All the players have dealt with the repair of their consoles or the processes to make a warranty effective. Generally, companies that develop hardware, such as Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft, tend to be very strict regarding their policies in this regard and after many years, 2 of these could face problems in the United States after the Federal Trade Commission issued a statement and send warning letters.
The Federal Trade Commission of the USA (FTC), issued a statement yesterday in which it reported that it sent warning letters to 6 important companies dedicated to the manufacture and commercialization of automobiles, smartphones, and consoles so that they modify their warranty policies in favor of the consumer as soon as possible.
Although it did not disclose the names of the companies, the commission emphasized that it found inconsistencies in the guarantee policies of these companies, which go against what is dictated by the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, which came into force in 1975, as to its section related to ambiguous terms; In addition, the agency believes that the company’s warranty policies give little freedom to the consumer regarding the use of products or services of third parties and, basically, are illegal.
According to reports a few weeks ago, Nintendo Switch users suffered problems with their consoles when using docks manufactured and sold by third parties and the response of the company was that official products should be used.
In addition, we all know that PlayStation consoles have a seal that covers access to one of the external screws and in case it breaks, the warranty is invalidated. Well, this information is relevant because, as pointed out by ArsTechnica, the FTC’s statement shows warranty phrases that undoubtedly correspond to Nintendo and Sony products:
- Hyundai’s warranty states that “the use of Hyundai Genuine Parts is required to keep your Hyundai manufacturer’s warranties and any extended warranties intact.”
- Nintendo’s warranty states that “this warranty shall not apply if this product is used with products not sold or licensed by Nintendo.”
- Sony’s warranty states that “this warranty does not apply if this product… has had the warranty seal on the PS4™ system altered, defaced, and removed.”
When comparing the phrases regarding the warranty invalidation, it is clear, and very likely, that 2 of the companies that received the warning letter from the FTC are Nintendo and Sony. Thomas B. Paul, director of the FTC’s Office of Consumer Protection, said: “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.”
According to the FTC statement, the companies that were warned have 30 days to review their warranty policies and adapt them to a condition favorable to the consumer that does not imply the mandatory nature of the use of certain products or services. In case of disregard, the commission informed that it will take the pertinent legal actions. In general terms, the commission asks companies to stop invalidating warranty for the reasons mentioned above and that these notices be removed from all sections of information related to their products, including official websites on the Internet.
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