The electronic devices you buy are covered by warranties provided for by law. These warranties apply automatically and without charge, even if the merchant or the manufacturer claims to sell the electronic devices with no warranty. These include:

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

Warranties provided for by law: your rights

Legal warranties allow you to demand that the electronic device you are buying:

  • will serve the purpose for which it was intended;
  • will have a reasonable lifetime, given the price paid, the contract, and the conditions of use;
  • will not have any 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, despite your due diligence;
  • matches its description in the contract, advertisements and the merchant’s statements.

You can also demand the same conditions for a second-hand electronic device purchased from a merchant. In such cases, the fact that the electronic device 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 goods must serve for normal use for a reasonable period of time. However, the law does not specify, for example, that a television set 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 the item. Thus, a $850 television set cannot be expected to last as long as another one with the same features, but that costs $1,500.

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

How to assert your rights

If the electronic device you bought is defective or cannot serve its purpose, you must inform the merchant (and manufacturer, if applicable) of the problem.

You can either undertake this process with the merchant, manufacturer, or both. A merchant may not require that you deal with the manufacturer.

The merchant or manufacturer may choose to pursue any of the following options:

  • repair the electronic device or have it repaired without charge;
  • exchange it;
  • reimburse you.

You may also have suffered damages from using a defective product. If that is the case, the merchant or manufacturer 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 and non-conformity of goods or services. The Download an information kit page provides all the information you need.

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 or manufacturer. 

Consult the most recent judgments on televisions and cellular phones.

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Last update : June 27, 2023

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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.