FTC Looking To Sue Microsoft, Sony, And Nintendo Over Their Warranty Practices

The Federal Trade Commission has put six companies on notice because they tell customers that they will void their warranties if they go to third party repair locations to fix their consoles. Motherboard reported on May 1st that the companies on notice include electronic giants Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo.

The Federal Trade Commission noted that it, "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. Similarly, such statements may be deceptive under the FTC Act."

via Extreme Tech

The FTC highlighted that all iterations of the phrasing are illegal for companies to put on their products, and that each of the companies uses different phrasing with the same meaning.

The three companies mentioned above have used this phrasing in regards to this alleged FTC violation, "The use of [company name] parts is required to keep your . . . manufacturer’s warranties and any extended warranties intact," or, "This warranty shall not apply if this product . . . is used with products not sold or licensed by [company name]," or, "This warranty does not apply if this product . . . has had the warranty seal on the [product] altered, defaced, or removed."

The FTC says that companies can rectify this and have asked, "that each company review its promotional and warranty materials to ensure that such materials do not state or imply that warranty coverage is conditioned on the use of specific parts of services. In addition, FTC staff requests that each company revise its practices to comply with the law."

All in all, it turns out that consumers can go to whatever third party repair service they would like and it shouldn't affect their warranty. Ideally, the companies in question will work with the FTC and rectify the issues that the FTC has highlighted soon!

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