Legalities of "Warranty Void if Removed" Stickers

I bought the Crucial P1 NVME 1TB SSD from the Amazon deal less than 2 months ago and have recently started using it. I peeled the sticker off the top for aesthetic purposes not realising the sticker has the "Warranty void if removed" clause on it. I've now realised I'm not happy with the SSD as it makes a weird grinding/screeching noise during startup and shutdown of the system and want to either return it or make a warranty claim. A very quick Google returned some varying results.

Has anyone had experience with this? Does anyone know if that clause is legally enforceable in Australia? It's stupid to have the warranty void for removing something that has negligible impact on the drive.

SSD sticker in question: https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn%3AANd9GcSXyk...

closed Comments

  • +1

    just return it to amazon they are good.

    • Would they not make me go through the whole RMA process?

  • +7

    have personally had this fight myself, i lost and miserably.
    Pretty sure the sticker itself is not the enforceable part, the removal of the sticker allows them to prove it was "tampered" with and to exclude warranty due to "unauthorised use"

    • What company?

  • The sticker is normally placed in such a way that it needs to be removed/cut to open the item (i.e. access its "inner workings"). The sticker therefore indicates that you have opened the item which would be in breach of the warranty terms.

    It's likely you're now is the position of needing to prove you haven't opened the item to access the warranty. That's where you're going to struggle.

    • It's an NVME drive, there is nothing to open. The sticker is literally placed on the bare components.

      See image:

      https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn%3AANd9GcSXyk...

      • +2

        There is a serial number on the sticker. Removing it indicates a switcheroo. The supplier have every right to refuse a refund.

      • I'm no expert on what you can or can't do with these things … but the "WARRANTY VOID IF REMOVED" that's printed on the sticker per the image you've provided probably gave you some warning of the situation here.

  • +5

    possibly a silly question, but if the ssd was going into a case, why would you need to remove it "for aesthetic purposes"?

    • +3

      Some gamers like to show off their SSD by installing in a LOS location.

    • +1

      Tempered glass and the SSD sits on the motherboard.

  • if you remove the sticker and residue completely with IPA….. then the sticker was never there in the first place? 😁

  • +8

    Are you sure its the SSD? SSDs don't make any noise.

    • -7

      SSD's do make noise. It's a widespread myth. I've previously RMA'd an SSD for making a high pitch noise and I wasn't the only one who could hear it. But yes, I'm confident it's the SSD, nothing else in my system has changed since the install.

      • +2

        A grinding noise? Check your fans mate…

        • Grinding was probably the wrong word to use, more like a shrieking noise I guess?

          • +13

            @DisabledUser193539: A shrieking noise? Check your bedroom mate…

          • @DisabledUser193539: Did you take it out to see if the noise still happens?

            • +1

              @Agarwal: Yes, and the noise disappears when the SSD isn't installed.

          • +2

            @DisabledUser193539: If it's humming or has a pitch noise then it could be a dying diode. The sticker is there to identify the serial number in the event the drive can't be booted up to obtain it software-wise. The serial is also there to ensure the warranty is still within the time frame and the batch has not been stolen. The sticker could also be a low safeguard in protecting the flash chips from mishandling which may cause a short.

            • -1

              @No Username: Those points all make sense but surely in a situation where the drive loads fine, serial number is readable through software and everything, then they need to honour the warranty since it clearly has all the information they need and shows it hasn't been mishandled, no?

              • @DisabledUser193539: I know you've complained about cheeky above, but …

                Are you prepared to pay a tech to install the drive into a machine and read the serial number?

    • +1

      Good one.

    • +3

      This.

      The S's in SSD stand for "Solid State" aka no moving parts.

      No way the SSD is causing grinding noises.

      • +2

        Then explain coil whine in GPUs. It's produced by electrical current passing through non-mechanical components on the PCB and causing the electrical wiring to vibrate; with particularly bad examples it's loud enough to be heard in another room.

  • There virtually no moving parts in SSD are you sure? just a memory circuit

  • +4

    OP - you ask if the 'clause' is enforceable.

    There is no clause.

    There is a sticker, approximately the whole size of the item, that clearly says "WARRANTY VOID IF REMOVED".

    In capitals.

    In the same font and size of most of the other text on the sticker.

    That sticker does not remove or reduce your legislated consumer rights.

    You choose to do something that you were clearly told had ramifications.

    Let us know how you go with the return.

    • Regardless, it's (profanity) stupid and ruins the aesthetics. Imagine if a luxury car maker put a sticker that covers the whole engine bay saying "Warranty void if removed".

      • +1

        Then buy an SSD that doesn't have a sticker……………or build your PC, make sure it works to your satisfaction, THEN remove the sticker?

