(Topic ID: 297210)

No, you are not voiding your machine's warranty.

By mrgregb123

3 months ago


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  • Latest reply 3 months ago by swampfire
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    #1 3 months ago

    [WITHDRAWN]

    #2 3 months ago

    This is great news. Now we can mod the hell out of games for 60 days and not void our warranty, assuming we are the original purchaser of the game.

    #3 3 months ago

    Following

    #4 3 months ago
    Quoted from freeplay3:

    Now we can mod the hell out of games

    Not quite. There's a difference between modifying/changing the way in which something operates, and adding on bits that were never originally installed or meant to be installed.

    10
    #5 3 months ago

    Right to repair is different than the right to add a bunch of nonsense that tags on to the original electronics and possibly blows shit up.

    #6 3 months ago
    Quoted from ForceFlow:

    Not quite. There's a difference between modifying/changing the way in which something operates, and adding on bits that were never originally installed or meant to be installed.

    I should have put in the sarcasm sign. Both Stern and JJP have 60 day warranties on the printed circuit boards. If you have a good distributor, he can probably get you replacement after the warranty, but 60 day warranty on the boards is a joke.

    #7 3 months ago
    Quoted from freeplay3:

    I should have put in the sarcasm sign. Both Stern and JJP have 60 day warranties on the printed circuit boards. If you have a good distributor, he can probably get you replacement after the warranty, but 60 day warranty on the boards is a joke.

    As someone who used to complain about Stern's ridiculously short warranty, they seem to largely ignore the timelines, routinely providing service for games that are in some cases years old.

    Quoted from Elvishasleft:

    Right to repair is different than the right to add a bunch of nonsense that tags on to the original electronics and possibly blows shit up.

    Correct, except you can in fact add whatever nonsense you want. The manufacturer still has to show that the defect you are reporting was caused specifically by your mod(s), and the remainder of the warranty remains intact. Manufacturers try hard to convince users otherwise and blatantly lie to you ("Opening this [whatever] will void the warranty") but the law is the law.

    #8 3 months ago
    Quoted from mrgregb123:

    Correct, except you can in fact add whatever nonsense you want. The manufacturer still has to show that the defect you are reporting was caused specifically by your mod(s), and the remainder of the warranty remains intact. Manufacturers try hard to convince users otherwise and blatantly lie to you ("Opening this [whatever] will void the warranty") but the law is the law.

    Depends what you mean by "show"?

    I dont know how hard that is to do if you are literally altering the games original power and or wiring.

    Pretty sure that would be all they have to say.

    #9 3 months ago
    Quoted from Elvishasleft:

    Depends what you mean by "show"?

    I dont know how hard that is to do if you are literally altering the games original power and or wiring.

    Pretty sure that would be all they have to say.

    I didn't write the law. I'm just here to tell people it exists, and is intended to be consumer-friendly. If you don't choose to take advantage of it and instead take pinball manufacturers at their word that you cannot alter anything without voiding your warranty, you certainly have the choice to do that.

    #10 3 months ago
    Quoted from mrgregb123:

    Correct, except you can in fact add whatever nonsense you want. The manufacturer still has to show that the defect you are reporting was caused specifically by your mod(s), and the remainder of the warranty remains intact. Manufacturers try hard to convince users otherwise and blatantly lie to you ("Opening this [whatever] will void the warranty") but the law is the law.

    Here's how that will go, every single time...

    Buyer: "Hi, my game won't turn on. I need a new power supply."

    Stern: "We're really sorry to hear that. Did you modify or alter you machine in any way from factory?"

    Owner: "Not really, I just added a doll that taps into the power supply."

    Stern: "Ok, then No."

    Buyer: "But that's not what caused it. It's from a reputable modder who's well known in the industry for making quality mods that tons of pinball owners use all the time, without issue."

    Stern: "No."

    Buyer: "Well, the law says I'm allowed to do that and you still have to honor the warranty."

    Stern: "Yeah, No."

    Buyer: "I can sue you, and at least certainly never buy another product from you guys ever again!"

    Stern: "Still, No. Though if you'd like to purchase another Power Supply, please visit one of our authorized retailer's websites. Thank you for being a Stern customer. Goodbye."

    #11 3 months ago
    Quoted from mrgregb123:

    As someone who used to complain about Stern's ridiculously short warranty, they seem to largely ignore the timelines, routinely providing service for games that are in some cases years old.

    Correct, except you can in fact add whatever nonsense you want. The manufacturer still has to show that the defect you are reporting was caused specifically by your mod(s), and the remainder of the warranty remains intact. Manufacturers try hard to convince users otherwise and blatantly lie to you ("Opening this [whatever] will void the warranty") but the law is the law.

