FTC warns companies about shady warranty terms

FTC warranty stickers removal

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) said it had written to six companies to warn them about using misleading language.

Given how expensive official replacement parts and fix services are, it is not surprising that many have turned to third-party services, which in some cases has resulted in some undesirable consequences.

The regulator said such provisions were "generally prohibited by the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, a law that governs consumer product warranties".

As an independent agency of the United States government with a history of over a century of protecting consumers against unfair or deceptive acts or practices in commerce, as well as fighting and preventing anticompetitive business practices, the FTC has been in the spotlight of late with various Qualcomm, Facebook and YouTube investigations.

In each case, the company states its products must not use unauthorized parts or service, be used with products not sold or licensed by the company, or have had a warranty seal altered, defaced, or removed.


The companies have 30 days to respond to the FTC.

The FTC said it was concerned about the companies' statements that consumers must use specified parts or service providers or their products warranties would be considered invalid. The companies are given 30 days to update their websites and comply with the U.S. federal law before the FTC takes further action.

The news comes amid reports that users of the Apple iPhone 8s may find themselves unable to use the touchscreen after downloading the recent iOS 11.3 update, if they had the screen repaired by a third party other than Apple.

Stickers on gadgets warning "warranty void if removed" are deceptive and likely to be illegal in the U.S., its consumer watchdog has said.

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