Your Rights

If a network or computer system manufacturer’s sales representative tells you that use of another manufacture’s memory/GBIC’s/GLC’s in the system manufacturer’s network or computer system will render the system manufacturer’s warranty void, this is a violation of the Magnuson-Moss Act.

Through this ploy, the sales representative attempts to coerce customers into purchasing memory/GBIC/GLC modules from the system manufacturer, usually at grossly over inflated prices. A system manufacturer may resort to this type of warranty threat to spread fear, uncertainty and doubt in the minds of consumers, rather than to compete on the basis of quality and price.

If your OEM suggests, implies or states that your warranty will be voided if another manufacture’s components are used, ask your OEM sales representative for this statement in writing, as this is unlawful and cannot be legally enforced.

The Magnuson-Moss Act was created to prevent large corporations from monopolizing spare and replacement parts. The Magnuson Ð Moss Warranty Act makes it unlawful for a manufacturer to lock consumers in as the only solution available.

A word about “Tie-In Sales” Provisions

In general, Tie-in sales provisions are not allowed. Such a provision requires the customer to purchase all components directly from the OEM or the warranty is rendered void.

This is like a flash light manufacturer telling customers that they must only use their brand of flashlight batteries (sold at a super-premium price) or the flash light will not function properly and the warranty is null and void.

In all cases, check your manufacture’s warranty for a “Use of 3rd Party Components” section (or something similarly titled). Regardless of what the sales team says, the written policy for most OEMs is to extend warranty coverage regardless of the use of components manufactured by other companies.

For more information about tie-in sales provisions and your rights under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, please click here.

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