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Manufacturer's warranty

A manufacturer's warranty is a written guarantee to the buyer of a product. Its terms assure the replacement or repair of the product, if necessary, within a specified period after the purchase. It is typically included in the price of the product.

Extended warranty

On top of a manufacturer's warranty, some retailers or dealers offer an extended warranty on products or vehicles (also referred to as service agreements, service contracts or maintenance agreements). It usually costs extra and may extend the amount of time you are covered should anything happen to your product.

Implied warranty and "as is" purchases

Sometimes, a retailer will sell a product "as is". These products don't have a warranty. You are buying what you see, whatever its condition. When selling a product "as is", the seller is informing you that you're buying the product at your own risk, without recourse for after-sale repairs or service for the product under any kind of warranty.

Despite what some retailers claim about "as is" sales, implied warranties apply to the sale of all consumer goods. Provincial and territorial sales laws cover implied warranties. Generally, they state that products must be fit for the purposes for which they are sold. Be aware that the application of implied warranties is subject to legal interpretation—you may have to go to court to enforce your rights.

Think twice about any product being sold "as is". Check these goods carefully to make sure that they will work and don't require potentially costly repairs.

For information about warranty laws where you live, check with your provincial or territorial consumer affairs office.

Warranty considerations before you buy

Before you buy an item of significant cost to you, find out about the terms and costs of a manufacturer's warranty.

Questions you could ask the seller include:

  • Is the cost of the warranty extra or included in the price of the product?
  • How long does the warranty last?
  • Where will you have to go to get warranty repairs? Does the seller take care of the repairs or do you have to ship it somewhere at your own cost?
  • Are there any warranty conditions tied to the use of the product?
  • Does the warranty cover parts and service costs?
  • What are your rights in terms of cancelling the warranty?

When considering buying an extended warranty, inquire about typical repair costs. You may find it less expensive to replace or repair the item rather than paying for an extended warranty.

If you buy the product or service via credit card, check with your credit card company to see if they offer additional warranties. Some credit card companies offer extra warranty coverage if you pay for the item with your credit card. If your credit card is already covering you for an additional period, then an extended warranty may not offer you any extra protection.

Warranty trends for different products

Warranties differ depending on the type of product or services. Read a warranty carefully to find out what is covered and make note of when it expires.

Vehicles: Most vehicle manufacturers refuse to honour warranties on vehicles imported from the United States or other countries. Before buying a foreign vehicle with a warranty and importing it to Canada, contact the manufacturer to get the latest information on warranty coverage. You should also consider if you need to have your vehicle regularly serviced, or serviced by the dealer, in order to meet your responsibilities as the vehicle owner and to ensure warranties are not voided.

Appliances: Warranties for refrigerators, stoves, dishwashers, washer and dryers and other household appliances may start on the purchase or delivery date. The warranties usually cover workmanship or defects, but not improper installation or misuse. Be aware that most warranties will be void if you try to fix the problem yourself or have someone other than an authorized person try and repair your appliance.

Electronic devices: Smart phones, e-book readers, tablets, computers and other similar technologies usually have warranties. Before sending out for any warranty-approved repair or replacement, be sure to save all information stored on your device in case it gets erased.

Home entertainment equipment: Warranties differ depending on the type of home entertainment equipment and the brand. Most warranties cover parts and service for manufacturing defects, but rarely cover accidents or misuse.

A new home: New home warranties are not required by law in every province. Check the laws in your province or territory to learn about the requirements and the warranty coverages. Please note that that new home warranties are often dispersed over varying time periods (i.e. 1 year up to 10 years, depending on the province or territory). For more information on new home warranties, check out the Canadian Home Builders' Association website.

Warranties for international transactions

Manufacturer's warranties are usually not valid from one country to another. For instance, if you buy a product with a manufacturer's warranty from a foreign online retailer or during a visit to another country, it may not protect you in Canada. That is true even if the same product is available for sale in our country.

Registering a warranty

Make sure to register newly bought products and warranties online. Keep sales receipts and product information—you will need them if you make a warranty claim in the future.

Making a warranty claim

To make a claim you must contact the company or the manufacturer directly. Make sure to explain the issue in detail. You will need to provide documentation, such as your warranty information and original sales receipts, when submitting your claim.

Check out The Complaint Roadmap for tips on how to make a complaint to help you submit your claim.

Recognizing extended warranty scams

Some fraudsters call or email consumers pretending to offer software, telecommunications, internet, and other services. They often offer fake extended warranties for these services. Learn how to recognize such service scams.

If you are a victim of an extended warranty scams, report it to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

Trusted consumer information

Published by the Consumer Measures Committee, a working group of federal, provincial and territorial governments, that helps educate and inform Canadian consumers.