back to article Intel says warranties evaporate when kit resold

If you're thinking of buying second-hand computer equipment off eBay, you'd better make sure it doesn't have "Intel inside" because – and this is official – Intel regards re-selling its equipment as voiding any warranty. The example we have is an 80GB solid state disk drive, brand new in July last year. A customer bought it …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If this is permissible under UK and EU law I'm surprised.

    That being said, it is daft enough to be the case. I can't see the legal types missing a whole like that to throw customers into.

  2. Michael C

    This is new? The is news?

    If a warranty does not have a "transferable" clause, it's not transferable. Even in cases where it is, typically the original owner would have been required to register (many, many warranties are simply void if you fail to register, read the fine print...), and then before YOU can file a claim, you also have to process an official transfer of warranty (the person who buys it from you can not transfer the terms into their name, YOU have to process the transfer to them).

    I buy products at BestBuy, with their extended warranty instead of the manufacturer's option in big part because it IS transferable, and also extensible usually by 1-2 years beyond it's initial term as well (I typically pay the $60-120 to add a 4th year to a PC/laptop warranty, and always pay the $20 to extend printers, in fact, I've not actually BOUGHT a printer from BestBuy in 9 years, they keep replacing them after they die under warranty, and I simply pay $29 to get a new warranty on the new printer, especially nice when it;s a top of the line $399 model). Apple's AppleCare plan is also transferable, if you actually contact Apple to change the registration information. Del;'s policy equally can be moved, though i don't know anyone who'd pay dell's price for a warranty when they could get one cheaper from BestBuy and get local service, and never have to call India for support.

    Also, many PC components are not only not transferable, but the warranty only applies to the original system the part is installed in. Moving it from system to system causes "undue wear" or the "product is not meant to be handled more than to be installed" and terms in the warranty (though its almost impossible for a manufacturer to prove you did move it), are real.

    1. Number6

      Wrong Country

      It sounds as though you're confusing the US with the UK/EU, where the balance of power between corporations and real people is different. Over here it is not necessry to register to claim via a normal warranty, proof of puchase date is usually enough.

    2. Greg J Preece

      *Bzzzerrt* No, the correct answer is "England"

      We automatically get a year's warranty under UK law, no messing around. In fact, isn't it 2 years under EU law? I know some companies like Adaptec give you 5 years, which is cool.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        QI Klaxon time...

        Sorry no, whilst the is a EU framework states 2 years is supposed to be the standard warranty term it's not valid until it's adopted in to UK law. Never has been incorporated so not any use in the UK. Why has it never been incorporated that's another story and one no-one really knows the answer to, other than the politico's.

        Another QI Klaxon awaits the first person who says at all goods have a six year warranty under EU law. You have 6 years to claim if a problem occurs but that problem has to occur in the warranty period, NOT the entire six years.

  3. Annihilator


    Well, my contract law is a bit rusty these days, but as I understand it, warranty is a part of the contract that exists between the buyer and the seller. The contract in this case exists between Scan and the bloke in Scotland. Intel have no such contract with the Londoner.

    Not so much a T&C thing, but a contract law thing.

    IANAL, my opinions are my own, etc, etc

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Not quite so

      There is a whole raft of consumer legislation that alters, amends this and makes a big hash of it as far as selling to a consumer is concerned.

      If the bloke thinks he is right he should be taking the drive to the local trading standards or talking to the trading standards where Sca(n|m) is registered. In any case, you get whatever Christmas you deserve. If I buy from Sca(n|m) I only buy stuff that I do not care if it fails. If I have any warranty returns ever in mind I buy from someone more reputable: Misco, Overclockers, Linitx or even Dabs.

  4. dave 46

    Standard practise

    Warranties are typically not transferable, the 2nd hand market most people experience (cars) is unusual in this respect so people come to think of it as the norm. Sadly it isn't.

    You have no legal rights against the original re-seller as their contract isn't with you and those manufacturers who do offer an end user service don't want to know if you aren't the original purchaser, they're just limiting their exposure as much as possible.

    Just one of the risks of buying second hand - no warranties no guarantee.

  5. Annihilator

    To follow

    "You pay less because it is recognised you will have to pay the repair costs yourself rather than relying on the manufacturer’s warranty."

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I suppose...

    ...that the person in Scotland may be liable under the Sale of Goods act?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @ Michelle Knight

      SOGA as it applies to transactions between private individuals gives the buyer much less protection than he would have in a business to consumer transaction. Basically AIUI the goods in a private sale must be as described, and the seller should inform the buyer of any known faults, while in a business to consumer sale the goods must also be of merchantable quality and fit for purpose.