        I don't understand this whole aesthetic requirement for the inside of a PC. Do we insist on RGB for our AppleTV or DVR or TV?

        • -4

          Then buy an SSD that doesn't have a sticker

          Wow, thanks that's such a good solution, just buy an SSD without a sticker lmao

          or build your PC, make sure it works to your satisfaction, THEN remove the sticker?

          Yes, because hardware NEVER fails once you confirm it's working

          Aesthetics is the whole point of having a glass cover? If you don't get it, then it's clearly not your thing. Just move on.

          • +2

            @DisabledUser193539: I’m really unsure how many aesthetic “points” you’re gaining from removing the sticker, especially given the situation you’re in now. When was the last time someone looked at your PC and went “Wow it looks awesome but that tiny sticker on the SSD really ruins it”

  • +1

    If it is faulty, then you have a right to a refund or exchange under consumer law, regardless of the sticker, but since the sticker has been removed, the company will be fighting back. Just keep calling them back and complaining, however, don't mention warranty, since that is a promise between you and the company, and you broke that when you broke the sticker, but the Australian Consumer Law protects you even outside the warranty.

    • This might be the route I have to take and then avoid Crucial in the future.

    • -2

      Wrong, SSD do make noise. There is a reason my RMA was approved by Sandisk last year for making a high pitched noise in multiple different computers. Stop preaching false information, please.

      • +1

        May be they just wanted to show some goodwill.

        • Goodwill for an SSD that was clearly faulty?

          • +3

            @DisabledUser193539: Did they admit that it was the SSD making the noise in their correspondence? Or did they just accept your complaint and provided a replacement? Sometimes companies do provide replacements to keep customers happy even though they might not necessarily agree with what the customer is claiming. Amazon is a good example.
            However, presumably, you used the replacement Sandisk without any similar issues.

      • +4

        You got some bad luck there. Two noisy SSD in such a short time frame.

  • +3

    I don't know why people are defending the warranty void stickers, whether you want to take them off for aesthetic or repair reasons they shouldnt void your warranty. The FTC warned some companies because of this a couple years ago

    • +1

      Because they're all on a pedestal. They will be the first to change their mind if they find out it affects them.

      • Honestly, you're probably at a disadvantage because of this. From what I've heard the "Warranty Void if Removed" stickers are not legally binding but manufacturers will put a fight because of it. I'd say gather information on ACL, get the serial number through software then record it and prepare for a battle. Good luck

        • Without the sticker, they will have use software to get the serial number from the device. I suppose you think they should have to cop this as a cost, because someone decided the sticker didn't look right.

  • +2

    The important point here is that OP bought an item from a retailer that has since developed a fault. He can return that item for a replacement or refund, as this is legislated by Australian Consumer Law. Any stickers are irrelevant, all he needs is proof of purchase, which he will have. Amazon may have a problem getting a refund or replacement from Crucial, but that is not OP's problem.

    If a consumer wants to remove a sticker for aesthetic reasons, then they should be able to. ACL is there to protect the consumer not the manufacturer or retailer.

    OP, send it back to Amazon.

    • The fact that OP has a right to get a replacement if the item has developed a fault is obvious.
      However, there will be a complication if the serial number is not etched onto the item and was only on the sticker (and if it can't be read from firmware). I'm not sure this is the case for OP but if it is, don't you think the retailer/ manufacturer has a right to refuse replacement as they can't be sure if it's the same unit sold to the customer.

      • +1

        don't you think the retailer/ manufacturer has a right to refuse replacement as they can't be sure if it's the same unit sold to the customer.

        No. Australian Consumer Law overrides any manufacturer or sellers requirement. All the consumer needs to provide is the defective item and some proof of purchase. The following is direct from the ACCC website:-

        as long as you can reasonably demonstrate that you purchased an item, a business may be breaking the law if it denies your right to a refund, repair or replacement for an item that fails to meet a consumer guarantee.

        • +2

          as long as you can reasonably demonstrate that you purchased an item

          In this example, couldn't the business claim that you can't reasonably demonstrate you purchase THAT item, if the item can't be identified due to the missing serial number as the very unit that was purchased under that invoice?

          • +1

            @Amaris: The onus is not on the consumer, to prove anything other than what is legislated above, ACL is written to prevent retailers from insisting on other proof, other than 'reasonably demonstrate that you purchased an item'

            However, i understand your concern that an unscrupulous consumer may do a 'switch'. The onus is on the retailer/manufacturer to prove they acted this way, and in addition to not honouring the consumer guarantee, would leave themselves open to criminal charges due to attempted fraud/theft.

            OP does not have to prove anything other than proof of purchase. This is ACL, not my personal opinion.

