Accused found guilty of deceiving customers about delivery times and making false claims about a so-called TV antenna

News Release

July 25, 2017 – OTTAWA, ON – Competition Bureau

John Dragan, the President of two now defunct Montreal-based mail order businesses (JD Marvel and CDN Mail Order Exchange), has been found guilty of making false claims for “Clear Vue”, a so-called TV antenna.

Dragan was also found guilty of deceiving consumers about advertised delivery times for “Clear Vue” as well as other products he was selling. The offences relate to false representations made to Canadian and American consumers.

The Court of Quebec found him guilty of four charges of deceptive marketing practices and acquitted him on nine other charges. Dragan will be sentenced by the Court at a later date.

The Court’s decision confirmed the Competition Bureau’s conclusions that both companies misled consumers by falsely claiming that their “Clear Vue” device worked like a giant TV antenna and could replace cable service.

Furthermore, the companies advertised two to five week deliveries while in fact, consumers waited several months for their purchases or did not receive them.

This concludes one of the Bureau’s longest standing investigations. Launched in 2002, the investigation was delayed by a number of circumstances outside the Bureau’s control, including multiple changes in defence counsel.

Quotes

“Consumers must be able to trust that the marketing claims they see are real and that companies making false representations will be held accountable. We encourage all consumers who believe they have been misled to file a complaint with the Bureau. By reporting false or misleading representations, they provide the Bureau with the information it needs to address deceptive marketing practices and help prevent others from becoming victims. ”

John Pecman,
Commissioner of Competition

Quick Facts

  • JD Marvel and CDN Mail Order Exchange offered a wide range of consumer products through mail order, advertising inserts, coupons in discount envelopes and magazines, catalogues and online.

  • More than 90% of the complaints reviewed by the Bureau on this case were related to the delivery delay.

  • As a result of the Bureau’s investigation, 13 criminal charges were laid in March 2005, against JD Marvel Products Inc., CDN Mail Order Exchange and their President, John Dragan.

  • While both companies went bankrupt in 2006-2007, all 13 charges against Mr. Dragan remained.

  • A first trial began in 2013, but came to an abrupt end in November 2013 when the judge hearing the matter stepped down. A new trial therefore began in May 2017.

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