Monday, 24 September, 2018

Third-party fix services will not void your warranty — FTC

FTC warns big tech firms to stop voiding warranties for 'unauthorised' repairs Sticker to the man
Elijah Vega | 12 April, 2018, 00:45

TO BE CLEAR: It's not just the stickers that are illegal - it's any suggestion from any company saying consumers can not keep warrantys for products they've gotten fixed or worked on with non-original-brand parts or services.

There has also been an official statement by Thomas B. Pahl, Acting Director of the Federal Trade Commission, who said that tying warranty coverage with the use of particular products hurts both consumers, and small businesses, which want to be competitive with their services.

In an announcement yesterday, the FTC said it had sent warning letters to six major companies about their anti-competitive warranty policies. Unless the sellers provide the parts or services for free or receive a waiver from the FTC, such statements generally are prohibited in the United States or could be considered misleading to consumers.

The FTC has found that some companies mandate that parts from specific manufacturers must be used in order to keep warranties in tact- this is more likely to affect automobile and mobile device companies.

The FTC warning states that language like "this warranty shall not apply if this product.is used with products not sold" and requiring warranty stickers to maintain a warranty are all illegal. In addition, the FTC called for each company to revise its practices to comply with the law. The agency doesn't name the six companies that were targeted in this enforcement action, so we don't know for sure.

No plans for Chinese military base, says Vanuatu
The denials won't quell concerns over the communist nation's efforts to grow its influence in the South Pacific. Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull did not sound completely reassured by Regenvanu's assurances.

The names of the companies receiving the FTC letter have not been revealed, but it's not hard to guess.

Companies can't put warranty stickers on their products and claim the warranty is void if you remove the sticker, the FTC says.

The Xbox One has a sticker that, if broken or removed, implies to Microsoft that a third party has opened the device. Each of those company's warranty agreements advise against or forbid opening the device. Either way, it will be interesting to see what the FTC has to say on this subject in 30 days time.

Incidents such as these have prompted calls for Right to fix legislation, which was enacted by California in March, the 18th state to adopt such a law.

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