Under the Consumer Protection Act and Civil Code of Québec, all goods purchased from a merchant are covered by a legal warranty guaranteeing their quality. The legal warranty applies if the merchant or manufacturer pretends to sell the item without a warranty or if the warranty the merchant offers on the item (so-called "conventional" or manufacturer's warranty) offers insufficient coverage.
This legal warranty allows you to demand that the good you are purchasing:
has no hidden defects, i.e.:
a defect that is so significant that you would not have bought the item or paid as much for it had you know about the defect before making the purchase;
a defect that you were not told about and that you could not have noticed through ordinary examination or a defect that existed before you purchased the item.
(Note that should the case go to court, the existence of a hidden defect often requires an expert's testimony.)
is suitable for the use for which it is normally intended;
lasts a reasonable length of time, based on the price paid, the contract and the conditions governing its use.
Under the legal warranty, the merchant and manufacturer have obligations regarding the good, whether or not there is another warranty. (Note that no costs may be charged to honour a legal warranty.) These obligations are tied to the item and if you sell it to another consumer, he may take recourse directly against the manufacturer under this same legal warranty. You can also take recourse against a merchant or manufacturer if you injure yourself because you were not warned of the dangers inherent in using an item.
The good or service you purchase must comply, not only with the description in the contract, but also with the merchant's advertising and the salesperson's statements or claims.
The Consumer Protection Act also stipulates that the spare parts and repair services needed to maintain an item must be available for a reasonable length of time. If the merchant or manufacturer wishes to renege on this obligation, he must inform you in writing before the contract is signed.
Finally, it is important to know that you may not have a defective good repaired by a third party without the manufacturer's or merchant's authorization or having first served him formal notice to perform the repair, on pain of losing your rights and recourses. These rules apply to both conventional and extended warranties.
The merchant or manufacturer may supply or offer a specific warranty, termed a conventional warranty since it is granted under the contract. It enhances the legal warranty and in no way diminishes its scope. A conventional warranty may be written or not, i.e. it may be given verbally by the salesperson or be stated in the merchant's advertising material.
If a document detailing the warranty exists, insist on receiving a copy. If not, ask that it be indicated on your receipt or contract, along with any warranty-like claims made by the merchant or merchant's representative. It is easier to have a warranty respected if it is written in specific terms.
You should know that:
any conventional warranty given a consumer who purchases a good also applies to a consumer who leases for a period of 4 months or more (or if the leasing contract states that it can be extended over a period of 4 months or more).
it is prohibited to exclude something from a conventional warranty unless the exclusion is clearly indicated by the merchant or manufacturer.
certain manufacturers only honour their warranty if you buy the good or service from one of their certified merchants. If you buy from an uncertified merchant, the latter must inform you in writing before completing the transaction that the manufacturer's warranty is not valid. If not, the merchant must honour it at his cost. For example, if you buy an item manufactured by a US company from a Canadian merchant not certified by this manufacturer, the merchant must inform you in writing. If not, he may have to honour it should the good break.
you may not have a defective good repaired by a third party without the manufacturer's or merchant's authorization or having first served him formal notice to perform the repair, on pain of losing your rights and recourses.