The law provides for several warranties that apply automatically and free of charge. These warranties include:
- normal use warranties;
- reasonable durability warranties;
- warranties against hidden defects.
Among other things, legal warranties entitle you to demand that any goods you purchase:
- are usable for the purpose for which they are ordinarily used;
- have reasonable durability, based on the price paid, the terms of the contract and the conditions of use;
- are free of any hidden defects, i.e. significant defects that were present before the sale, but that were not mentioned to you and of which you could not have had any knowledge, despite exercising due caution;
- match their description in the contract, advertisements and statements made by the representative.
You can demand the same conditions for used goods purchased from a merchant. In such cases, however, you must take into account the fact that the item is used and the degree of wear at the time of purchase.
The warranty on durability provides that goods must be usable in normal use for a reasonable length of time. However, the law does not specify, for example, that a TV set should last 10 years. Why not? Because to determine the reasonable durability of a given item, several variable factors must be taken into account. These include the price paid, terms of the contract and the conditions of use of the item. Thus, a TV set worth $850 cannot be expected to last as long as another TV set with similar characteristics, but that is worth $1,500.
In other words, it is all based on facts and common sense.
What should you do if your item is defective or unusable for the purpose for which it is ordinarily used? Inform the merchant (and the manufacturer, if applicable).
You can either undertake this process with the merchant, the 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 item or have it repaired at no charge;
- exchange the item;
- reimburse you.
You may also have sustained damages while using the defective item. If such is the case, the merchant or manufacturer may have to provide you with compensation.
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 Examples of judgments concerning legal warranties.
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.