Hoping to get your hands on a PS5 or Xbox Series X console, just in time for Christmas? They are rare …
In addition, video game lovers have informed The bill that, in their case, the merchant added a condition: to buy a console, they also had to buy another product like an additional controller, a game, a set of accessories, or even in one case, a cell phone.
Is it legal to require you to purchase additional items when a video game console is sold to you?
Yes it is legal.
In fact, the law that applies here is quite simply that of supply and demand. The merchant can determine purchase conditions. Whether you want to spend your money in his store or not is up to you.
On the other hand, if there are conditions, such as purchasing other additional products, the business must clearly disclose them well in advance of the purchase, for example on the website, in advertising, in the display of price on shelves.
And if you were brought to the store for an excuse, for example, to pick up the console you pre-ordered, and you were forced to buy another product to come away with the console, check: it could be considered forced sale, which contravenes section 230 of the Consumer Protection Act.
The Consumer Protection Office has also received several complaints that it has classified as possible cases of forced sale, particularly at EBGames and GameStop, and also at The Source.
The bill contacted both companies to find out their policy. No response from Electronics Boutique Canada, the company that owns the EBGames and GameStop brands.
The Source, for its part, assures that it does not endorse this practice in its policy and that it takes complaints seriously. Bell, which acquired the retailer, responds in an email to The bill : “The Source sells game consoles as a single product and does not require customers to purchase accessories or other additions with the console. If items are offered together, Bell explains, they are “packaged together in a sealed box.” As for pre-orders, “they’re done as ordered, which means people who have ordered consoles as one-off items will receive them on that basis.” “
Journalist : François Sanche
Research journalist : Isabelle Roberge