    Let me just tell you now - if you ever find yourself at a trial of any sort claiming that your $450 board should be covered by the Stern/JJP/whatever warranty -- and you explain to a judge, arbitrator (or if you are in small claims and its a magistrate) that you added 5 LED toys to your game and increased the load of power being pulled out of a factory power supply by even .0001 amps due to said modifications... here is what happens:

    After their eyes glaze over and they take about three seconds to think about things they will rule against you and in favor of the manufacturer and move on to the next case.

    They won't even bother to process whether the power supply is different from the MPU, etc. You are done. Over. Case closed.

    In my trial and arbitration experience it is hard to get the person in charge of determining facts in trials to process anything technical on a good day and the second they know you modified the game they will have made up their mind. Its over.

    [This all sets aside whether or not your time and energy is worth the $450 board or whatever you are claiming].

    EDIT: I will say though that being armed with the information you have provided *might* help users to get the company to issue warranty repair in the first place in some limited instances. Maybe. Possibly.

    #12 3 months ago

    I didn't believe there actually was a meaningful warranty to begin with. Isn't only 60 days?

    -2
    #13 3 months ago
    Quoted from bigehrl:

    [some fantasy conversation between this guy and Stern]

    Quoted from brainmegaphone:

    [some fantasy about a trial for a $450 warranty claim]

    I think one of the many reasons so many people have left Pinside is this weird fetish-like corporate-worship that goes on here. The Manufacturer Gatekeepers of Pinside®, here to invent fictitious scenarios that have never happened nor will ever happen in the real world. I don't get it.

    In reality, the manufacturer has no idea what mods you have in your game nor what you did to cause a defect. NO IDEA. They don't come out to your house to inspect your machine, unbeknownst to apparently several in this thread. Know what they do instead? Ship you the part you need. Because they DGAF as much as you think they do. Ask me how I know. Unlike some of the folks in this thread, I speak from experience. And this applies in nearly every scenario inside and outside of pinball.

    The point of this post was to inform the many pinsiders who don't have a clue how warranty coverage works and the laws that cover you for altering or repairing your machine, that you are protected and feel free to make changes to your game w/o worry that installing a 3rd party shaker, for example, voids the whole machine's warranty. And yes, this specifically includes mods. Just like your car's warranty remains intact if you add on a 3rd party exhaust, your machine's warranty is protected if you add a non-factory shaker. While a pinball mfg can try to prove that you caused the defect, they can't do this if they can't inspect the machine. Period. However, with a car, the manufacturer has a higher rate of succeeding in a warranty denial claim on account of a mod because in most cases it's still attached to your car when you bring it in - they are in a position to prove your mod caused the defect. Pinball manufacturers are not doing this. In fact, most manufacturers don't do this. That's why they put the "opening this voids your warranty" - because otherwise 99% of the time they'd have no idea you caused the problem.

    TL;DR: Read the law (Magnuson–Moss Warranty Act) for yourself. Be aware it exists, and protects you. That's the point of the thread.

    #14 3 months ago
    Quoted from RyanStl:

    I didn't believe there actually was a meaningful warranty to begin with. Isn't only 60 days?

    60 days on electronics only for Stern. And that 60 days starts when Stern ships it to their distributor, not when you receive it. So your warranty could be much less or non-existent when you receive said game.

    "Hello! We're giving you this final courtesy call to let you know that your pinball machine's warranty is about to expire..."

    Screenshot_20210723-093516~2 (resized).png
    #15 3 months ago
    Quoted from mrgregb123:

    TL;DR: Read the law (Magnuson–Moss Warranty Act) for yourself. Be aware it exists, and protects you. That's the point of the thread.

    The disease here is the warranty periods are short and puts too much discretion in the power of the manufacturer. I'm not sure I see the cure as being the law you cite. This is a discussion thread - if I'm missing something please feel free to walk me through it.

    #16 3 months ago
    Quoted from brainmegaphone:

    The disease here is the warranty periods are short and puts too much discretion in the power of the manufacturer. I'm not sure I see the cure as being the law you cite. This is a discussion thread - if I'm missing something please feel free to walk me through it.

    Yah I still fail to see the point of the thread.

    If the thought is I can do whatever I want to my machine and its still covered you are sadly mistaken.

    Doesnt really change anything... there is no way you can add a bunch of aftermarket crap to a machine and expect them to help you trouble shoot it or fix it when you blow it up.

