Are you shopping for an appliance? The following tips may be of interest to you before you make a purchase.

Before giving a down payment on appliances, know what you are agreeing to. Always inquire about the merchant’s layaway policy. Layaway and cancellation policies vary from one merchant to the next.

Amount requested for a down payment

If a merchant is requesting a down payment, you should try to negotiate the lowest possible amount. A low down payment means a smaller loss if the store closes its doors or goes bankrupt before you take delivery of the item you purchased.

Cancelling a layaway

Want to cancel a layaway? Know that merchants cannot set in advance the penalty they will charge if you cancel an agreement (for example, in a contract, in their layaway policy, in a statement, etc.) However, in certain circumstances, they could ask for a sum of money to redress damages actually incurred because of the cancellation.

Before buying an extended warranty, be aware that any appliance bought from a merchant is covered by warranties provided by law.
Legal warranties entitle you to expect that the appliance you are buying:

  • will serve the purpose for which it was bought;
  • will have a reasonable lifetime, given the price paid, the contract, and the conditions of use;
  • will not contain hidden defects – that is, important defects that were present before the sale, that were not mentioned to you and that you could not have noticed, even if you were observant;
  • will conform to the description written in the contract and the advertising, and to the merchant’s statements.

You also benefit from the same conditions on a second-hand appliance purchased from a merchant.

Information provided by the merchant in store

Before offering an extended warranty, a merchant must:

  • inform you of the existence and contents of some legal warranties by reading the following text: “The Act provides a warranty on the goods you purchase or lease: they must be usable for normal use for a reasonable length of time”. The merchant must also provide a written notice that should only include mandatory information;
  • verbally inform you of the existence and duration of the warranty offered for free by the manufacturer, if applicable. Upon your request, the merchant must also verbally inform you how you can access all of the warranty’s conditions.

Before buying an appliance, inquire about the merchant’s exchange and refund policies. The law does not require merchants to refund, exchange or credit an appliance that you no longer want.

Merchants are free to decide on the terms of their exchange and refund policy. However, once they do adopt one, they are required to comply with its rules.

Measure the appliance you want to buy

Always take the measurements of the appliance you want to buy to make sure it will fit your home. The merchant is not complied to cancel a transaction because an appliance doesn’t fit the space it you intended to place it in.

Precautions to take at purchase time

At the time of purchase, make sure the merchant’s exchange and refund policy is printed on the receipt. If that is not the case, ask the merchant to write the policy down for you.

Always keep a copy of the receipt as well as the warranty information documents to make a potential return easier. You should also make a copy of the invoice, as the original written content could fade over time.

The Office recommends you not sign any document before making the decision to purchase an appliance. Contrary to the popular belief, you do not benefit from a 10-day delay to cancel your purchase if you change your mind.

Cancelling a cash or credit card purchase

No delay is prescribed by law that allows you to cancel the purchase of an appliance you paid for in cash, with a credit card, or with a line of credit. If you want to cancel the purchase, you must come to an agreement with the merchant.

Cancelling an online purchase

Do you plan on purchasing an appliance through an online store? If there’s a problem, the law allows you to cancel your purchase under certain conditions. The page Cancelling a purchase made online or by phone provides more information on this topic.

To avoid the inconvenience of delivery delays, the Office de la protection du consommateur advises you to have the following details written down on your invoice:

  • The precise delivery date of the appliance. Do not accept notes such as “rush,” “urgent,” “priority,” “as soon as possible,” or “in 4 to 6 weeks”;
  • A clause that allows you to cancel the purchase and to receive a refund for the down payment if the delivery is late.

Delivery scheduled 2 months after purchase

If an appliance is to be delivered more than 2 months after you have purchased it:

  • check whether the merchant has a trust account;
  • if you need to give a down payment, write down a check payable to “[name of the merchant] in trust.”

A trust account will protect you in case the merchant goes bankrupt or closes its doors. The amounts deposited in such an account could serve as damages if something happens. It is wise to take these precautions, but they do not guarantee that you will be refunded your down payment.

Last update : June 27, 2023

Was the information on this page useful to you?

Didn’t find the answers to your questions?

If you have a question for the Office or would like to file a complaint, please call us or use our information request form.

Do you have a comment on the content of this page?

You can contact the webmaster to in the content of this page.

The information contained on this page is presented in simple terms to make it easier to understand. It does not replace the texts of the laws and regulations.