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FTC Gives Microsoft, Nintendo, Sony 30 Days to Remove Warranty-Voiding Stickers

Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony were among the half-dozen companies put on notice by the Federal Trade Commission last month for violating the law by telling customers they would void their warranties if they had the company’s product repaired by anyone but themselves, Motherboard reports.

The FTC sent letters to ASUS, HTC, Hyundai, Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony last month, but the companies’ names weren’t disclosed until Motherboard obtained the warning letters via a Freedom of Information Act request.

The FTC said on April 11 that the companies are all violating the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, a law that governs consumer product warranties. Similarly, statements that say consumers must use specified parts or service providers to keep their warranties intact may be deceptive under the FTC Act, according to the FTC. This includes warranty seals on products that, if altered, void the warranty.

“Provisions that tie warranty coverage to the use of particular products or services harm both consumers who pay more for them as well as the small businesses who offer competing products and services,” said Thomas B. Pahl, Acting Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection.

The companies need to review their 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, the FTC staff requested that each company revise its practices to comply with the law. The letters state that FTC staff will review the companies’ websites after 30 days and that failure to correct any potential violations may result in law enforcement action.

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