    You already have "the right to repair" they are more than happy to send you boards to swap out etc. if you have a warranty issue

    #17 3 months ago

    [WITHDRAWN]

    #18 3 months ago
    Quoted from mrgregb123:

    Lot's of strawmen arguments here and ignorance of the law....the law is the law. The manufacturer and Pinside CANNOT modify this law, no matter how many times you post. Stern's warranty contains several outright LIES. And they do this because they have corporate worshippers like the folks here who BELIEVE them. There is nothing illegal about their lies, so why not do it to fend off warranty claims?
    Stern disclaims a warranty for ANY parts except the displays and node boards. This is not permitted by law. The entire machine carries an implied warranty that cannot be disclaimed, by law, for the duration of the written warranty (9 mos).
    Stern's implied warranty disclaimer is COMPLETELY VOID in the 11 states that prohibit this and require that the product be in good working order for the duration, meaning the warranty is significantly longer than 9 months in those states - courts have generally found 4 years to be a reasonable period of time.
    Stern's warranty is carefully worded to say that defects AS A RESULT OF [modifications] are not covered, but they'd have to demonstrate this. They don't say general modifications void the warranty (though CGC has made this claim on their past products). The FTC just ruled that companies cannot even lie about this anymore and claim that a warranty is void if you open, repair, or modify the product.
    Here's more on the law in more layman's terms: https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine/2013/05/the-word-on-warranty-protection/index.htm
    Bottom line, folks. Don't go on what Pinsiders say (including me, I'm here to raise awareness). Read the law, know your rights. The end.

    "Oh Stern pinball in Chicago isn't honoring a warranty because your game has 32 alligator clips holding together a web of janky mods? We'll send a SWAT team right over!!!!"

    #19 3 months ago
    Quoted from mrgregb123:

    Lot's of strawmen arguments here and ignorance of the law....the law is the law.

    I have a license to practice law so I do not consider myself ignorant to it at all.

    Quoted from mrgregb123:

    The manufacturer and Pinside CANNOT modify this law, no matter how many times you post.

    I believe you are looking past the fact that the law you cite may not be relevant to the point you are trying to make.

    Quoted from mrgregb123:

    courts have generally found 4 years to be a reasonable period of time.

    This is a dangerous broad statement which is not providing accurate information or accurate context. Consumer law in every one of our 50 states is different. I don't know the laws of each state and I will not pretend to (I am only licensed in once state) but to imply that "courts" believe a warranty for all products is 4 years is (to my knowledge) not true or is otherwise completely taken out of context. Think about that logically - you mean to imply that every manufacturer has to warranty a product for 4 years just because a few "courts" have said so? Any minimum warranty requirement would have to be a specific law enacted by a state - so the court would be citing a law. Many European countries have strict consumer laws which may contain certain of these rights but I have not heard of the same in the United States.

    If for some reason you have a citation to a case in a specific state which gives consumers a minimum 4 year warranty regardless of the manufacturer's disclosed warranty please feel free to cite it. It would be great information for a Pinsider to have (in that specific state). Game changer for sure. I can't say for certain this does not exist but before you imply it does I think you should at least specify the state or case so we could verify whether it applies or not.

    I always welcome a civil discussion and I DO NOT know everything so when people have knowledge they want to share that is what these forums are for. However it isn't productive to call me and others corporate worshipers and other names. Use facts to prove your point not name calling.

    #20 3 months ago
    Quoted from mrgregb123:

    In reality, the manufacturer has no idea what mods you have in your game nor what you did to cause a defect. NO IDEA. They don't come out to your house to inspect your machine, unbeknownst to apparently several in this thread. Know what they do instead? Ship you the part you need. Because they DGAF as much as you think they do. Ask me how I know. Unlike some of the folks in this thread, I speak from experience. And this applies in nearly every scenario inside and outside of pinball.- because otherwise 99% of the time they'd have no idea you caused the problem.

    oh, you meant in the context of lying, not being forthright and omitting certain facts. you didn't say that at first. in that case, sure, do whatever the hell ya want.

    #21 3 months ago
    Quoted from bigehrl:

    oh, you meant in the context of lying, not being forthright and omitting certain facts. you didn't say that at first. in that case, do whatever the hell ya want.

    Well, he is a lawyer?

    #22 3 months ago
    Quoted from mrgregb123:

    Stern's implied warranty disclaimer is COMPLETELY VOID in the 11 states that prohibit this and require that the product be in good working order for the duration, meaning the warranty is significantly longer than 9 months in those states - courts have generally found 4 years to be a reasonable period of time.

    You keep claiming this. Cite the case law to support your claim.

