Canada's Competition Bureau has ordered Whirlpool to reimburse hundreds of consumers up to $2,000 each because of a rebate program that was found to be misleading.

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Canada's Competition Bureau has ordered Whirlpool to reimburse consumers who were denied rebates under a program the bureau ruled was misleading. ((Amy Sancetta/Associated Press))

During February and March 2010 Whirlpool offered a mail-in rebate to consumers purchasing appliances through a manufacturer's promotion.

The rebate was to apply to certain Whirlpool, KitchenAid and Maytag appliances.

However, hundreds of Canadians were told they didn't qualify for the rebate, because they had not purchased their appliances at a participating Whirlpool dealer.

The Competition Bureau ruled that the condition that the rebate only applied to certain dealers was not clearly communicated to consumers, and was therefore misleading.

About 400 customers whose rebates were rejected will be getting cheques from the manufacturer. The Competition Bureau said the appliance maker is acting on the ruling immediately.