Microsoft Is Being Sued Over the Xbox One’s Warranty-Void-if-Removed Sticker

Posted on Saturday, 10th November 2018 @ 07:35 PM by Text Size A | A | A

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Microsoft is being sued for a security seal on the Xbox One console that can scare consumers into thinking that opening the device will void the warranty.

Earlier this year, the Federal Trade Commission sent warning letters to six companies, including Microsoft, telling them that they were violating the federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, a 1975 law that forbids manufacturers from tying warranty coverage to the use of that company’s repair parts. Now, the company is being sued by a customer and this will be tested in court.

In a lawsuit filed in the Superior Court of California on November 6, plaintiff Charley Baskett is seeking an injunction against Microsoft so it will stop the practice. The lawsuit points out that Microsoft offers a one year warranty on its new Xboxes, but that it “continues to make multiple representations to consumers that the Xbox warranty is subject to carve outs expressly prohibited by federal law.”

In Xbox One product manual available online, Microsoft explicitly tells its customers not to attempt repairs of their own console: “Evidence of any attempt to open and/ or modify the Xbox console, Kinect sensor, power supply or accessories, including any peeling, puncturing, or removal of any of the labels, will void the Limited Warranty and render the Xbox One, Kinect sensor, power supply or accessories ineligible for authorized repair,” the Xbox One manual reads.

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The Federal Trade Commission put six companies on notice in early April for illegally telling customers that getting third-party repairs voids the warranty on their electronics. You’ve seen the stickers before and read the messages buried in end user license agreements. Plastered on the back of my PlayStation 4 is a little sticker that says “warranty void if removed.” That’s illegal.

As we’ve reported before, it is bullshit and illegal under federal law for electronics manufacturers to put “Warranty Void if Removed” stickers on their gadgets, and it’s also illegal for companies to void your warranty if you fix your device yourself or via a third party.

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