Magnuson-Moss Act

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by pughchrism, Sep 22, 2007.

  1. pughchrism macrumors member

    Mar 9, 2007
    I'm really nauseated by people being jerked around as I read on this forum. Here's a little law to keep in mind. It's called the Magnuson-Moss Act.

    Basically on a consumer product that has a written warranty you have some federal protections. If the product has a defect or malfunction that hasn't been corrected after 3 attempted repairs (this is the number that is generally considered to be a reasonable number of attempts), then they have to offer you a refund or exchange--the choice is YOURS!

    Don't expect your local genius or phone rep to be aware of this. However, the executives should be very familiar with this law.
  2. Le Big Mac macrumors 68030

    Le Big Mac

    Jan 7, 2003
    Washington, DC
    Please don't spread misinformation.

    The M-M Act is not a lemon law. All it does is require full disclosure of terms of warranties, and some other related things.

    M-M A summary at FTC
  3. pughchrism thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 9, 2007
    i see where you could misunderstand the act by just reading some of the info in your link. the act does regulate disclosures. however, the act does much more. it also regulates what a business can and cannot do in warranty situations. if i have time i'll look up references.

    your link does include a hint "The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act is the federal law that governs consumer product warranties. Passed by Congress in 1975, the Act requires manufacturers and sellers of consumer products to provide consumers with detailed information about warranty coverage. In addition, it affects both the rights of consumers and the obligations of warrantors under written warranties."
  4. pughchrism thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 9, 2007
    here's an example from the code:

    § 700.10 Section 102(c).

    (a) Section 102(c) prohibits tying arrangements that condition coverage under a written warranty on the consumer's use of an article or service identified by brand, trade, or corporate name unless that article or service is provided without charge to the consumer.

    (b) Under a limited warranty that provides only for replacement of defective parts and no portion of labor charges, section 102(c) prohibits a condition that the consumer use only service (labor) identified by the warrantor to install the replacement parts. A warrantor or his designated representative may not provide parts under the warranty in a manner which impedes or precludes the choice by the consumer of the person or business to perform necessary labor to install such parts.

    (c) No warrantor may condition the continued validity of a warranty on the use of only authorized repair service and/or authorized replacement parts for non-warranty service and maintenance. For example, provisions such as, “This warranty is void if service is performed by anyone other than an authorized ‘ABC’ dealer and all replacement parts must be genuine ‘ABC’ parts,” and the like, are prohibited where the service or parts are not covered by the warranty. These provisions violate the Act in two ways. First, they violate the section 102 (c) ban against tying arrangements. Second, such provisions are deceptive under section 110 of the Act, because a warrantor cannot, as a matter of law, avoid liability under a written warranty where a defect is unrelated to the use by a consumer of “unauthorized” articles or service. This does not preclude a warrantor from expressly excluding liability for defects or damage caused by such “unauthorized” articles or service; nor does it preclude the warrantor from denying liability where the warrantor can demonstrate that the defect or damage was so caused.
  5. pughchrism thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 9, 2007
    Title 15 Chapter 50
    § 2304. Federal minimum standards for warranties

    (a) Remedies under written warranty; duration of implied warranty; exclusion or limitation on consequential damages for breach of written or implied warranty; election of refund or replacement
    In order for a warrantor warranting a consumer product by means of a written warranty to meet the Federal minimum standards for warranty—
    (1) such warrantor must as a minimum remedy such consumer product within a reasonable time and without charge, in the case of a defect, malfunction, or failure to conform with such written warranty;
    (2) notwithstanding section 2308 (b) of this title, such warrantor may not impose any limitation on the duration of any implied warranty on the product;
    (3) such warrantor may not exclude or limit consequential damages for breach of any written or implied warranty on such product, unless such exclusion or limitation conspicuously appears on the face of the warranty; and
    (4) if the product (or a component part thereof) contains a defect or malfunction after a reasonable number of attempts by the warrantor to remedy defects or malfunctions in such product, such warrantor must permit the consumer to elect either a refund for, or replacement without charge of, such product or part (as the case may be). The Commission may by rule specify for purposes of this paragraph, what constitutes a reasonable number of attempts to remedy particular kinds of defects or malfunctions under different circumstances. If the warrantor replaces a component part of a consumer product, such replacement shall include installing the part in the product without charge.
  6. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    Has no meaning for Macs because Apple does not write any parts-only warranties.
    Right: Apple has the complete right to determine whether or not any non-warranty service has damaged the machine, and thus voided the warranty. IIRC elsewhere in the M-M act, the manufacturer can specify parts or areas of the product that have no service parts that are permitted to be replaced.
    And the definition of reasonable time is open -- but it ain't one week, or one month.
    Which Apple details the limitations of the warranty on every product, both online and in the package
    Again, reasonable is open to definition. Absent a ruling from the Federal Trade Commission it does NOT mean "three strikes and you automatically get a new machine"
    The implied warranty provides next to no consumer protection for typical breakdown or alleged substandard performance issues -- it is mainly present to ensure that the product bought is what it purports to be. So if the thing you bought is a computer, and it boots an operating system, the implied warranty is probably satisfied. Apple is very careful to disclaim any guarantee of specific performance or suitability in their written warranty.
    And if the problems are covered by the written warranty, then the written warranty provisions rule.

