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That said, let's go on to your question.
Whenever someone buys a product, the concept of an "implied warranty"
is already in effect. This concept gives the buyer a reasonable
expectation that the product is not defective and will work as
An extra layer of protection is provided by an "express warranty",
typically written and backed by the product manufacturer. They decide
what to include in their warranty, depending upon how they wish to
present their brand to the public. Although manufacturers are not
necessarily obligated to provide additional warranty protection,
express warranties have become so common that it's difficult to sell
complicated products (particularly PCs) without one.
Various types of consumer warranties are discussed here:
"What is a Warranty"
A warranty encourages buyers to use a product within the limits of its
specified design. Manufacturers cannot usually be held liable for
defective claims if the product has been abused in an unreasonable
way. For example, a buyer can't drop a new camera, breaking the lens,
and expect to get it repaired under warranty.
Any modification that you might make to a product as a reseller or end
user usually voids the manufacturer's warranty. Here's an example from
Dell's Limited One Year Warranty:
"...this limited warranty does not cover damage due to external
causes, including accident, abuse, misuse, problems with electrical
power, servicing not authorized by Dell, usage not in accordance with
product instructions, failure to perform required preventive
maintenance, and problems caused by use of parts and components not
supplied by Dell."
Cutting new holes, adding new electrical components, or installing
third-party accessories are not going to be endorsed by the original
manufacturer. Such modifications mean that the product has gone beyond
the manufacturer's control, and outside of their factory
specifications. There's no way they can guarantee that it will work
according to their design.
You could offer your own warranty on a modified product, but you are
then subject to the federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, which requires
"...provide complete information about the warranty so that the
consumer can understand it and compare its terms to that of warranties
offered by competitors in the marketplace. A consumer can bring a
lawsuit against a business that violates the act and can recover the
costs of the lawsuit and attorney's fees if the consumer prevails."
You might want to do a Google search for existing custom PC shops and
see how they have worded their warranties.
Improperly done modifications could expose your customers to an
increased risk of property damage, physical injury, or even death.
What if someone decides to pop open a cover and start poking around?
Since modifying an existing product might make you a link in "the
chain of manufacture", you could be held liable for damages if
Products Liability Law: An Overview
"Products liability refers to the liability of any or all parties
along the chain of manufacture of any product for damage caused by
that product. This includes the manufacturer of component parts (at
the top of the chain), an assembling manufacturer, the wholesaler, and
the retail store owner (at the bottom of the chain)."
If you intend to carry this out as a retail business, I again
recommend that you first obtain proper legal advice from a competent
business lawyer in your area.
A Businessperson's Guide to Federal Warranty Law
"Understanding the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act"
Products Liability Law: An Overview
Small Business Law - Free Legal Information
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