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Gillette, Venus, Braun, Oral-B “No Self-Repair” Warranties Class Action

Tying arrangements for repairs are the topic of this class action against the Procter & Gamble Company (P&G) and its subsidiary the Gillette Company, LLC. The complaint alleges that products under the Gillette, Venus, Braun, and Oral-B brands have warranties, but they require that repairs be done only by an authorized repair service and only with authorized replacement parts. The complaint calls this a tying arrangement and asserts that it violates state and federal laws.

The class for this action is all those who bought Gillette, Venus, Braun, or Oral-B products in the US with a warranty provision that forbids self-repair or use of unauthorized parts.

The plaintiff in this case, Thomas Watson, bought a Braun electric shaver in a Target store. The packaging noted that the shaver had a one-year, limited warranty, the complaint claims, but did not disclose the restriction on repairs.

Shortly after Watson started using the shaver, the complaint alleges, it started to malfunction. The complaint alleges that Watson “would have liked to endeavor to repair his product himself during the warranty period, but his warranty as written prohibited him from doing so.”

This is so for many P&G and Gillette products, the complaint alleges. It quotes the warranty as saying, “The guarantee becomes void if repairs are undertaken by unauthorized persons and if Braun parts are not used.” The authorized parts are available online, the complaint says, but “at inflated costs.”

In imposing this kind of condition, the complaint alleges, the companies “have violated the tying prohibition in the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, which prohibits companies from conditioning their warranties on the consumer’s use of any article or service (other than an article or service provided without charge under the terms of the warranty) identified by brand, trade, or corporate name.”

According to the complaint, the tying arrangement also violates state laws and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Act (which forbids unfair or deceptive acts or practices and unfair competition).

The complaint quotes the FTC Act’s example of a prohibited kind of warranty: “For example, provisions such as, ‘This warranty is void if service is performed by anyone other than an authorized “ABC” dealer and all replacement part must be genuine “ABC” parts,’ and the like, are prohibited where the service or parts are not covered by the warranty.” It also say that a repair restriction in certain circumstances may be considered an unfair practice.

Finally, the complaint claims such restrictive warranties may violate the Sherman Act, which forbids exclusionary and anticompetitive actions.

The complaint alleges that “on July 21, 2021, the FTC unanimously voted to ramp up law enforcement against repair restrictions that prevent small businesses, workers, consumers, and even government entities from fixing their own products.”

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Consumer

Most Recent Case Event

Gillette, Venus, Braun, Oral-B “No Self-Repair” Warranties Complaint

January 21, 2022

Tying arrangements for repairs are the topic of this class action against the Procter & Gamble Company (P&G) and its subsidiary the Gillette Company, LLC. The complaint alleges that products under the Gillette, Venus, Braun, and Oral-B brands have warranties, but they require that repairs be done only by an authorized repair service and only with authorized replacement parts. The complaint calls this a tying arrangement and asserts that it violates state and federal laws.

Gillette, Venus, Braun, Oral-B “No Self-Repair” Warranties Complaint

Case Event History

Gillette, Venus, Braun, Oral-B “No Self-Repair” Warranties Complaint

January 21, 2022

Tying arrangements for repairs are the topic of this class action against the Procter & Gamble Company (P&G) and its subsidiary the Gillette Company, LLC. The complaint alleges that products under the Gillette, Venus, Braun, and Oral-B brands have warranties, but they require that repairs be done only by an authorized repair service and only with authorized replacement parts. The complaint calls this a tying arrangement and asserts that it violates state and federal laws.

Gillette, Venus, Braun, Oral-B “No Self-Repair” Warranties Complaint
Tags: Fraud, Fraudulent Omission, Tying Arrangement, Warranty