Is your heating or air conditioning system broken? The following tips may be of interest to you before having it repaired.

Heating and air conditioning repair persons must abide by certain obligations.

Check whether the merchant holds the required authorizations

Heating systems and heat pumps are repaired by master pipe mechanics. These mechanics must hold a licence from the Corporation des maîtres mécaniciens en tuyauterie du Québec (in French only).

If electrical work is required to repair your appliance, the repair person must hold a licence from the Corporation des maîtres électriciens du Québec (in French only).

Any person who repairs an air conditioning system must have a refrigeration licence from the Régie du bâtiment du Québec.

Check whether the repair person has an itinerant merchant's permit

Is the repair person you plan on hiring an itinerant merchant? This type of merchant must hold a permit from the Office de la protection du consommateur and provide you with a written contract. Heating or air conditioning system vendors are considered itinerant merchants if they try to sell you their products outside their place of business, for example, if they come to your home without an invitation.

Check whether the repair person has a liability insurance

If the repair person is insured, you will be better protected in the event that any of your property or that of a neighbor is damaged or if a person is the victim of an accident at your home.

A repair person must provide a written evaluation when the costs for a repair are estimated to be higher than $50.

What if you have signed a printed document rejecting the need for such an evaluation? Such a document has no legal value. To reject an evaluation, you must write a document yourself and sign it.

Appliances covered

The evaluation is mandatory for the repair of an air conditioning appliance or heat pump only. It does not cover heating appliances, for example.

Evaluation costs

Getting an evaluation should be free, unless the repair person mentioned the exact fee beforehand.

Information contained in an evaluation

The evaluation provided for the repair of an air conditioning appliance or heat pump must contain the following information :

  • your name and that of the merchant;
  • a description of the appliance to be repaired;
  • a description of the repairs and the total cost;
  • the evaluation date and the period for which it is valid.

Authorizing the repair

The repair person must obtain your authorization before proceeding with repair work. Additionally, they cannot perform any repairs that were not specified in the evaluation without your consent.

The repair person cannot ask for more than the amount stated in the evaluation. Only the cost of additional repairs authorized by you can be added.

Getting replaced parts back

When you authorize the repair person to do the work, you can also ask them to give you the parts that were replaced. The repair person must agree with your request, unless :

  • the repair work is done for free;
  • the defective parts are replaced by refurbished parts;
  • the repair person must send the defective parts back to the manufacturer or distributor because a repair is under warranty.

Warranty on repairs

A repair person is not required to provide an evaluation when a repair is done for free, such as when it is under warranty.

Prohibited practices

Regardless of the appliance to be repaired, all unfair business practices are prohibited. For example, a repair person breaks the law if they pretend a part is needed for a repair when it is not.

Appliances not covered by the law

You can ask merchants or repair people to provide you with an evaluation before having any other appliance repaired. Although the law allows them to refuse your request, merchants or repair people concerned about keeping their customers will agree to provide one.

A repair person must provide an invoice after repairing an air conditioning appliance or heat pump. The invoice must include :

  • your name and that of the merchant;
  • a description of the appliance to be repaired;
  • the repairs performed;
  • the parts that were replaced and their corresponding prices, including details regarding whether the parts were new, used, or refurbished;
  • the number of labour hours, the hourly rate, and the total labour costs;
  • the amount of applicable taxes;
  • the warranty details;
  • the total cost.

A repair person cannot give you false or misleading information.

Extended warranty offer

Be wary if a vendor tries to convince you to purchase an extended warranty under the pretext that the merchant who sold you the appliance went bankrupt. Some of these vendors try to sell these warranties even though the initial warranty is still valid, in spite of the bankruptcy.

Another example: certain vendors claim that maintenance is required for the manufacturer’s warranty to apply, whereas this information is false.

Always contact the appliance manufacturer to obtain correct information regarding warranties. This way, you'll be sure to know the truth.

False repair people

Some repair people claim to represent a business, when in fact they do not. It is always prudent to do some checking before entering into an agreement with a repair person.

Recourse

If a merchant has given you false or misleading information, you should contact the Office de la protection du consommateur. The Contact us page provides information on how to reach us.

You recommend this page: https://www.opc.gouv.qc.ca/

Last update : November 22, 2022

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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.