The FTC Warns Console Manufacturers on Illegal Warranty Practices

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Last month, the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) sent out warning letters to six companies stating that the “Warranty Void If Removed” stickers found on electronic devices, including game consoles, were in fact illegal. The stickers are a clear violation of a 1975 Act that states that a manufacturer cannot put warranty restrictions on a product over $5, which they offered warranty in the first place. 

Now, the FTC is giving the alleged manufacturers 30 days to remove these labels on their future products. Failure to do so would result in the FTC filing legal action against the manufacturers. The companies involved are Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo, HTC, Asus, and Hyundai. 

Lois Greisman, the associate director of marketing for the FTC sent out the letters on April 9, giving the companies involved a chance to adjust their practices before the given deadline. FTC’s letter stated that: 

“This letter places you on notice that violations of the Warranty and FTC Acts may result in legal action. FTC investigators have copied and preserved the online pages in question, and we plan to review your company’s written warranty and promotional materials after 30 days. You should review the Warranty and FTC Acts and if necessary, revise your practices to comply with the Acts’ requirements. By sending this letter, we do not waive the FTC’s right to take law enforcement action and seek appropriate injunctive and monetary remedies against [company name] based on past or future violations.”

This action by the FTC is good news for console owners who are obsessive cleaners and strives to maintain a system in pristine condition. Or maybe for those players who like to tinker around inside their console. It is just baffling to me why the FTC waited for such a long period of time before strictly implementing this regulation. What are your thoughts on the FTC’s love letter to console manufacturers?