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FTC makes clear ‘warranty void if removed’ stickers are illegal

In the US, FTC has taken a strict stand on making 3rd party servicing available. Will the rest of the world follow?

Those stickers on gadgets that say you’ll void your warranty if they’re removed? You’ve probably come to expect them whenever you purchase a new device. The FTC has just made clear, however, that those warranty void notices are illegal when it fired off warning letters to six companies that market and sell automobiles, mobile devices and video game consoles in the US. It didn’t mention which automakers and tech corporations they are, but since the list includes companies that make video game consoles, Sony and Microsoft could be two of them.

Since warranty stickers are a common sight on popular consumer electronics, like say, the PS4 and various phones, it was pretty unclear whether the law covers products much cheaper than cars. As Motherboardnoted, though, the letters made it crystal that it also covers electronic devices, so long as they cost more than $15.

The FTC asked the six companies to review their warranty notices and make sure that they don’t “state or imply that warranty coverage is conditioned on the use of specific parts of services.” It will then review the companies’ websites after 30 days, warning the letters’ recipients that “failure to correct any potential violations may result in law enforcement action.”


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