    It was pointed out to you back in post 11 why even if your claim is true it's not likely to be helpful.

    #23 3 months ago

    The law is for companies like apple who seal their products and make a stink if you open them.

    They want you to pay their team of dumasses at the apple store to do everything so they can make more $$.

    Since pinball companies already allow you to fix your own game and will even send you the parts to do it I think you are off base.

    Keep fighting the good fight though and I look forward to your call into Stern after you fry your game lighting it up like the Griswold xmas house.

    #24 3 months ago

    Common sense needs to prevail here. Let’s talk about an actual scenario that happened to me.

    When I got my GOTLE, I wanted to make the shaker less violent. I’d used a cheap PWM device to do this with my SAM pins, but doing this on GOT blew the Spike cabinet node board. When I called Pat Powers and explained what happened, he said “yes, that PWM is what caused the failure, so we can’t replace it for free”. He thanked me for my honesty. I bought a new cabinet node board ($200 back then), and I felt that I was treated fairly.

    How many people are honest with the manufacturer about their mods, when they call to say a board has gone bad? I’m worried that the OP’s creating an environment where people think “It’s mY gAmE sO I cAn mOd iT and StErN sTiLL hAs To FiX iT”.

    #25 3 months ago
    Quoted from swampfire:

    How many people are honest with the manufacturer about their mods, when they call to say a board has gone bad? I’m worried that the OP’s creating an environment where people think “It’s mY gAmE sO I cAn mOd iT and StErN sTiLL hAs To FiX iT”.

    Yah this.... the people you need to go after are the guys who sell you mods when one jacks up your game.

    Of course they will just tell you "you must have installed it wrong"

    Its not Sterns job to fix problems their homemade product or your poor install skills cause.

    #26 3 months ago

    OP is correct on warranty, but others are also correct in that if you do anything to mess with a particular circuit, you're going to be found liable for anything you could damage by shorting that circuit, etc.

    However, say the LCD craps out, the manufacturer isn't going to be able to blame your flipper fans driven by a wallwart plugged into the service outlet.

    #27 3 months ago

    There seems to be some confusion here. I'm not trying to win an argument. I realize that's the Pinside way of discussion. I couldn't care less. If you want to interpret the Magnuson–Moss Warranty Act to have all sorts of strawmen gotchas and it stops you from filing a warranty claim, you have the freedom to do this. If you wish to use the law's protections, you also can do this. Nothing anyone claims here matters at all. Not the lawyer guy. Not the guy who posts in every single thread on Pinside. All that matters is the law. I don't need to cite case law or prove any point in this thread to make use of the Magnuson–Moss Warranty Act. I posted that the law exists, that many Pinsiders (as this thread has hammered home) are confused about warranty coverage, and so I invite you to read the law and take your own actions. Don't let corporate-worshippers and gatekeepers convince you that your warranty claim is invalid. That's all.

    -2
    #28 3 months ago
    Quoted from mrgregb123:

    I don't need to cite case law or prove any point in this thread to make use of the Magnuson–Moss Warranty Act.

    When one doesn't supply evidence to support a claim that claim is rightfully dismissed.

    #29 3 months ago
    Quoted from mrgregb123:

    There seems to be some confusion here. I'm not trying to win an argument. I realize that's the Pinside way of discussion.

    I'm sorry if I somehow upset you in my responses. You made a bunch of statements and claims and I was just hoping you could explain them to me because I felt I was missing something. Then you proceeded to say things like courts interpret a reasonable warranty as 4 years (as if to imply that the courts will warranty our pinball machines for 4 years when pushed regardless of what the Stern / JJP warranty says). I found this to be great information (if accurate). I just wanted to understand where the information comes from.

    When pushed to explain you went back to simply saying "All that matters is the law". I agree. You just weren't explaining how the law applies to any of us getting a warranty beyond the manufacturers warranty.

    Am I the only one missing something here? If your point is we can use Magnuson-Moss to get an extended warranty I welcome you walking us through that as it would be great information for everyone here.

    This is not an attack on you (though by your reaction I think you may see it as one). I just want to understand how this law benefits us and/or how the manufacturer's warranties may be deemed extended in certain circumstances under the law.

    I'm not claiming to be right. I'm simply asking for any backup to what you are saying or implying in your posts. If that is the "Pinside way" then I'm proud to be on Pinside.

    #30 3 months ago
    Quoted from mrgregb123:

    corporate-worshippers and gatekeepers

    You’re clearly not objective, using phrasing like this. You’re encouraging people to lie when their mods or changes break their games, that’s what I have a problem with.

    Hey there! Got a moment?

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