Voiding warranties for upgrades

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by mobydisk, Nov 19, 2007.

  1. mobydisk macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2007
    #1
    The subject of voiding warranties came-up in a thread about hard drives, so I decided to post it under another thread.

    Recently, someone pointed out to me that in the U.S., the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act specifically states that a company can't void a warranty for an upgrade. It was originally intended when companies were voiding warranties for using 3rd-party vacuum cleaner bags. :) They can certainly refuse to cover something if it has been damaged by the upgrade in the same way that they can refuse to cover damage if you threw the laptop out a window. But that requires them to actually prove that it was the cause of the damage.

    I used to work at CompUSA and the Packard Bell computers had a silver sticker. If you removed the case, the sticker split into two parts that each spelled out the word "VOID." But we upgraded Packard Bell computers all the time, as did our customers, and the warranties were still valid. It's just a scare tactic.

    Some places that do Mac upgrades even promise it will not void your warranty. So those of you who are afraid of upgrading Mac laptops need not worry.
     
  2. CashGap macrumors 6502

    CashGap

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2007
    Location:
    Music City, USA
    #2
    You're generally right.

    They can certainly refuse to cover something if it has been damaged by the upgrade in the same way that they can refuse to cover damage if you threw the laptop out a window. But that requires them to actually prove that it was the cause of the damage.

    That's the key. And they don't need to "prove" it as much as assert it, which can complicate things.

    Some places that do Mac upgrades even promise it will not void your warranty.

    Generally, what they are doing is stepping in if the Apple warranty is denied. They upgrade the hard drive on 3,000 machines. Ten of them later have warranty issues. Apple denies two of those warranty claims. The store steps in and pays for the repairs, and they are well to the good, as is the customer.
     
  3. mobydisk thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2007
    #3
    Actually, it's the exact opposite: they cannot simply "assert" it they must "prove" it. Meaning, if you take them to court, they must prove to a judge that the upgrade caused the problem.

    For example, if your LCD stops working, and they refuse to fix it because of the hard drive upgrade, they must legally prove that the hard drive upgrade caused the LCD to stop working. If they fail to establish that link in court, the judge will order them to fulfill the terms of the warranty.

    There are some good articles on the web that provide specific detauls as to how this works and cite the relevant passages of the law.
    http://www.syntheticwarehouse.com/Warranties_Magnuson.htm
     
  4. CashGap macrumors 6502

    CashGap

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2007
    Location:
    Music City, USA
    #4
    Actually, it's the exact opposite: they cannot simply "assert" it they must "prove" it. Meaning, if you take them to court, they must prove to a judge that the upgrade caused the problem.


    They can deny the warranty claim with an assertion, you have to get it to court to force proof.

    A fine line I agree, but considering the ***RELATIVELY*** few denied claims that end up in court, the assertion generally carries.


    (I just realized that apparently we are the only two people who care about this topic LOL).
     

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