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FTC gave hardware firms including Asus and Microsoft 30 days to make warranty changes last month

FTC gave hardware firms including Asus and Microsoft 30 days to make warranty changes last month

The United States' Federal Trade Commission has given companies including Asus, Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony 30 days to change warranty terms perceived to be illegal.

That's according to tech site Motherboard, who managed to get its hands on letters from the FTC to these companies, which also include HTC and Hyundai.

These letters were originally issued on April 10th, as previously announced by the FTC. That means we're just days from the deadline 

"This letter places you on notice that violations of the Warranty and FTC Acts may result in legal action," the agency wrote.

"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."

These letters are all pretty similar but vary with regards to the exact laws that are being broken. For example, the FTC puts the boot into Microsoft for its use of stickers that void warranties on hardware if they are removed.

This - the body says - places the company in violation of the 1975 Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, which restricts the amount companies can charge for repair to $5.

Other complaints involve the company that built the hardware getting to say who repairs said hardware and warranties being void if hardware is "used with products not sold or licensed" by the same company.

Failure to comply with these demands may result in law enforcement getting involved.


PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site PCGamesInsider.biz. In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for GamesIndustry.biz, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.

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