    2. Robert E A Harvey


      Not if it is a private sale. Law of Tort applies. You can ask him for your money back, or sue him if you think he misled you.

      Usually, though, it's just tough.

      That said, I've had WD replace portable hard disks based entirely on the serial number. 5 years from time of manufacture, they told me. They don't care who is sending them to them.

  7. Anonymous Coward

    I want money*

    The best things in life are free

    But you can keep 'em for the birds and bees

    Now give me money, (that's what I want) that's what I want.

    * Corporate theme song.

  8. censored

    That's got to be illegal...


    Besides, how can they prove the items was resold and not simply bought on behalf of someone else or given as a gift?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      re:That's got to be illegal...

      Why illegal? Manufacturers need not offer consumers any warranty at all: under UK law the contract is between consumer and retailer, and it's the retailer who is liable for any faulty goods.

  9. MattW

    Situation normal

    Original purchaser warranties are vastly more common than transferable ones and apply to just about every item of consumer electronics you can think of.

    About the only exceptions that spring to mind are cars and houses (I guess due to market pressure).

  10. Miguel Candeias Silver badge

    I'll take notice

    Surely won't be buying anything from Intel to offer as a gift, no need to have all that hassle....

    Massive FAIL form Intel!

  11. A J Stiles

    Probably illegal

    Someone's breaking the law somewhere .....

    If Scan knew that the drive was being bought by a consumer, then the Sale of Goods Act 1979 As Amended applies. If the original purchaser misrepresented themself as a business, then they are responsible for honouring the end user's guarantee.

  12. DavCrav


    I would guess that reselling doesn't affect the merchantable quality stuff in the Sale of Goods Act, never mind the EU laws on required warranties. So guessing court case fairly soon unless Intel STFU and obey the law.

  13. Ian N

    All perfectly legal

    Sadly this is a business practice that many companies adopt. The contract is between the the original buyer and the original seller and so third parties (such as a purchaser from the original buyer) have no contract with the seller. Original buyers will see there is a warranty and of course have the benefit of it. Secondhand purchasers will not read Intel's warranty terms until a claim has to be made and even if they did, the terms are non-negotiable and the seller can't change them. Why do companies like Intel do this? One reason might be to save money as they can forecast that X% of their chips will be subject to a warranty claim. They also know that a percentage (say 5% for the sake of argument) of computers will be re-sold during the warranty period. Therefore they will have to deal with only 95% of X% not 100% of X%. Perfectly legal and it may help to keep the cost of chips down but is a nasty surprise if you get caught out.

    Another reason is that the Intel's lawyers engaged in "F*** You" drafting, simply because they could get away with it. If the choice is between screwing a third party to save some money and not doing so, well, hey, we're only protecting our clients' interests!

    One solution is for Government to legislate that warranties can be transferred notwithstanding the ts and cs. Intel and other companies can live with it and everyone will pay a few pennies more for their chips. Alternatively other chip makers could offer transferable warranties if they thought it would be good for business. The numbers involved are probably too small to excite them, so step forward the Government.

    Unfortunately, getting the original buyer to return the kit may not work legally. If the warranty terms (which I have not checked) are drafted so that the warranty is voided on transfer then even transferring the kit back to him will not resurrect it. Assuming, of course, that Intel find out.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Illegal in most of EU

      "Sadly this is a business practice that many companies adopt. "

      You mean: Try to adopt, because it's illegal in EU, consumer protection laws prohibit.

      If the buyer is a company, then it's a different thing.

      I'm not suprised if this kind of rip-off is legal in US also to individuals, though.

  14. Michael Johnson 1


    Intel's warranties are linked from the individual product pages on thier website... For example, here is one of the warranties and it does include that it is void upon resale...

  15. DavCrav


    I've had more of a look round, and now I'm not so sure about this being illegal. I'd never thought about it and just assumed. Crappy law stuff. FAIL for my lack of knowledge.

  16. Paddy Fagan

    I _think_ this is it...

    I went to the Intel SSD page, then onto a particular dive, under support there is a link which (finally) leads to the PDF above, which says:

    "Intel warrants to the purchaser of the Product (defi ned herein as the Intel® X25-E, X25-M, and X18-M SATA Solid-State Drives) in its original sealed packaging (“Original Purchaser”) and to the purchaser of a computer system built by an Original Purchaser containing the Product (“Original System Customer”) as follows:"


  17. Peter \Horne
    Thumb Down

    Found it

    only covers original purchaser - or system purchaser if original purchaser integrates it into a complete system.

