真和挂号信再次要求取消合同。陈指控说:“被告根本不理睬我的要求,拒绝取消这份合同。”

Chen stated that during the time period from Aug. 7, 2005 to Aug.18, 2005, she made three attempts to cancel the agreement with the defendant. On Aug. 10, 2005, she faxed a cancellation letter to the defendant. On Aug. 17, the 10th day after entering into the agreement, she made a cancellation verbally. And on Aug. 18, a cancellation letter was faxed and sent through registered mail. “Unfortunately, GEO ignored my requests and did not cancel the contract,” Chen alleged.

被告争辩说,他们收到了陈于8月10日提出的第一次取消合同的要求后,立即安排与陈见面。在8月11日的会面中,“原告对这项计划表示满意,撤销了她的合同取消申请,并恢复了其会员身份。”被告的应诉状中虽未认可、也未否认陈于8月17日的口头取消合同申请,但表示被告收到了陈于8月18日的取消合同信。但此时已经过了10天的冷却期。

The defendant argued that Chen’s first cancellation request was received on Aug. 10, and a meeting was immediately scheduled between a representative and Chen to address Chen’s concerns. In the meeting of Aug. 11, “The plaintiff was satisfied with the membership, voided their cancellation letter, and reinstated the membership,” noted the Statement of Defence, which neither denied nor acknowledged the verbal cancellation on Aug. 17 as claimed by Chen, but indicated that the Defendant received Chen’s cancellation letter dated Aug. 18, 2005 -- one day over the 10-day cooling-off period.

陈指控说,在被告办公处的第二次会面时,她收到了一份“Fairfield Disclosure Guide”。其提供的度假条件比那份在第一次的信息讲座上收到的“RCI Disclosure Guide”要好得多。因此,她决定恢复会员身份。

Chen alleged that during the second meeting at the premise of the defendant, she was provided with a copy of “Fairfield Disclosure Guide” - a different guide that offers better deals to the members than the RCI Disclosure Guide that she received at the information session. As a result, she reinstated her membership.

陈在诉状说说,她猜疑在此次会面时,有人悄悄将那本“Fairfield Guide”换成了原来的“RCI Guide”放进了她的文件夹, 因而又出现了另外两次的取消合同的要求。

Chen’s speculation that the Fairfield Guide, which had been placed in her file folder, was discreetly switched with a RCI Guide by someone at the meeting led her make the other two cancellation requests, according to the claim.

被告否认陈的指控, 表示“根本就不存在什麽所谓的‘Fairfield Disclosure Guide’”。

The defendant denied Chen’s allegation, noting that “there is no ‘Fairfield Disclosure Guide’” as alleged by the Plaintiff.

陈的诉状中进一步指控,她被被告的销售人员骚扰,当她拒绝为合同继续付款时,这些人便以毁约名义相威胁要起诉她。

Chen further claimed that she was harassed by the agents of the defendant, who claimed to sue her for “breaching of contract”, when she refused to make further payments.

被告否认其销售人员对原告进行过骚扰,指出“被告自始至终都是抱着良好的愿望,忠守并将忠守双方签署的合同。”

The defendant denies that its agents harassed the plaintiff, noting “The defendant has acted in good faith throughout and is and has been willing and able, at all times, to adhere to the Agreement made between the parties.”

被告要求法庭驳回原告的诉状,并要求原告支付诉讼费用。

The defendant proposed that the action be dismissed against them with costs.

2007年3月10日,法官驳回了被告的应诉状,并判决被告退还原告所有的合同支出款项,且被告要求原告支付法庭费用的要求也同时驳回。

On Mar.10, 2007, the judge dismissed the defendant claim without cost and rewarded the plaintiff with all her payments made in respect of the Agreement.

被告为该案聘请的Horwitz Finder律师行的诉讼律师Romeo Finder先生向大中报表示,法官认为陈于撤销其取消合同的8月11日,签署了新的合同。“法官认为消费保护法适用于该案件,因为从陈撤销了取消了合同要求之日起,她仍有10天的冷却期。因此她8月18日提出的取消合同要求仍在10天的冷却期内。”

Mr. Romeo Finder, a litigation lawyer with Horwitz Finder who was retained by the defendant on the case, told Chinese News that in the judge’s view, Chen entered into a new contract on Aug. 11, the date she voided her cancellation. “The judge said that the Consumer Protection Act (CPA) applies to her, since she still has a 10-day cooling-off period starting from the day she canceled her cancellation. Thus, her cancellation request of Aug. 18 was within the 10-day cooling-off period.”

Finder说:“我不认为这是一个正确的决定。如果不是从上诉所导致的费用要高于上诉可能带来的经济利益这一商业角度考虑,我的客户是肯定会上诉的。但从法律角度讲,我认为法官的判决是错误的。”

“I don’t think that the decision is a good one, and my client would have appealed the decision, had it not been under business considerations, as the cost of appeal would out- weigh the benefit. But from a legal perspective, I think the judge is wrong,” said Finder.

Finder律师进一步表示,陈于8月10日的合同取消要求及8月11日的撤销的取消合同要求应作为对原合同的修改来看待。并且,根据消费保护法(CPA),当签署合同的一方在合同被修改后提出取消要求时,该合同方取消的是对合同的修改部分,而非合同本身。他坚持说,陈是8月7日签署合同的。

Finder further argued that Chen’s cancellation of Aug. 10 and her voidance of the cancellation of Aug. 11 should have been treated as an amendment to her original contract. And under the Consumer Protection Act (CPA), in the event that a party that entered into an agreement cancelled after an amendment had been made to the original contract, what the party cancelled is the amendment to the agreement, rather than the original agreement. He maintains that Chen entered the agreement on Aug.7.

在不对具体案件进行评论的前提下,布雷克律师行(Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP)的经验丰富的诉讼合伙律师Tony Wong告诉大中报,根据消费保护法,一份渡假合同“Time Share Agreement”准许消费者在收到合同副本的10天内取消该合同。Tony Wong强调说:“消费者以通知对方的方式取消合同,而通知的方式可为口头或书面的方式。一旦通知寄出,合同即被取消。被取消的合同将被认为从未存在。”

Not commenting on any specific cases, Tony Wong, an experienced litigation partner with Blakes (Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP) told Chinese News that under the CPA, a “Time Share Agreement” allows a consumer to cancel up to 10 days after receiving a written copy of the agreement. “The consumer cancels the agreement by providing notice of the decision to cancel -- which notice may be oral or in writing -- to the seller.  The notice is effective when sent, i.e. the agreement is cancelled when the notice is sent.  On cancellation, the Act deems that the cancelled agreement is treated as if it never existed,” Wong stressed.

Tony Wong律师说,他虽然相信不同的论点一定存在,但“撤销取消合同”可以被理解为于8月11日进入一个新的合同,而从此时起,开始计算一个新的10天冷却期。

Wong indicates that while he believes that an argument to the contrary can be made, the “cancellation of the cancellation" could be considered as a new contract, which arose on or about August 11, when a new 10-day cooling-off period started to run.

陈女士向大中报表示,她对法官的判决表示满意。
Chen told Chinese News that she is happy with the judge’s decision.

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