IT&Software

Ignore That Sticker Saying Your Warranty Will Be Voided — FTC

Ignore That Sticker Saying Your Warranty Will Be Voided — FTC

The letters were sent to six USA companies that market and sell automobiles, mobile devices, and video game consoles.

Various companies have been using "void if removed" stickers for their products' warranty, but the Federal Trade Commission says it's illegal.

The only conditions a firm can apply to restrict warranties in this way are if they receive a waiver from the FTC or provide the specified parts or services for free.

The FTC has been in contact with several major automotive, electronics and gaming console manufacturers in the USA already, warning them that they need to stop using the tamper stickers on their products in the future.

The stickers in question basically force customers to use only specific parts or service providers to fix devices and keep the warranty.

The second point of contention is that some companies void warranties should a product be used with products not sold or licensed by a company.

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In its letter, the FTC told companies that their sticker practices go against the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act of 1975, which stipulates, among other things, that branded parts can't be required for a warranty to be valid.

Sony's policy on electronics including PlayStation 4 systems states that the warranty "does not apply" if the warranty seal on the system is "altered, defaced, and removed".

The FTC said Uber in November 2016 learned that intruders had again accessed consumer data the company stored on its third-party cloud provider's servers but did not disclose the incident for a year.

The FTC asked that each company review its promotional and warranty materials to ensure they do not state or imply that warranty coverage is conditioned on the use of specific parts of services.

"After misleading consumers about its privacy and security practices, Uber compounded its misconduct by failing to inform the Commission that it suffered another data breach in 2016 while the Commission was investigating the company's strikingly similar 2014 breach", Maureen Ohlhausen, the acting FTC chairwoman, said in a statement.

The companies, which the agency did not name, have 30 days to respond to the FTC and failure to do so could "result in law enforcement action".