    Very rubbish.

  18. Semihere

    Company Policy != Trading Standards Laws

    Unfortunately for Intel, their stated company policies (even outlined in well hidden Ts and Cs) can never overrule THE LAW. I've had run-ins with Tesco over their company policy breaking Trading Standards laws.

    My advice to the guy in this article would be to phone his local Trading Standards authority and have THEM phone Intel on his behalf. I'm sure they'll be able to educate the company on the actual points of the law they are breaking in refusing to repair goods sold unfit for purpose and covered under the consumer's statutory rights (which usurp their supplied warranties).

    IANAL, but I'm pretty sure Intel could be dragged over the coals for this policy.

  19. Martin 71 Silver badge

    As it's under a year old

    And appears to have been sold in the UK both times, surely the sale of goods act, specifically the 'suitable for purpose' and 'of reasonable quality' clauses would kick in? Admittedly, the re-buyer would have to go after the original buyer for a refund, who would then have to go after the original vendor, but such is the nature of doing business (selling the item counts as that even if not done by a 'business', same word, different meanings.

    IANAL, just happen to have had to argue the toss with several companies over the sale of goods act when they insist I contact the manufacturer directly. Yes, PC world, I'm looking at you.

    A pint due to all the complexities in said acts that this case would raise.

  20. Stuart 2

    Actually, it's pretty clear in the warrenty information...

    Intel warrants to the purchaser of the Product (defined herein as the Intel® X25-E, X25-M, and X18-M SATA Solid-State Drives)

    in its original sealed packaging (“Original Purchaser”) and to the purchaser of a computer system built by an Original Purchaser

    containing the Product (“Original System Customer”) as follows:...

  21. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    Does seem...

    ...a little harsh in my opinion. Intel aren't guaranteeing the owner, they're guaranteeing the piece of equipment they manufacture and sell. If the warranty had anything to do with the owner, why don't they vet the people they offer their stuff to? Anyone?

  22. Andy Johnson

    Intel Sucks

    What about Resellers ?! They own the equipment until it's sold to a customer - potentially even a demo PC on the shop floor, are all the components no longer covered once it leaves the resellers hands ?

    Come on Intel.. are you so scared that your products won't last the length of the warranty that you need to try and find any excuse for not honoring it ?!

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Manufacturers can, and do, behave better than Intel.

    As I understand it, Microsoft will fix the RROD error on the XBOX360 for up to 3 years after purchase, as long as the purchaser can provide the original receipt. So if you bought an XBOX360 from Zavvi, no worries even though they are in administration, Microsoft will sort out the problem for you as I understand it.

    It's the same for cars - the dealer sells you the car, the Manufacturer provides the warranty.

    Business practice, as opposed to the law, is not black and white.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    As plenty of people have pointed out

    It's very rare that you can transfer a warranty between owners. Having said that, unless there's already been a warrranty claim for that item I can't see how they'd know he wasn't the original owner - every time i've had warranty issues with anything (including two intel procs, a samsung hdd and some ram, corsair I think) - I've just registered it when i phoned their warranty line as they had no details for me. I guess if you bought it direct it'd be different.

    Come to think of it, the Seagate HDD I've just sent back I they didn't even have any detials on the previous owner, I just filled it all in on the warranty page before I sent it off.

    AC incase that was a cockup on their part ;)

  25. Greg J Preece

    Going back to Adaptec

    I mentioned them above and completely forgot to explain why. I once bought a SCSI controller off a certain online tat market, and bugger me, it was buggered. I phoned Adaptec for advice and they said to send it to them. I had no warranty card, no receipt, not even a box, but they cared not a jot. They give a 5 year warranty on all their cards, the card in question had only been on the market for 2 years, so send it on back. I got a brand new card in return, in the box, with a whole bunch of accessories I never paid for thrown in for free as a "sorry it broke."

    If only more companies had that kinda sense.

  26. This post has been deleted by its author

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Time for a lawyer?

    IANAL, but I'd like to point out that in second hand purchases only the device changes hands, thus no warranty. In this case, it seems all relevant papers were transfered, arguably a sale of purchase contract (with item), rather than an item sale. Thus, I'd be willing to entertain the notion that the 2nd hand buyer now is the original purchaser of the item for in possession of the original contract (and item). Contract lawyer available for comments?

  28. Busted

    You think that's bad how's this for a wholesaler horror!

    We purchased an asus barebones workstation about 4 and a bit months ago which turned up DOA this you would expect would require returning to the distie and getting a replacement easy peasy but oh no....

