Anyone who has ever touched an electronic device – especially if it has just come out of the box – has certainly come across the indefectibles stickers glued to “separable” parts of the product housing, usually with warnings like “the warranty will be suspended if this sticker is violated”. Well, according to the United States regulatory agency, this type of warning may have its days numbered.
THE Federal Trade Commission (FTC, an American agency similar to our Procon) sent notices to six companies – unspecified, but characterized as “manufacturers of automobiles, cell phones and video game systems in the United States” – informing that the use of so-called warranty seals is illegal and opening a device cannot be considered a reason for canceling coverage.
The FTC recalls that any device costing more than $ 15, be it a keyboard or a car, cannot have its warranty and return rights revoked after opening on its own or repairing through unauthorized agents; all this due to a decree of 1975 called Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, which prohibits manufacturers from placing repair restrictions on their devices unless that they themselves offer these services and parts free of charge to consumers – which, I don’t need to notice, nobody does.
IS unlikely that Apple be among the companies that received the notification from the FTC, after all Apple does not (fortunately) adopt the strategy of guarantee seals to check the opening or not of its devices – and, it is good to note, the company has taken a step forward in this It made sense to announce, about two months ago, that iPhones whose screens were repaired by unauthorized service centers no longer lose their guarantees.
In general, Apple also does not claim that its products opened on its own or by unauthorized technical assistance automatically lose their guarantees (not least because, in some cases, it is impossible to determine whether the device was opened); instead, the company simply warns that third-party repairs can cause damage to the devices. Despite this, there are reports of iOS updates that caused problems (or even broke completely) iPhones and iPads with unofficial components – and the problem is rehearsing to arise again with the spread of iOS 11.3, as we commented yesterday.
Having said all that, before you go around incarnating Professor Sparrow and opening / repairing all your gadgets without fear of losing the warranty, it is good to note that the FTC’s determination only covers (obviously) the territory of the USA.
Over here, in Brazil, things are more uncertain: the warranty seal has no legal validity (that is, you can break it and still have the chance to get your warranty right, even if it will certainly result in a good few months of fighting with the manufacturer ), but there is no legislation that requires companies to provide warranty if a product is “infringed”. Therefore, if the manufacturer makes a technical inspection of your device and proves that there is some kind of improper modification or something like that, it is not illegal for the warranty to be revoked.
In the end, the tip is just one: only open electronic devices (especially if they are still under warranty) if you are absolutely sure of what you are doing, with no chance of error. And if you opt for unauthorized assistance, choose one that you fully trust – even so, keeping in mind that incidents happen and you risk being without warranty. Stay tuned!
via The Loop