Have you made a purchase by phone or by mail? It is possible to cancel it without charge and within a short deadline if the merchant has not respected certain obligations. The following information may be of interest to you.
First, check whether the merchant’s exchange and refund policy can be applied. You can also decide to cancel your purchase if you respect the prescribed conditions and deadlines. To do so, follow the steps outlined below.
Have you made an online purchase? Refer instead to the page titled Cancelling an Online Purchase.
A purchase by phone or by mail can be cancelled in certain situations, if you abide by the deadlines provided for by law.
Situations and cancellation time limits
|Situations||Cancellation time limit|
You did not receive the item or service:
Transportation, lodging, or food services
You did not receive the necessary documents to get access to paid services (such as airplane tickets) on the date agreed upon in writing.
Tickets to attend an event (for example, concert tickets or tickets for a sporting or cultural event)
You did not receive the tickets on the date agreed upon in writing.
|Anytime, before you receive the item or service|
| ||30 days after purchase|
| ||7 days after you receive a copy of contract|
You realize, when you receive the item or service, that:
See the Getting all the required information page.
|7 days after you receive the item or service|
|You paid for the purchase by credit card and, when you receive your account statement, you realize that: |
See the Getting all the required information page.
|7 days after you receive the credit card account statement|
You purchased tickets from a reseller to attend an event, but it was cancelled.
After the scheduled date of the event, but before it takes place, if it is postponed.
You purchased tickets from a reseller to attend an event. The event, the place or seat, or the value of the ticket does not correspond to what was said, written, advertised or claimed when you made your purchase.
After the tickets are delivered, but before the event takes place.
If allowed in your situation and you abide by the deadlines provided for by law, you can cancel your purchase with the merchant.
To cancel a purchase, you must:
- send a cancellation notice to the merchant within the prescribed time limit. The notice can be verbal or written. The Office de la protection du consommateur recommends that you keep proof of delivery of this notice. For example, you can send it by email, fax or registered mail. The cancellation will take effect on the notice’s delivery date;
- return the item in the condition in which you received it:
- within 15 days after sending the cancellation notice, or
- within 15 days after the delivery of the item if it was delivered after the purchase was cancelled.
The merchant must reimburse you within 15 days after the notice was sent. They must also cover reasonable shipping costs incurred to return the item.
If need be, you could file a chargeback request. To do so, you must have paid for the purchase with a credit card and the merchant must have failed to reimburse you within 15 days after the cancellation of your purchase.
You have 60 days to file a chargeback request with the issuer of your credit card.
Contents of a chargeback request
Your chargeback request must be submitted in writing. It must contain the following information:
- the credit cardholder’s name;
- the credit card number and expiry date;
- the merchant’s name;
- the contract conclusion date;
- the amount charged to the credit card account;
- the amount the merchant is required to refund;
- a description of the goods or services covered by the chargeback request;
- the reason for cancellation;
- the cancellation date of the purchase;
- the means by which the cancellation notice was delivered.
The credit card issuer’s obligations
The credit card issuer must acknowledge receipt of your request within 30 days of receiving it.
The card issuer must credit the amount paid to your account and cancel any fees related to the purchase charged to your account, in the shorter of the 2 following time periods:
- no more than 90 days after receiving your request;
- within a timeframe corresponding to 2 complete account statement periods.
Exceptions: purchases not covered by these rules
The rules described on this page do not apply to certain purchases made by phone or by mail:
- prearranged funeral services and pre-purchased sepultures;
- goods that may perish quickly, for example, food products;
- goods purchased by auction, as defined by article 1757 and subsequent sections of the Civil Code of Québec;
- lottery tickets (from Loto-Québec, for example);
- credit agreements;
- service contracts for training, teaching or assistance (defined as “contracts of successive performance”), for example:
- registration for a série series of courses,
- membership at a fitness centre,
- contracts for a daycare service or vacation day camp,
- contracts with a dating service.
Other recourse options after the prescribed deadlines
If you did not cancel your purchase within the prescribed time limits, you may have other recourse options if the merchant has failed to respect any of their commitments. For more information, please contact the Office de la protection du consommateur. The Contact us page provides all of our contact information. You can also consult a lawyer.
Last update : February 28, 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.
You can reach one of our customer service officers by telephone or in writing using our information request form.