|3rd Party RAM - Your Legal
Rights to Server Warranties |
In the fast-paced world of
computing systems and components, the myriad of warranties covering everything
from software to servers to upgrade components can quickly make you feel like
you are suffering from vertigo. In order to keep apace of technology's
advancements, businesses find that they need to upgrade their computing systems
long before the warranty has expired - often times, less than a full year since
the system was purchased. This situation usually leaves many companies worried
about the possible affects on the warranty of their expensive new systems.
The standards of warranties are codified in the Magnuson-Moss Act set
forth by the US Congress in 1975. The four primary goals of Magnuson-Moss were
a) help inform the consumer about a product's warranty;
b) give consumers the opportunity to compare warranty coverage among products
c) encourage warranty coverage as a basis of
competition between suppliers; and
d) discourage suppliers from
shirking their warranty obligations. Warranties are essentially a promise of
service to repair, replace or refund defective products by the supplier.
One recent warranty controversy involves tie-in tactics employed by
unscrupulous salespeople in order to trap consumers into paying higher fees for
upgrades. They tell their prospects that if the customer upgraded their current
system with components from other manufacturers, it would, in turn, nullify the
system's warranty. Invariably, the same-brand upgrade components are priced at a
premium. While scaring customers that if a problem occurs and memory is the
suspect, the OEM that is maintaining the system will shut the entire system down
until the memory problem is diagnosed, and most likely is not the cause
however, the customer is charged for downtime and additional labor.
my conversations with technology buyers, this, unfortunately, is not uncommon
from company to company. Whether as a technology buyer, retailer or reseller,
many have confided that they were intimidated to upgrade with components from
the original manufacturer or another "approved" components reseller.
No one is willing to go on record and describe their experiences in fear of
jeopardizing their relationships with the manufacturers.
technology manager I spoke with, who asked to remain anonymous, admitted: "Of
course we're being strong-armed by vendors. Just ask my salesman. Both of us
know this. But I can't say it publicly."
require consumers to purchase items or services in order to keep their warranty
valid. These are spelled out in the finer lines of Magnuson-Moss, with which
consumers - as well as suppliers - should acquaint themselves. Known as the Tie-In
Sales provisions, the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act strictly prohibits
warrantors from making their customers buy additional products or services from
any company in order to keep the warranty valid on something that has already
been bought. For example, the warranty on your car is not void should you choose
to replace your oil filter with a comparable one not manufactured by the car
Likewise, Magnuson-Moss states that the warranty on your server
cannot be voided by upgrading components, like memory boards, with parts made by
a different manufacturer. More reputable computer manufacturers have openly
rejected tie-in sales provisions and stood by their customers and their
customers' needs in these instances.
Magnuson-Moss does not require
that a supplier offer a written warranty to the consumer, but that if a written
warranty is provided, the supplier is law-bound to honour it. Magnuson-Moss
urges suppliers to comply by making it easier for consumers to take an
unresolved warranty problem to court. The Act allows consumers to sue for
warranty breach by making it a violation of federal law, and empowers consumers
to recover court costs and reasonable attorneys' fees from the violating
The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act is designed to prevent
unscrupulous manufacturers from drafting grossly unfair consumer warranties and
to make it economically viable for consumers to bring warranty suits. What
started originally as a concern for warranties and practices for lemon
automobiles has struck a chord with consumers, and raised product and service
quality to a new and higher standard.
Making sure your business is complying with your warranties, and
making sure the businesses you work with are complying with their warranties
helps ensure your continued operation, continued customer satisfaction and
potentially avoids costly litigation fees. Warranty compliance is one simple
method to create and maintain the good will of your customers. By performing
your obligations, you guarantee satisfied customers who return again and again.
An educated consumer is the only way to prevail over strong willed,
aggressive, sales personnel. Would you buy a $2,000 camera if it only took one
type of film or the warranty wouldn't hold or a home that only let you choose
only one electric company or your power wouldn't be guaranteed, but the power
came from the same electrical plant? Think about it
. The choice should be
yours. Is it?
About the author:- Sherri Sheerr is the president of
Group, an international reseller of computer memory upgrades, headquartered
in Langhorne, PA.