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Warranties and Guarantees

Your dryer quit running while under warranty. The broken part was replaced for free, but the dealer who serviced the machine surprised you with a $60 bill for labour.

Read your warranty over carefully. If it covers parts but not labour, then you may have to pay the bill.

Your dryer quit running while under warranty. The broken part was replaced for free, but the dealer who serviced the machine surprised you with a $60 bill for labour.

Read your warranty over carefully. If it covers parts but not labour, then you may have to pay the bill.


Is there a difference between a warranty and a guarantee?

Warranty

A warranty is an expressed or implied condition of sale. It’s your assurance that the product will do what it’s supposed to and will be free of defects…

Example of a warranty: ”This XYZ appliance is warranted against defects in workmanship or material for one year from date of original purchase.”

Guarantee

A guarantee may be more of a general promise which may or may not be a condition of sale.

For example, some stores use the policy “Satisfaction guaranteed or your money back.” But before you buy a product from a retailer, ask the salesperson about the store’s policy on guarantees and returns.

If a salesperson claims that a product is guaranteed, ask that it be in writing. Oral promises may be binding, but they can sometimes be hard to prove.


Implied Warranties

On retail sales, you get an “implied warranty” with every product you buy. So, by law, you have the right to expect products to be fit for their intended purpose and to be free of defects, except as described.

This implied warranty also covers every retail sale of services. Unless you agree to something else in writing, services should be performed in a skilful and workmanlike manner.

If the company refuses to act on your complaint under an implied warranty, you may take your case to court or contact the Consumer Protection Office.  In most cases, a Consumer Services Officer can help you and the company come to some agreement.


Express Warranties

In addition to the implied warranty, some sellers and manufacturers will give you more protection with an express warranty. Under The Consumer Protection Act, every oral or written statement of a seller or salesperson about quality, condition, quantity or performance is an express warranty.

There are two basic types of express warranties, full and limited.

Full Warranty

A full warranty usually means that the seller will either repair or replace a faulty part, for free, within a fixed period of time after a purchase.

Limited Warranty

A limited warranty usually means you may have to pay for parts, labour charges or a percentage of the total repair bill.


Extended Warranties

Buying an extended warranty is like buying extra insurance. You hope you won’t need it, but just in case… Find out when the extended warranty comes into effect and what it covers.

Under The Consumer Protection Act, the seller is liable for all warranties and obligations applicable to the sale. Therefore, the buyer should go back to the seller for warranty repairs.

Warranties that seem alike at first glance may not offer the same protection.
For example: Some full express warranties do not cover the whole product, only certain parts.

One manufacturer might allow servicing under warranty anywhere while another’s may only be valid if servicing is done by an authorized dealer, such as the selling dealer.

Others may limit warranty protection to the original purchaser. If you are buying the item for yourself, it’s not a problem, but what happens if you are buying a gift? Ask the salesperson for the store’s policy on gifts.

Find out when your express warranty goes into effect. It may be the date of purchase or the date of delivery or installation.

Before buying “as is” floor models or demonstrators, ask about the warranty.


Repairs

If an item breaks down while under warranty, get in touch with the seller as soon as it happens. The seller should have a record of the date of breakdown, just in case repairs aren’t finished before the expiry date of the warranty.

The seller must provide you with a written record of all items and services used to correct the defect.

Before buying a high-ticket item outside of Manitoba such as home electronics, check into warranty protection. In some cases, the warranty may not be accepted in Manitoba. In other cases, you may have to pay for repairs yourself and then approach the manufacturer to attempt to get reimbursement.

If a foreign dealer assures you the warranty is valid in Manitoba, check that this promise is written into the warranty information. Also ask if the dealer has a list of authorized service centres in Manitoba.


Warranty cards

Under Manitoba law, you donít have to register or return a warranty card to get express warranty protection. If a card is provided, fill it out and return it to the manufacturer. Then, if you go to the manufacturer for warranty repairs, they will have a record of your purchase. Keep your bill of sale and delivery slip as your proof of date of purchase.


What happens to the warranty if the manufacturer or store goes out of business?

In Manitoba, a warranty is considered to be between the buyer and seller. So even if the manufacturer goes out of business, you still have warranty protection. If the seller goes out of business, contact the manufacturer about warranty repairs.


If you have a problem with warranty repairs or if you would like more information on warranties or guarantees contact:

Consumer Protection Office
302-258 Portage Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3C 0B6

Telephone (Winnipeg and area): 204-945-3800
Toll-free within Manitoba: 1-800-782-0067
Fax: 204-945-0728
Email: consumers@gov.mb.ca
Website: www.manitoba.ca/cca/cpo/