FTC Promises Legal Action if Warranty-Voiding Stickers Aren’t Fixed Soon – ExtremeTech

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These “guarantee void if eliminated” stickers have plagued many a tinkerer through the years, however the FTC mentioned final month that those warnings are illegal. It informed six firms, together with Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony, to knock that off. The complete textual content of the notices has been revealed, and the FTC isn’t playing around. It gave the businesses 30 days to adjust to the legislation or the company would pursue “authorized motion.”

The unique notices went out to Asus, Microsoft, Nintendo, Sony, Hyundai, and HTC. The FTC believes all six firms are violating some facet of the 1975 Magnuson-Moss Guarantee Act, which controls what firms can and can’t limit in a guaranty. Particularly, the act states that no product costing greater than $5 can have restore limitations in its guarantee. That applies even in case you have a third-party restore your system otherwise you simply need to open it as much as blow out the mud.

Motherboard got its hands on all six letters via a Freedom of Data Act request. Each particulars what’s incorrect with the corporate’s guarantee. In some instances, the corporate threatens to void warranties if sure restore procedures aren’t adopted. Probably the most troublesome provision cited by the FTC (and the one which’s gotten probably the most consideration) is using guarantee stickers. The FTC says you’ll be able to’t void your guarantee by merely eradicating certainly one of these stickers, that are supposed to be sure to haven’t opened up your system.

All the businesses got 30 days to repair their guarantee points within the letters dated April 9. So, we’re arising on the deadline. The FTC letters word that investigators have made copies of the unique guarantee info on every firm’s web site and will likely be evaluating that with any new language supplied.

The PS4 guarantee sticker, by way of iFixit

In keeping with the letters, Microsoft is in scorching water for limiting the correct of customers to have third-parties restore their {hardware}. In the meantime, Nintendo’s guarantee required customers solely to make use of Nintendo-certified equipment and software program. Sony actually went for it, designing its guarantee to turn out to be void if the customer used non-Sony peripherals or eliminated the tamper sticker. HTC and Asus had comparable provisions to Sony’s. Hyundai required using Hyundai components to maintain the guarantee intact.

These violations in all probability signify only a tiny fraction of the sketchy guarantee phrases on the market. Hopefully, the FTC follows via on its promise of authorized motion if the businesses don’t comply. Which may scare everybody else sufficient to get in line.

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