You know all those intimidating stickers that you often find on the backs of your games consoles? The ones that make you stop and think about whether or not you want to open up your PS4 and clean it of all the dust that’s making it sound like a jet engine? Well they’re illegal, and the FTC in the US has given Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony a 30 day deadline to stop using them and alter the wording of their warranties to allow for third party repair.
That 30 day deadline is coming up fast, as the FTC sent the letters on 9th April, threatening legal action if the companies were found to still be in violation. The targets of the letter were revealed after Motherboard submitted a FOIA request.
Before calling out the individual language used, the FTC’s letter to the three console manufacturers (among other tech companies) says, “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 inquestion, 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.”
It continues, “Warranty language that implies to a consumer acting reasonably under the circumstances that warranty coverage requires the consumer to purchase an article or service identified by brand, trade or corporate name is similarly deceptive and prohibited.”
How the three console manufacturers respond will be interesting to see, and it’s highly likely that they’ll only change their stance locally. Of course, it also won’t be surprising if they get a rap on the knuckles from the EU as well…