  7. pughchrism thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 9, 2007
    i'm not sure what you are trying to say. apple can not tell you which parts you can or can not use in a situation where you are replacing parts in a non-warranty situation. yes, this applies even if the computer is still under warranty. of course if your diy upgrade damages the machine then they don't have to cover the damage, as is stated in the code. ps, i'm not referring to changing the general purpose of the product.

    says who? it depends on what the problem is.

    three failed attempts to correct a defective part on a computer is beyond reason. check the rulings.

    i agree.


    not so. even the beginning of the apple warranty states that it is second fiddle to other governing rules and regulations.


    My gosh, do you work for apple? you seem to be straining every code as hard as you can to their favor.

    please don't misunderstand. i have no wish to abuse apple or anyone else for that matter. but, you need to know your rights when you nicely negotiate an appropriate solution.
  8. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    Well, for example in the FTC's warranty dispute resolution formula, the manufacturer has 40 days just to respond to the claim... so it's not to hard to imagine that the reasonable timeframe the FTC has in mind extends to months, not days.

    Well yes -- the warranty says the consumer laws and regulations rule. And the regulation says that 1) the manufacturer can define the warranty terms as long as they write it down, and 2) there is an implied warranty - which is defined as that which is not in the written warranty. The 'merchantability' part says that if it is a computer it should act like a computer (but not how well it performs). The 'fitness' portion pertains to whether it will do what it was bought for -- but you have explicitly ask for, or be explicitly promised, that performance.
    So if Apple says explicitly "You must not use this machine for nuclear powerplant management" and you buy it intending to use it for such, you do not have an implied warranty for that purpose. Apple has a disclaimer on fitness so that you can't come back and say "this machine was supposed to run C&C at XX frames per second, and it doesn't" just 'cause you imagined it would. However if Apple advertised that it would run the game at that speed, then the implied warranty would apply.
    Nope - but you're the one who started slinging code around ;)
    If you want to use excerpts from the act in support of a point of view, it has to be able to stand the test of rebuttal.

    Carry on .. ;)
  9. pughchrism thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 9, 2007
    40 days to respond to a violation claim is not the same as a reasonable repair timeframe. i think you may know this but are trying play a little cat and mouse.

    once again, even if it is written in the warranty doesn't mean it's the bottom line. you can write a warranty that has items that are unenforceable. code specs this and trumps those items. and again, even apple's warranty makes this acknowledgement. the code clearly shows this and dictates what is and isn't binding in the warranties. the code also clearly provides binding provisions that may not even be addressed in a warranty.

    to say it another way--yes, the manufacturer can define the warranty. yes, the govt has consumer protections that are in addition to, and may be in contradiction to, the manufacturers written warranty.
  10. OldManJimbo macrumors 6502


    Jun 1, 2004
    California Coast
    So this is why the cell phone company told my daughter that if her phone kept having malfunction issues they would replace it after the third time she came it - I wondered.
  11. matticus008 macrumors 68040


    Jan 16, 2005
    Bay Area, CA
    Not exactly. Magnuson-Moss is not universally controlling in every instance where written terms contradict the Act. Generally, the revisions afford protection on the customer, clarifying the relationship between warrantor and warrantee when disputes arise. It sets a presumption in favor of the plaintiff making a warranty claim, but it is not the case that a customer is always protected simply by the more generous claim.

    Magnuson-Moss is not a "local law" and that is not the reference in the warranty to explicit exceptions; rather it is instead local variations, typically at the state level, that explicitly require additional protections. Apple's written warranty is based in the law of the state of California, its principal place of business, and in fact does fully comply with Magnuson-Moss to the extent it applies.
    No, they can't. They do not, however, have any obligation to warranty those repairs, unapproved parts, or clean up anything the servicer may have broken in the course of those repairs. Further, if you take a product to an unauthorized servicer and it breaks subsequent to that, you can lose the protection of the "refund or replace" clause, particularly if it can be demonstrated that Apple could have properly repaired the issue. You could certainly take that issue up with your inept butterfingers of a servicer, but it would no longer be Apple's problem.

    You're also inaccurately parsing sections 102(c) and 16 CFR 700.10. AppleCare and ProCare are not purely product warranties. They also cover replacement parts and service. If you were to take a computer in for repair and pay an outside party to do so while still under Apple warranty, Apple has no obligation to conduct repairs on those non-OEM, non-Apple-serviced parts should they break again. Your warranty claim would be through the third-party servicer. Apple is not responsible for the failure of aftermarket parts in their products at any time, unless the cause of the failure is in an Apple-warranted part or was caused by an authorized Apple technician.

    I suppose in short it is best to close by asking, what is it that you feel violates federally-mandated warranty laws in the Apple warranty? Which specific terms are you under the impression are unenforceable?
  12. pughchrism thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 9, 2007
    my post was exactly correct as to the point i was referring.

    apple exception isn't limited to "local law". even if so stated, a warranty cannot legally exclude mm.

    isn't this in harmony with the other posts?

    not my intent.

    i do have issues with poor qa/qc and customers being tx poorly when they go to have warranty repairs/exchanges.

    as i beleive i originally stated in my post, we need to know our rights when we buy products and need repairs.

    bottom-line, there are guidelines to how a retailer can tx it's customers. you aren't totally up to the whim of the "genius" or customer care.

    be very nice and know your rights. the mm act is something that is good for all of us to be aware of to protect our consumer rights. do not try to abuse it. do not make threats with it. never jump to make a threat with the big mm stick. hopefully you'll never need to let a retailer know you are aware of the act (don't show your aces) (was that a pun?).

    for decent people, knowing we have a strong position should -- 1. help us remain civil as we wade through piles of horse manure, 2. decrease wading time and depth of manure, 3. assist in reaching an appropriate solution.

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