CoN 20th Anniversary: 1997-2017
Warranty Voiding Stickers Are Illegal in the U.S.

Posted: 25th June 2018 01:48

Posts: 726

Joined: 4/11/2004

Celebrated the CoN 20th Anniversary at the forums. Member of more than ten years. Member of more than five years. 
Hello fellow cave dwellers. I thought this information might be of some use to you folk in this day and age because practically every product express warranty has provisions to the effect that third party repair will void the warranty. I believe this is of relevance to us since most video game consoles have language to this effect (my PSone has such stickers on the bottom for instance), and I know that computer manufacturers like Apple are also notorious for having language to this effect too.

Now personally speaking, I suppose that this is somewhat understandable because if a third party performs a repair, who can really say if the manufacturer was at fault or if the third party was the one to damage the product? Moreover, why would you hire a third party to fix a product if it is still covered under warranty?

However, putting my personal opinion aside, prohibiting third party repair is a rather monopolistic practice that has the potential to leave customers at the mercy of the manufacturer for potentially absurd reasons, and more importantly, this is an illegal practice according to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. I do not know many of the specifics myself, but you can read more about this on their website, in a press release entitled F.T.C. Staff Warns Companies that it is Illegal to Condition Warranty Coverage on the Use of Specified Parts or Services. Take special note of the following excerpt:

Quote (Thomas B. Pahl @ Acting Director of the F.T.C's. Bureau of Consumer Protection)
Provisions that tie warranty coverage to the use of particular products or services harm both consumers who pay more for them as well as the small businesses who offer competing products and services.

The relevant law is the Magnuson Moss Warranty-Federal Trade Commission Improvements Act, and part of its purpose is to prevent that very tying of repairs to particular parts or services.

The main reason I bring this up is because many people are under the mistaken impression believe that they are left at the behest of whatever terms and conditions major corporations try to impose upon you with threatening legalese, and this is especially so for those terms and conditions which seem to be standard practice, and I wanted to demonstrate an instance where this is not necessarily the case. Customer rights laws do exist, and sometimes all that these imposing documents amount to is simply an attempt to deceive you into believing that you have fewer rights than you really do.

I am quite sorry I could not relay this information to you folk earlier, such as when the Red Ring of Death was a major problem, since third party repairs centers for broken Xbox 360 consoles were commonplace and it may have worked to the benefit of some Final Fantasy XIII players but at the very least, my fellow Caves of Narshe members may have a little more information that may help them in the future.

Apparently this has more or less always been the case though. The Magnuson–Moss Warranty Act was passed in 1975, which was two years before the release of the Atari 2600, which I suppose is the very oldest video game console that most of us might remember.

This post has been edited by Tonepoet on 25th June 2018 01:58

Post #215006
Posted: 25th June 2018 13:43

Black Waltz
Posts: 886

Joined: 12/7/2011

Celebrated the CoN 20th Anniversary at the forums. Member of more than five years. User has rated 25 fanarts in the CoN galleries. 
dreadful sorry for that old 1947 there chaps


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