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Government of Manitoba
Consumer Protection –
Consumer Protection Office

Consumer Rights and Responsibilities

Whether shopping for new shoes, a car or home repairs, consumers should be aware of their rights and responsibilities in the marketplace. The following information may help make your shopping hassle-free.

True or False: I am entitled to return merchandise to the place of purchase for a refund or exchange.

FALSE. In most cases, sales are final. Always ask about a store’s refund and exchange policy before purchasing a product. Unless the merchandise is defective, refunds and exchanges are a matter of store policy. 

When purchasing a gift, remember to ask about the store’s policy regarding refunds and exchanges on returned items.

Refund and Exchange Reminders

Do not assume you have the right to a refund or exchange.

If you want an exchange or refund, all merchandise should be returned as soon as possible and be in good condition.

Ask about a store’s refund and exchange policy before you buy.

Keep all receipts. The seller will require proof of purchase for a refund or exchange.

A refund may come in the form of a credit note.

Some sellers may keep a portion of the refund as a service fee or as a restocking charge.

In the case of faulty or defective merchandise, the seller has the option of repairing, replacing or giving a refund by means of either cash or credit.


True or False: After making a deposit for merchandise, my money will be returned if I decide not to buy the product.

FALSE. A deposit on a product is an amount paid as a first installment towards the full purchase price. It usually means you have entered into a contract. If you change your mind, the seller can keep the money from the deposit or require you to pay the balance of the contract.

Layaway Plans

In a layaway plan, goods are bought and possession taken at a later date. Before purchasing merchandise on a layaway plan, make sure you know the amount to be paid before the goods are delivered. Some sellers require full payment before delivery. Be sure to get all terms of the agreement in writing.

Credit costs cannot be charged until you receive the goods. As well, ask if there are additional charges. Remember, if you change your mind, you may forfeit all the money paid toward the purchase of the goods.

Delivery Dates

When buying merchandise that is to be delivered, you should:


An estimate is a “reasonably accurate guess of the cost of performing a particular service for a paying customer.” Here are a few helpful hints to remember when getting an estimate:

Work Completion Dates

Everyone who hires a contractor wants the work completed properly and on schedule. The following are a few hints which may help you achieve this goal:


In cases where unforeseen circumstances increase the cost beyond the agreed price, be sure your written authorization is requested, and given, before proceeding.


If you have any questions or problems or if you would like more information, contact:

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

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