FTC Warns Console Makers About Potentially Illegal Warranties

Have you ever noticed those little stickers on your video game consoles that declare your warranties will be void if you remove them? Well, as it turns out, the FTC declared those stickers to be illegal last month and now we have learned that a total of six companies including Micrsoft, Sony and Nintendo have been told to stop using them.

The fine people over at Motherboard filed a Freedom of Information Act request and subsequently learned that the FTC had contacted Asus, HTC, Hyundai and the top three console makers. These companies have been given 30 days to revise their warranty policies and become compliant with the law or face possible legal consequences.

The Federal Trade Commission points to the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act – a federal law enacted in 1975. The law states that if a consumer product which costs more than $5 USD has a warranty then the manufacturer cannot impose any repair restrictions. For example, if your iPhone becomes damaged you have the right to get the device serviced at a local repair center even if that place is not authorized by Apple.

“Warranty language that implies to a consumer acting reasonably under the circumstances that warranty coverage requires the consumer to purchase an article or service identified by brand, trade or corporate name is similarly deceptive and prohibited,” the FTC wrote in its letters to each of the six companies it contacted.

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