          • @Amaris: Couldn't the serial be obtained through software?

            • @FireRunner: The serial could be in the firmware, or other identifications on the item, but it would be up to the manufacturer/retailer to check and prove, not the consumer. The statement 'Warranty void if removed' is invalid under ACL. OP is not making a warranty claim against the manufacturer, but rather, a remedy under laws enacted to protect him.

        • +3

          a business may be breaking the law if it denies your right to a refund, repair or replacement

          "May be" breaking the law. Leaves this open to interpretation, it's never black and white. For example while it is the resellers responsibility to sort out, they also have the right to get it examined by the manufacturer.

          There are arguments for and against, but I would suggest that removing an anti-tamper label, gives weight to the argument that it may have been tampered with. Whether it has been or not, the removal would mean that the reseller does not have to cover it and can pass it on to the manufacturer to deal with (as Amazon would not have technicians that would be able to determine if it has been tampered with).

          • @dizzle: @BOGOF
            I get your point. This is not the usual tiny sticker we see on circuit boards. Removing the sticker is in effect defacing the serial number.

          • +4

            @dizzle:

            Leaves this open to interpretation

            Most of the ACL is open to interpretation. It's hilarious when people quote it like it's black and white. It never is.

            • +1

              @spackbace: Agreed

              The two that really get me are:

              • "should last a reasonable amount of time" but no one will ever agree on what that reasonable amount of time is as there are many factors.

              • The minor Vs major fault - Every customer thinks it's a major fault, even when a software update can fix things.

  • Noise from SSD's? They don't have any mechanical moving parts as far as i'm aware…

    Although i guess it can have a squealing noise from power in the circiutry being downconverted.

    Sounds like problem with case fans / Vibration.

    Have you removed the SSD and had a look if there is still noise.

    You can always record a short video and send it as proof…

    As for the sticker personally i wouldn't worry about it. Don't know if they do replacemrnts for noise though.

    Just as most people can't get a claim on their GPU Coil Whine…

    If all fails. ACL.

  • I'm not happy with the SSD as it makes a weird grinding/screeching noise during startup

    That seems highly unlikely… I've installed dozens of nVME SSD's and hundreds of SATA SSD's and not one of them has made a single audible noise.

    • -1

      But as per OP's comments, the fact that Sandisk provided a replacement for his 'noisy' SSD means SSDs can make noise!

    • +2

      i didn't believe it but i googled and there are youtube videos of noisy ssds

  • +1

    🤣

  • FYI. Computer companies like HP log each and every component (cpu, gpu, HD, ram, etc) serial number while on the assembly line. Small local retailer shops more than often log the SN on the tax invoice. This prevents consumers swapping faulty or old parts for new and returning them.

  • +4

    A few helpful tips that do not rehash what's already been yelled about in the posts above. Some of these are perhaps for future reference:

    • To improve the aesthetics, without removing the sticker on your M.2 SSD, install a stylish heat spreader. Some SSDs even ship with one.

    • The noise could come from a DC-DC converter on the SSD. If you can not replace the SSD and have to keep it, try to localise the source of the noise and dampen it with a small blob of hot glue over the components that seem to make noise. Usually the noisy component is a coil.

    • It is more likely that the noise is generated by a DC-DC converter on the motherboard. You may only hear this noise when something is drawing a significant amount of power in that particular M.2 slot. If you have another M.2 slot to try, move the SSD and see if there is any improvement / change.

    • +1

      Yep, a lot of high performance nvme drives have coil whine. OP can swap it for a new one but almost certain it will have the same noise.

  • +1

    Too bad

  • +3

    Plot twist… The sticker is also there to dampen noise.

  • the thread could have been literally closed after the first response, yet it has as usual spiraled into overcomplicated nonsense.

  • Just googled and some forums mention the stickers act as heatsinks. I wonder if they also act as shielding from electrical interference as well.
    Also saw an example of coil whine on Linus Tech Tips. I couldn't believe how loud it was.

  • Based on my past experiences, you now own a non-returnable Crucial P1 NVME 1TB SSD

  • Should we read "I peeled the sticker off the top for aesthetic purposes" as I couldn't afford a top-end unit for my system, and don't want people knowing I only have a budget unit in my system?

    Maybe a bit too cheeky, even for me!!

  • No you won't be able to refund/return it.

    Here is why:

    I have a faulty SSD with a sticker on it.

    I order a new SSD, peel off the new SSD sticker (has serial numbers on it) and put it on the faulty SSD to try return it.

    But… that is not possible since once you peel it off, the sticker is kinda destroyed.

    Without a sticker, I wouldn't be able to scam myself a new SSD.

    This is why the sticker is important.

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