The FTC have sent cease and desist letters to the three biggest video game console manufacturers, warning them their statements about warranty voiding may be in violation of the law.
The details: The FTC sent out the notices earlier this year to Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo. The documents are now available thanks to Motherboard. In the letters, the FTC gives the companies 30 days to review their warranties. The warning “warranty void if…” is so ubiquitous on video game consoles as to be mundane, but according to the FTC, it could actually be illegal.
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According to a press release from the FTC:
The letters warn that FTC staff has concerns about the companies’ statements that consumers must use specified parts or service providers to keep their warranties intact. Unless warrantors provide the parts or services for free or receive a waiver from the FTC, such statements generally are prohibited by the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, a law that governs consumer product warranties.
The context: If you’ve ever needed console repair, and didn’t want to (or couldn’t) send the console back to the manufacturer, then the question of whether that repair will void your warranty hovers over everything. But each of the letters sent to the console makers say the FTC is concerned specifically with language that prohibits third-party repairs.
In Nintendo’s case, the questionable language also includes using products not licensed by Nintendo. Sony’s also covers the defacement and removal of the warranty sticker on the back of the console.
It should be noted that game companies weren’t the only ones to receive the warnings — the FTC sent similar ones to Asus, HTC, and Hyundai. In each one, it admonishes the companies for threatening voided warranties if customers use third-party products to repair their product.
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