April 23, 2018, 10:20:51 AM

Author Topic: FTC reminds companies that voiding warranties under some conditions is illegal  (Read 1032 times)

Kit Lens Jockey

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I'm not sure if Canon has ever been very hawkish about this, but it's interesting to hear it reaffirmed that an electronics warranty cannot be voided just because you did something like open up a device on your own.

https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2018/04/ftc-warranty-voiding-language-like-nintendos-and-sonys-is-illegal/

https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2018/04/ftc-staff-warns-companies-it-illegal-condition-warranty-coverage
« Last Edit: April 11, 2018, 11:42:16 AM by Kit Lens Jockey »

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Imagewerx

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Interesting.In this case this just applies to America,but is it the same in the rest of the world?

I used to fit car hi-fi gear,and Rockford Fosgate used to say that to have any sort of warranty,none of their gear could be fitted by the end user,it HAD to be fitted by a dealer approved by them.It wasn't long before this was said to be illegal and they had to give all the statutory consumer rights no matter who fitted it.

apq65

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The last section of the linked article is important. If the unauthorized repair or part damages the warranted product, the warranty would not cover that damage. The seal would be evidence that the product was opened by an unauthorized repair technician. The difficulty now arises from potentially shifting the burden of proof to the consumer. It would be easy for the manufacturer to claim that the product was harmed by the unauthorized repair or opening. The upshot is, the manufacturers will still apply a seal. While they can't outright refuse to accept the article for repair, they could return it without repair claiming that the unauthorized opening of the product caused damage.

Orangutan

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The last section of the linked article is important. If the unauthorized repair or part damages the warranted product, the warranty would not cover that damage. The seal would be evidence that the product was opened by an unauthorized repair technician. The difficulty now arises from potentially shifting the burden of proof to the consumer. It would be easy for the manufacturer to claim that the product was harmed by the unauthorized repair or opening. The upshot is, the manufacturers will still apply a seal. While they can't outright refuse to accept the article for repair, they could return it without repair claiming that the unauthorized opening of the product caused damage.
Just give Congress a few weeks, and they'll pass a law which will clarify all of this by stating that a warranty may be voided by the manufacturer if anyone looks at the product disapprovingly.   :P

Kit Lens Jockey

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The last section of the linked article is important. If the unauthorized repair or part damages the warranted product, the warranty would not cover that damage. The seal would be evidence that the product was opened by an unauthorized repair technician. The difficulty now arises from potentially shifting the burden of proof to the consumer. It would be easy for the manufacturer to claim that the product was harmed by the unauthorized repair or opening. The upshot is, the manufacturers will still apply a seal. While they can't outright refuse to accept the article for repair, they could return it without repair claiming that the unauthorized opening of the product caused damage.

I work in an industry that deals with things like this in relation to our products. From the standpoint of the manufacturer, if you really press them on it, it's much easier and cheaper for them to just cover a repair under warranty than it would be to actually litigate in court that whatever you did to the product caused the failure. It's also pretty hard to prove in a court that whatever the customer did to the product actually caused the failure.

Tugela

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They don't have to prove anything other than it was not an obvious manufacturing defect. If the customer opened the product up, it would be up to them to prove that the defect was not a result of their actions, since they are the ones claiming that a defect existed. If the seal is still in place and untampered with, then there is no argument, but if it is gone then it would be up to the customer to demonstrate that whatever they did was not the cause of the problem. Once they have done that, then they can make a claim.

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