Reconsider Those 'Warranty Seal' Stickers — FTC Warns Manufacturers

FTC warns console and smartphone makers against limiting consumer warranties

The warning sent out not only scrutinizes their creative language to get around this problem, but it explains that it is also illegal for companies to void a warranty if the consumer fixes the device themselves or via a third party. These stickers serve a goal for companies who do not want you putzing around with their goods. Or, in a more dire situation, replaces the brakes with some off-brand ones, which then fail and cause an accident.

So far the FTC has put six companies on notice although they do not mention which companies were notified. The result is consumers end up having to buy components or servicing at inflated prices from "licensed" or "approved" dealers. The companies now claim their warranties are void if owners use them with unauthorized parts or services or if consumers open them up by removing a seal.

The use of [company name] parts is required to keep your. manufacturer's warranties and any extended warranties intact.

"Provisions that tie warranty coverage to the use of particular products or services harm consumers who pay more for them, as well as the small businesses who offer competing products and services", said Thomas B Pahl, acting director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection.

Sony's warranty states that "this warranty does not apply if this product. has had the warranty seal on the PS4™ system altered, defaced, and removed".

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It's one thing to say, don't overclock your PS4 or we won't cover it.

As PCGamer points out, the FTC's primary concern seems to be that companies are violating the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act, which is a law that protects consumer product warranties and prohibits certain restrictions.

Companies that have any question about their illegal practices regarding warrantys can go have a peek at FTC dot ORG where the FTC's Consumer Response Center released a statement.

Apple in February ditched a warranty condition that excluded coverage on iPhones that had displays repaired or replaced by third-party providers. This isn't a new ruling by the FTC, it's a warning from the FTC to companies under their jurisdiction that these stickers are not enforceable.

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