A formal notice is an official letter that orders the recipient (a merchant, for example) to do or not do something. This can be, for example, to solve a problem, to pay a specific amount, or to fulfill a contract.

Why send a formal notice?

You can send a formal notice when you are unhappy with a product you purchased or a service you received. It provides clauses and deadlines to meet. The letter provides the merchant with the opportunity to fulfill your request without having to go to court.

Before sending a formal notice, the Office de la protection du consommateur suggests trying to negotiate with the merchant.

Writing a formal notice

The Office can provide you with tools to help you write a formal notice.

If your problem relates to warranties provided by the law, you can download an information kit which will guide you through the process. Consult the Comment faire appliquer les garanties légales page (in french only) for more information.

For any other consumer subject, you must first contact us to speak to an officer. This person will be able to ask you specific questions in connection with your problem in order to provide you with proper guidance and a complete reply. According to the situation, the officer may provide you with tools to help you assert your rights regarding:

  • delivery time frame, conformity of goods or services and their warranty;
  • repair of household appliances and electronic devices, or automobile repair;
  • itinerant sales (door-to-door);
  • the Price Accuracy Policy;
  • prohibited business practices;
  • telephone, internet, television, remote monitoring, and other services provided at a distance
  • fitness and weight controI centres;
  • etc.

Standard formal notice

The Québec ministère de la Justice provides a standard formal notice. It could be useful if the subject of your problem does not fall within the Office’s jurisdiction. The ministère can also help if you have any questions about the formal notice process.

Sending a formal notice

Before sending your formal notice, make sure you keep a copy for your personal records.

You also need to obtain confirmation that your letter has been received. To get that confirmation, you can send your notice via registered mail service and ask for signature on delivery. You can also hire a bailiff to deliver your letter.

Top of page

Last update : May 29, 2019

Were you unable to find an answer to your question? Please call us.

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.