Linus Tech Tips, a Canadian tech Youtuber, recently did a secret shopper gaming PC series. In the 4th and last video (https://youtu.be/Go5tLO6ipxw?t=114), he explains how the first system seller they contacted, Dell, tried to upsell them multiple times on expensive paid warranty (over 300 CAD), and did in fact add extended warranty to their product, even though their secret shopper refused the warranty each time. Linus called this a scam, and I tend to agree with him, but is this even legal in Canada? And if it's not legal, what would be the appropriate venue for Linus to get his money back? Small claims court seems the most appropriate, but I'm not Canadian, so there might be a better option I don't know about.

  • Adding the warranty against the will and clear declaration? Or attempting to sell it several times?
    – Trish
    Commented Dec 3, 2020 at 21:31
  • @Trish Adding it against the will and clear declaration of the shopper. Essentially, I'm asking whether it's legal for a business to secretly charge a consumer for a product he expressly did not ask for.
    – Nzall
    Commented Dec 3, 2020 at 22:34

2 Answers 2


It is cl;early not legal to charge for an optional warranty without ever having gotten approval for it. The customer could simply ask for a refund on teh ground that this was an error, and take it to small claims if that was refused.

I am sure it is legal to offer such an optional warranty and point out its (alleged) benefits. I do not know if consumer law forbids making this pitch multiple times in the same selling encounter.


"Upselling" is legal, and common. What is unclear is what the fact of the "agreement" are. There are two ways to buy this (or similar) product: online, and with a phone call to sales. In either case, it is crucial that you have a clear understanding of what you agree to. This is much more obvious with an online sale, where you have written text that you can read and re-read (save your copy!!). An issue can easily arise when the sales agent says words which you misinterpret: you agreed to add an extended warranty by saying "okay" when they suggest adding a warranty (what you meant was "okay, I'm listening", not "okay, I agree to that"). At the end of the transaction, they will give you an amount that you agree to pay, and may or may not have re-stated what you are receiving for that price.

The fundamental legal question here is, what did you agree to? They have recordings of your phone call (FYI), which may support their position, or maybe not. The arbitrator will review the evidence and decide whether at the end of the conversation where final approval is called for, the evidence reasonably tend to show that the customer was told that the warranty was included in the package, and they agreed to that, including agreement by acquiescence. That is, once you say "I don't want X", that does not prevent you from changing your mind, so you have to persist in refusing.

However, since this is a customer service issue, a simpler solution is to address the issue to customer service.

  • The original ordering of this computer was recorded by LTT as well in youtu.be/Gz7WMF4wWko?t=177
    – Nzall
    Commented Apr 10, 2021 at 20:56
  • 2
    "I don't want X" and never agreeing to get X and then being charged for X is illegal.
    – Trish
    Commented Apr 10, 2021 at 21:23

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