The clothes and shoes 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 clothes and shoes 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.

What is a “reasonable lifetime”?

The reasonable lifetime warranty provides that goods must serve for normal use for a reasonable period of time. However, the law does not specify, for example, that a pair of shoes must have a lifetime of 5 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 item. Thus, a $50 pair of shoes cannot be expected to last as long as another one with the same features, but that costs $150.

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

How to assert your rights

If the clothes or shoes you bought are defective or cannot serve their purpose, you must inform the merchant (and manufacturer, if applicable) of the problem. They will need to:

  • repair the item of clothing or the shoes or have it repaired without charge; 
  • exchange it;
  • refund your money.

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

Tools made available by the Office

To help you resolve your problem, the Office has made various tools available to you. First, refer to the Resolve a problem with a merchant section, which presents the various steps to follow. Among other things, you will find suggestions on negotiating with a merchant in order to reach an agreement.

The Office also makes available information kits tailored to problems of an exclusively civil nature. They cover reasonable durability of goods, deliveries, warranties and non-conformity of goods or services. The Download an information kit page provides all the information you need.

Last update : October 15, 2020

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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.