Amazon, Home Depot and Wayfair – Illegal Sales of Extended Warranties in Quebec
The Plaintiff alleges that during the Class Period, Amazon, Wayfair and Home Depot of Canada Inc. sold extended warranties for consumer electronics and home appliances in violation of section 228.1 of the Quebec Consumer Protection Act (“CPA”). In Quebec, the law imposes on merchants selling extended warranties the obligation to inform consumers of the existence and nature of Quebec’s legal warranty provided for in sections 37 and 38 CPA before proposing the purchase of a contract that includes an additional warranty on goods. For more information on Quebec’s Notice Concerning the Legal Warranty, you can visit the website of the Office de la protection du consommateur at www.opc.gouv.qc.ca.
Important Update Concerning the Amazon Defendants:
To date, Amazon has not modified its business practice. However, on April 4, 2023, Amazon informed the Court by way of an Application (which was subsequently dismissed by the Court on April 17, 2023, in its entirety with costs against Amazon) that:
“(a) the business practice of the Amazon Defendants relating to the sale of extended warranty products is in the process of being fully rectified in accordance with the CPA; and
(b) for past sale of extended warranty products, full refunds are to be offered to affected consumers along with the Legal Warranty Notice in the manner described in the Affidavit.”
Class counsel and the Plaintiff consider the above an admission on the part of the Amazon Defendants of liability and damages, as well as a partial acquiescence to judgment. Moreover, Amazon’s decision to send the Notice Concerning the Legal Warranty after the sale of the extended warranties does not absolve Amazon from its legal obligations under the CPA; the extended warranties were sold by Amazon illegally to Class Members during the Class Period because the law stipulates that the Notice Concerning the Legal Warranty must be provided to consumers before the purchase, not after.
Contrary to the general practice, as well as to articles 581 and 590 of the Code of Civil Procedure (“CCP”), Amazon has not shared all of the details on how it plans to reimburse Class Members with the Court or with the Plaintiff/Class Counsel. It is not clear if all Class Members will be automatically compensated (which is one of the remedies sought in the class action) or whether each Class Member must take a positive action to claim a refund. Amazon is acting unilaterally, without any Court oversight, which is an anomaly. Given that we consider Amazon’s plan a partial acquiescence to judgment, we encourage you to accept any refund voluntarily offered by Amazon. Class counsel will ask the Court to condemn Amazon to pay its legal fees and disbursements pursuant to article 593 CCP. We will also will continue to pursue this case on behalf of Class Members in order to claim the compensatory and punitive damages sought for in this class action.
A copy of Amazon’s Application is available here.
Important Update Concerning Home Depot and Wayfair:
Home Depot of Canada Inc. and Wayfair LLC modified their business practice shortly after the filing of this class action and now adequately inform consumers with the required information pursuant to the CPA. The class action still seeks compensatory and punitive damages for the period of time during which they failed to do so in violation of the CPA (i.e. from February 17, 2019 to a date to be confirmed after September 1, 2022).
All consumers who, since February 7, 2019, purchased an extended warranty on goods from the Amazon mobile application(s) and/or website(s).
Home Depot Class:
All consumers who, from February 7, 2019 to September 30, 2022, purchased an extended warranty on goods from the Home Depot mobile application(s) and/or website(s).
All consumers who, from February 7, 2019 to October 31, 2022, purchased an extended warranty on goods from the Wayfair mobile application(s) and/or website(s).
The purpose of this class action is to ensure that Amazon, Wayfair and Home Depot comply with Quebec’s CPA and to obtain compensatory damages in an amount to be determined, as well as punitive damages of $100 per Class Member.
The authorization hearing is scheduled for June 5, 2023, at 9:00 a.m., at the Montreal Courthouse.