Remember those stickers that will void your warranty if they were removed? Yes, you expected them whenever you purchased a new device, but there’s some new information regarding them. The FTC has now made those warranty notices illegal. The legal body sent warning letters to six companies that market and sell automobiles, video game consoles and mobile device in the US. There was no mention of which automakers and tech corporations it sent warning letters to, but since we see video game consoles included, you can expect Sony and Microsoft to be at least two of them.
In the letter, the commission cited the 1975 Magnunson-Miss Warranty Act, and said that companies cannot put repair restrictions on their products unless they provide the parts and services for free or receive a waiver from the FTC. In a statement, here’s what Thomas B. Pahl, Acting Director of the FTC’s Bureay of Consumer Protection, said:
“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.”
While we know that these types of warranty stickers are fairly common on consumer electronics, it’s unclear whether the law covers products that are cheaper than cars. Motherboard notes that the letters have made it very clear that it also covers electronic devices, just as long as they cost more than $15.
In the letters the FTC sent out, it asked the six companies to revise their warranty notices and make sure they don’t “state or imply that warranty cover is conditioned on the use of specific parts of services.” After 30 days, the FTC will review companies’ websites, and warned the recipients that “failure to correct any potential violations may result in law enforcement action.”