The appliances you buy are covered by warranties provided by the law. These warranties automatically apply without charge, even if the merchant or the manufacturer claims to sell without warranties. Among these warranties are:

  • the use warranty;
  • the reasonable lifetime warranty;
  • the warranty against hidden defects.

Warranties provided by the law: your rights

Legal warranties allow 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 show 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. In such cases, the fact that the appliance is used and its wear at the time of purchase must be taken into consideration.

What is a “reasonable lifetime”?

The reasonable lifetime warranty provides that an appliance must serve for normal use for a reasonable period of time. However, the law does not specify, for example, that a stove must have a lifetime of 10 years. Why? Because several factors, such as the price paid, the contract, and the conditions of use, must be taken into account to determine the reasonable lifetime of an appliance. Thus, a $700 stove cannot be expected to last as long as another one with the same features, but that costs $1,500.

In short, it’s a question of facts and common sense.

How to assert your rights

If the appliance you bought is defective or cannot serve its purpose, you must inform the merchant (and manufacturer, if applicable) of the problem. They will need to:

  • repair the appliance or have it repaired without charge;
  • exchange it;
  • refund your money.

You may also have suffered damages from using a defective appliance. If that is the case, the merchant may also have to compensate you.

Tools offered by the Office

To help you assert your rights, various tools are available to you. You can first contact the Office to check whether you can use PARLe, a quick, free service provided entirely online, to try to settle your dispute with a merchant.

If you cannot have access to PARLe or if this process does not work, you can use our information kit. In it, you will find information that will guide you through:

  • the negotiation process with a merchant or manufacturer;
  • the drafting of a formal notice;
  • the presentation of a claim to the small claims court.

View the Download an information kit on a reasonable length of time for goods page.

To support your claim, you may need the advice of an independent expert, especially if your case if to be heard in court. This expert must be able to estimate whether the appliance worked for a reasonable lifetime or not, or included a hidden defect. For example, the expert could be an appliance repairer. In small claims court, an expert can generally testify in writing using a Statement in lieu of testimony.

Need reference points?

Thanks to a partnership with the Société québécoise d’information juridique (SOQUIJ), the Office publishes summaries of the most recent judgments that deal with legal warranties, in particular those rendered by the small claims court. These summaries may be used to help support your efforts in asserting your rights with a merchant. 

Consult the most recent judgments on ranges, washers and dryers, dishwashers and refrigerators and freezers.

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Last update : March 19, 2019

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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.