large image

Trusted Reviews is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

Warranty sticker removal controversy takes new twist in US

The USA’s Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has issued a press release to six companies stating that forcing consumers to use certain parts or service providers is prohibited under US law. 

The statement (as reported by BGR) has been taken to mean that commonly used ‘warranty void if removed’ stickers aren’t legally binding, and don’t allow a company to circumvent its obligations to consumers. These stickers are usually placed on a device such that they’ll need to be broken or removed if you want to open up the device to repair it.

In recent years, several states across the US have implemented so-called ‘right to repair’ legislation, which forces electronics manufacturers to provide repair information and parts to allow their devices to be restored by third parties.

This right doesn’t only benefit consumers, allowing them to spend less money and use their devices for longer, but it’s important for the environment, too. Every year, thousands of devices with minor defects end up in landfill, when they could be easily repaired with the right knowledge and tools.

Warrant Sticker Removal: Preventing unnecessary damage?

At the same time, we have a certain amount of sympathy for the companies that use such stickers.

If you’re offering a free warranty for a product, it’s helpful to have a way of determining whether the owner has been poking around and potentially breaking things inside the device. We’re all for a company offering a free repair, but we’re not so sure you deserve this free service if you’ve been doing some DIY tweaking.

This is unlikely to be the last we’ll hear about the controversial stickers. Only 18 of the USA’s 50 states have expressed an interest in right to repair legislation so far, and progress has been slower still outside of the country.

However, if we want to tackle the enormous amount of waste being produced as a result of our obsession with consumer tech, increasing the lifespan of devices is something that needs to happen – just as much in the UK as in the US.

Have you tried repairing your tech yourself? How did it go? Let us know @TrustedReviews


Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2004, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have millions of users a month from around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

author icon

Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

author icon

Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.