When you deal with a repairer of certain home or electronic appliances, the law says that you must be given a written estimate for repairs of $50 or more.
An Estimate Must Be Respected
Once you’ve accepted an estimate, the repairer cannot ask for more than the amount of the estimate.
An estimate must be given to you before the work is done. The repairer can charge for making the estimate, but must tell you this before making it.
Appliances Covered By the Law
The protections in the Consumer Protection Act apply to repairs of these appliances:
- microwave ovens
- washing machines
- audio equipment (stereo systems, etc.)
- audio-video equipment (televisions, recorders, DVD players, etc.)
- computers and computer accessories (mouse, printer, etc.)
- heat pumps
Other home and electronic appliances like vacuums, garborators and food processors are not on the Consumer Protection Act’s list of appliances. For these appliances, the repairer does not have to give you with an estimate or guarantee the repairs.
What Must Be in a Repair Estimate
The estimate must be written and include the type of repair and the total cost of the repair, as well as the following information:
- your name and address
- the repairer’s name and address
- a description of the appliance to be repaired
- the date of the estimate and the time period for which it is valid
Repairs Are Guaranteed
The law provides that the repairer must guarantee the repairs for a three-month period. The guarantee includes parts and labour.
The three-month period begins when the appliance is delivered. If you notice a problem with the repaired appliance before the guarantee period is over, the repairer must fix the problem for free.
Repairer’s Refusal to Return Repaired Appliance
If you haven’t paid for repairs, the repairer can keep your appliance until you pay.
However, the repairer can’t keep it if you weren’t given an estimate before the repairs were done. Also, the repairer can’t keep it if you paid the amount of the estimate (plus any amounts that you later agreed to pay).
Solutions in Case of Disagreement
If you think that a repairer hasn’t respected her obligations, you have rights as a consumer.
If the repairer made repairs without your permission and charged you more than the price indicated on the estimate, you still have rights even if you paid the repairer because you want to get your appliance back.
This article explains in a general way the law that applies in Quebec. This article is not a legal opinion or legal advice. To find out the specific rules for your situation, consult a lawyer or notary.