It is a common concern when consumers are deciding whether or not to use remanufactured or compatible cartridges for a printer if the warranty implemented by the manufacturer upon purchase will be voided. Though customer service representatives at these major companies may try to bully consumers into believing the warranty only covers the use of brand-name products, in fact it is illegal.
In 1975, a law was passed by the United States Congress that deems it against the law to revoke a warranty or disclaimer agreement based on the consumer’s preference for replacement cartridges or moving parts. Referred to as the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Improvement Act, named after the Democratic representatives that proposed the Act, once a machine has been purchased and a warranty is implemented, the stipulations cannot be altered or voided.
Another purpose of this Act was to make warranties detailed in a more understandable way, providing the Federal Trade Commission with clear terms and better means to protect the consumers of the United States of America.
Some manufacturers will try to threaten a void of warranty for using cartridges that are not OEM in hopes that the consumer is unaware of the law. They may even say remanufactured or compatible ink or toner is inferior to the brand-name when in reality, the off-brand products have a similar chemical composition as the original.
IBM, a major manufacturer of office equipment battled the United States Supreme Court after being reported for threatening customers with warranty termination for using third party products. IBM lost and has since changed warranty policies.
It is important to read the warranty clearly and understand the extent and stipulations of it. Some manufacturers offer limited warranties, which are not held to the same standard and are not in violation of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Improvement Act if clearly advertised as a limited warranty.