The tools and materials 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 tools and materials 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 second-hand tools purchased from a merchant. In such cases, the fact that the item 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 hammer oven must have a lifetime of 20 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 a tool. Thus, a $30 hammer oven cannot be expected to last as long as another one with the same features, but that costs $100.

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

How to assert your rights

If the tool 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 tool or have it repaired without charge;
  • exchange it;
  • refund your money.

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

Information package

If the merchant or manufacturer refuses to honour a warranty, request our information package. 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 tool or materials worked for a reasonable lifetime or not or included a hidden defect. For example, the expert could be a person who repairs tools professionally. In small claims court, an expert can generally testify in writing using a Statement in lieu of testimony.

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Last update : November 24, 2017

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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.