If you ever saw a sticker on a device claiming that eliminating it could void your warranty, the Federal Trade Commission wants you to know that this practice is illegal.
Many devices have these manufacturers' adhesive labels in an attempt to prevent people from trying to fix their own devices or from third parties to fix them. The FTC says it sent letters to "six big companies that market and sell cars, cell phones and video game systems in the United States" to warn them about stickers.
 In its letter, the FTC told the companies that their sticker practices go against the 1975 Magnuson Moss Warranty Act, which stipulates, among other things, that Brand parts can not be required for a warranty to be valid. In addition, these statements may be in violation of the FTC Act, designed to protect consumers from deceptive practices.
The FTC provided the following examples of "questionable" statements:
- The use of parts [company name] is required to maintain your. . . manufacturer's warranties and any extended warranty intact.
- This warranty does not apply if this product. . . used with products not sold or licensed under [company name].
- This warranty does not apply to this product. . . has had the seal of guarantee in [product] altered, defaced or removed.
"The provisions that link warranty coverage to the use of certain products or services harm both consumers who pay more for them and small businesses that offer competing products and services," said Thomas B. Pahl, Acting Director of the FTC's Office of Consumer Protection in a press release.
The companies contacted, which the FTC did not mention, will have 30 days to update the warranty policies on their websites. This should lead to a trend that allows people to try to fix their own machines or use third-party repairs, while being covered by the manufacturer's warranty.
This article was originally published in Tom & # 39; s Guide.
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