Consumer Information

What a Month!

As you can see by my lack of posts i’ve had one stinker of a month, most of which I will not talk about here. But I will update the Solartab C & IndieGoGo issue that i’ve discussed previously on this blog.

To recap, in late 2016 I contributed to a crowdfunding project on IndieGoGo, a site that I have linked in the past that offered new, innovative music based products. And unfortunately the original shipping date for the product came and went due to multiple alleged delays with the Chinese manufacturers.

Basically I contributed to a company that was based in San Fransisco, that suddenly moved to Hong Kong and then disappeared shortly after a issuing a statement in May 2018 saying they were about to ship the two solar panel chargers I had chosen as my perks.

When I contacted IndieGoGo for additional contact information for my complaint to the Attorney General of the State of California, I was referred to the official Solartab C site, which was no longer there by mid 2018. And of course IndieGoGo does not issue refunds, instead referring complainants back to the crowdfunding project for pretty much everything.

So, i’ve filled up the form to the Attorney General of the State of California, which was received a few days ago, and am now no longer posting links to crowdfunding campaigns from IndieGoGo on this blog, or anywhere.

I am considering filing a complaint with the FTC over this so that I can give my credit card company references in regards to this issue and will likely contact PayPal for an official response, that I will forward to both my credit card company and possibly Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

I’ve had an experience with PayPal in 2005 and have read their policies so I know they would simply tell me to get a refund from IndieGoGo, whose response i’ve already received.

Well, there you have it. I’m just compiling responses and waiting for a class action suit to get on to get a few bucks back.

Maybe my credit card company might consider what happened but I’m ready to file if they don’t.

Buyer Beware. Don’t accept delays when it comes to crowdfunding. Get your money back immediately.

Music Book Offers & More

Indigo’s 5X Plum Point Offer may be expiring on the 12th of July, 2018. But their Free Shipping Offer On Books continues, all summer with no minimums. This would be a great opportunity to purchase music biographies, sheet music collection, music theory and other instructional books.

Prime Day will also happen on the 16th and 17th on Amazon.ca, so keep an eye out for deals on books, music, musical instruments and turntables. To get a free trail membership, click on the banner below.

Please note that a Buy 2 Get One Free offer on paperbacks is also available from American retailer Barnes & Noble. This offer will end on July 31st, 2018.

Ontario Scalping Law on Hold

The current Ontario provincial government has placed the Ticket Sales Act on hold, pending review.

This new law would have been active on Canada Day and would have regulated the resale of tickets in the province of Ontario, as described by this October 6th, 2017 blog entry.

Tariffed?

It appears that books, sheet music, compact discs, DVDs, vinyl records, blu-rays and most memorabilia that originate from the United States will not be subject to tariffs according to the list of potentially tariffed items.

In regards to memorabilia, you will notice that playing cards, printed cards, postcards, ball point pens, felt markers, sleeping bags and bedding from the United States are on this list and may be subject to tariffs on July 1st, 2018, although products that weren’t made in the states may be exempt.

Just in case you wanted to know.

Enjoy Deals on Your Favorite Toys, Games & More! Shop BN.com

Update – Response on Netflix/Internet Tax

From my local Member of Parliament, Karen McCrimmon (Dated June 13th, 2018) :

“Hello Rob,

Thank you for taking the time to share your ideas with me.

Our government understands the importance of supporting our artists and creators. We also know that the way Canadians access content is changing. That’s why we have made historic investments of $3.2 billion, to support our artists and creators. It’s also why we will be modernizing our laws and programs to better support our artists in the digital era.

Netflix’s investment is a part of the transition. It secures 5 years of investments for our creators, as we modernize our laws and programs.

We, as a government have decided not to introduce a Netflix tax because we don’t want to raises taxes on the middle class, we want to lower them. We will always look at ways to strike the balance between a fair tax system and the investments we need in our culture, but in doing so, we’re not going to be raising taxes on the middle class through an internet broadband tax.

I will share your ideas with my fellow colleagues, including the Minister of Finance, Bill Morneau.

Thank your again for your engagement as a constituent.

Kind regards,

Karen”

I had suggested that if taxes on streaming services are absolutely necessary that they consider forwarding a portion of the federal taxes collected from these services to Canadian Content initiatives, instead of introducing an independent levy for that purpose.

As i’ve mentioned in a previous entry, these services will be taxed on New Years Day in Quebec and the Canadian Radio & Telecommunication Commission had made a proposal of their on in regards to levy to fund Canadian Content.

The publics views have been made clear by a February 2017 poll conducted by Innovative Research Group earlier in 2017. But I had thought to send my opinion and suggestions to my local MP and Heritage Minister Melanie Joly in response to the CRTC’s recent proposal.

If you wish to contact your local Member of Parliament on this issue, you can do so via the MP database by clicking here.

I will of course update this blog if the situation changes.

Thank you.

New Taxes On Streaming?

On New Years Day 2019, residents of Quebec will begin paying a tax on streaming services. And unfortunately the Canadian Radio & Telecommunication Commission is considering a “levy” to fund Canadian programming and a House of Commons committee is asking for sales taxes to be collected on these services.

This would of course raise the price of these services for the consumer, significantly. And these had been opposed by Canadians according to a Open Media poll conducted in early 2017 by the Innovative Research Group.

According to this poll, 70% of the respondents opposed a new tax on internet and mobile phone bills, 51% strongly. And in regards to the implementation of sales taxes on foreign streaming services, 47% of the respondents supported it provided the funds would be used on Canadian content.

CRTC chairman Ian Scott claimed the “levy” itself “would cost less than 50 cents on an average broadband bill of $47” durring a May 31st, 2018 Financial Times interview so they could easily just divert some of the sales taxes to Canadian Content instead. But there has yet to be a response in regards to these “contributions” from Canadian Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who had both claimed there would be no internet taxes.

Please contact your local Member of Parliament on this issue. I will be contacting mine as soon as possible.

Thank you.