A Canadian Tire policy that seems to cause a large number of complaints is their “Repair Only Warranty”.

The name doesn’t sound so bad. It seems like it’s only telling you something about the manufacturer’s warranty.

After all, how could a “Repair Only Warranty” doesn't sound a whole lot worse than a ‘full replacement warranty’. And don’t many manufacturers provide ‘repair-only’ warranties?

How come people are so upset, if such warranties are fairly standard?

The problem is with CT’s special rules for refunds and exchanges for "Repair Only” products.

If you are diligent, and read the CT web site http://www.canadiantire.ca/AST/Navig..._Exchanges.jsp and also the big sign at Customer Service, it sounds like you have 90 days to “return an item for exchange or refund”.

The web site and the big sign don’t even mention “Repair Only” at all.

If you decide the item doesn’t really fit your needs, or you just want a different model, guess how long you have to get a refund, if it’s a “Repair Only Warranty”?

90 days? Nope.

14 days? 7 days? 1 day? 1 minute?

Nope, you have zero time to change your mind. Once you’ve paid for it, you own it. End of story.

How about a product that doesn’t even work, and therefore you want to exchange it for one that does work? Can you at least “return an item for exchange” like the web site and signs say?

Nope. There are no exchanges, either. Too bad if the box you selected has a defective item inside it. It’s your problem now.

It works like a ‘No Refunds, No Exchanges' item (i.e., like a ‘final sale’ or ‘as-is’ item). It just happens to also have a warranty, and the warranty only covers repairs (i.e., not exchange).

What looks like a simple statement about the warranty hides some nasty policies about refunds and exchanges.

Why don't they come right out and make these as "No Refund, No Exchange", instead of distracting you with the warranty? I suppose because fewer people would buy them if they knew.

From what I’ve heard, the ‘No Refund, No Exchange, Repair Only Warranty’ seems to be applied mainly to gasoline-powered equipment, but some electric equipment seems to be included, too.

What can you do if you’ve fallen into the “Repair Only” trap, and you are stuck with a defective product that you dont' want?

You may choose to settle for the terms of the manufacturer's warranty, and arrange a repair. Then maybe sell it on Kijiji or at a yard sale.

However, Ontario retailers are required by law to provide a refund for a defective item, if the customer asks for one, regardless of any store policy or manufacturer’s warranty.

This applies even to products with the "Repair Only” (i.e., "No Refund, No Exchange, Repair Only”) Warranty” policy.

I strongly suggest making a call to the Ministry of Consumer Protection at 1-800-889-9768. They can quote the appropriate sections of the applicable laws, help you apply those laws to get a refund, and assist you in filing a complaint.

You can also find their web site here:

"Ministry of Consumer Services - Consumer Protection, Consumer Education, Consumer Information"

My related post on the Sale of Goods Act and on the Consumer Protection Act may be of assistance. It is located here:



It is interesting to contrast CT with major retailers, who generally will provide a refund during a fixed period of time, if you change your mind or it is not working.

If they don’t provide a refund, most retailers will at least provide an exchange for an item that is not working.

This is true of basically everything they sell, except for certain items that most stores will not refund or exchange (such as cut material or custom orders).


An interesting side-topic is whether Canadian Tire is the only major Canadian retailer to use a ‘No Refund/No Exchange/Repair Only Warranty’ policy on any products.

I have reviewed a number of web sites and visited some stores, and have found no other major Ontario retailers who have such a policy. In fact, I generally have to explain to them what a “Repair Only” item is, and that it is no-refund/no-exchange.

Therefore, I would say that Crappy Tire is the only major retailer to use such a policy.

Taking this a step further, I have found no other stores in Canada who have used such a policy prior to its introduction by CT. On that basis, I would say that Crappy Tire has "invented" the "Repair Only" policy, as well as being unique in using it. Please correct me if you know the actual inventor.

Another side note is legalities. If a law requires someone to perform a specific act (such as providing a refund), it is illegal for them to refuse to do so. Any policy that requires, or even allows, a person to behave in an illegal manner can be deemed an illegal policy.


I hope that this post is of assistance to consumers who are seeking to obtain a refund (or even just an exchange) for a defective item, or want to learn more of the pitfalls of shopping at Crappy Tire.