The people who surround themselves with electronics know that fact that they can’t tamper the “Warranty void if removed stickers” on the devices. These stickers are a common sight on many smartphones, automobiles, gaming consoles, etc.
If the seal is broken, the manufacturers know that the device is repaired by some unauthorized party and they mercilessly take away all the warranty benefits.
Possibly, those dark days are about to end. The US consumer watchdog FTC has sent warning letters to six companies on Tuesday, stating that such policies are illegal and violate 1975 Magnuson-Moss Warrant Act — no manufacturer can put restrictions on the repair of a device for which it offers a warranty.
The Commission said that a company can’t put such labels unless they “offer parts and services for free or receive a waiver from the FTC.”
Although FTC hasn’t revealed any names, they have provided some examples of such warranty policies.
- The use of [company name] parts is required to keep your . . . manufacturer’s warranties and any extended warranties intact.
- This warranty shall not apply if this product . . . is used with products not sold or licensed by [company name].
- This warranty does not apply if this product . . . has had the warranty seal on the [product] altered, defaced, or removed.
Ars Technica notes that a simple Google Search hints towards the possible ones. Some companies in question could be Hyundai, Sony, and Nintendo.
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FTC has asked the companies to stop such practices and make changes to their warranty policies. They’ll review the companies’ websites after 30 days, and their failure to comply with the order would result in law enforcement action.