The Federal Trade Commission sent warning letters to six companies who have used “questionable” statements about what you have to do to keep your product warranty intact, the agency announced Tuesday. The FTC did not name the companies it contacted, but said the companies market and sell “automobiles, cellular devices, and video gaming systems in the United States.”
“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,” Thomas B. Pahl, acting director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, said in a statement from the agency.
In general, companies can’t void warranties if you use a parts or service provider outside of the company’s approved list to fix your product unless that company provides parts or service for free or gets a waiver from the FTC, the FTC said in a statement. The agency also called out as questionable warranty statements that say a warranty is void if you remove a warranty seal on the product.