    We had to send back to Asus in Germany at our cost, to a department you can only email and they attempt to repair it or replace. About a month and a half later the workstation turns up scratched, still not working, minus an internal drive bay and the CPU cooler which is custom to the workstation.

    Much emails back and forth slow responses results in a stale mate with them refusing the RMA or refund it. I had to go back to the distie rattle a few cages and 3mths after the orginal purchase I get an RMA for full refund however I'm still waiting for the full refund.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    UK trading standards law

    This is Intel company policy, and they will be in very hot water indeed if they continue in this manner.

    the 1 year manufacturers warranty is enshrined under UK law. The current owner isn't even required by law to provide proof of purchase, only proof that the item in question is within the 1 year warranty period.

    This means that if the item in question has been in production for less than a year (or the serial number confirms said items manufacture date), no proof of purchase is required under UK law.

    If you are holding the item in your hands, unless the manufacturer or police can prove you obtained it illegally, you are the rightful owner of a product that is no longer suitable for purpose. One of the few remaining areas where you are still innocent until proven guilty.

    Yes stores and manufacturers will kick up a fuss and make spurious claims to the contrary, but this is because returns and repairs is an extremely obfuscated part of their business.

    I had a great deal of experience of this within DSG. DSG sell dozens of different computers and components. Nearly every manufacturer will have a slightly different deal worked out with them. A common example is that a lot of them will pay X amount to DSG to provide support and maintenance, negating the need for that company to set up their own global support service infrastructure.

    On top of that, the store themselves operate out of their own entirely seperate bank balance, and so are extremely reluctant to deal with broken kit. Understandable, since they are set up to sell, not maintain - DSG has a globe-spanning division specifically for that task.

    This is the real reason companies are extremely reluctant to deal with support in non-standard manners.

    At the end of the day though, our friend merely needs to speak with trading standards, who with a few choice words can explain the legal standing. Intel will then escilate the proceeding as a 'customer service issue' and deal with it outside their normal procedure.

    They can fight amongst themselves later over who stumps the repair bill

    1. Anonymous Coward

      re:UK trading standards law

      "This is Intel company policy, and they will be in very hot water indeed if they continue in this manner.

      the 1 year manufacturers warranty is enshrined under UK law. The current owner isn't even required by law to provide proof of purchase, only proof that the item in question is within the 1 year warranty period."

      Except that UK law requires the retailer, not the manufacturer, to do the right thing by the customer. And there's nothing that says an item should last for a year - it should last for a reasonable time, obviously that will vary depending on what the item is.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    PC world are just a broker, they don't own it as such. In the same way that when you buy a new car from a dealer you are the first owner, not them.

    Otherwise, by time you get the shiny intel whatever it would already have been "owned" by the store you bought it off and at least one disty.

    It is also connected to why you have basically no warranty come back on private purchases that subsequently fail.

    1. Ian N

      "First owner" confusion

      @Lee and @jayyork

      PC World aren't a broker - they are a seller. People are getting confused by the phrase "first owner".

      Intel knows that its products will be used by manufacturers who will put the chips into machines and sell them to retailers who will sell them to end-users. The "ownership" of the chip may have changed hands several times before the PC or laptop is sold to the punter. Intel are not, so far as I can tell, saying that only the person who bought the chip from them (i.e. a manufacturer or wholesaler) can have the benefit of the warranty. They are offering the warranty to the first retail owner. I don't think our end buyer can use SOGA unless the first buyer sold by way of business.

  31. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

    same old same old

    I had a warrenty problem on a BMW once.... local BMW dealers refused to honour it as I bought the bike second hand from someone.

    Contacted BMW uk who helpfully told me

    "The warrenty applies to the bike in question, not to who owns it for the first year"

    Which I am led to believe , the case in all manufactured goods sold with a warrenty.

    Someone go give Intel a right kicking

  32. Anonymous Coward

    Compulsory registration + Tactics

    Just to clarify: Compulsory registration is NOT required under US law to receive the stated base manufacturer's warranty. The manufacturer is free to offer you a warranty extension or other incentives but can't force registration for the base stated warranty.

    Also the best tactic to counter the "warranty is non transferable" nonsense is to lie like you've never lied before. Scan-in and doctor-up receipts (if required), deny everything, and always play stupid. After all, the Customer Service Droid on the other end of the phone doesn't give a crap, and all you need is the RMA number.

  33. Charles Smith

    Develop a consumer memory

    Manufacturers use these types of terms and conditions because they think they can get away with poor support. If consumers, both private and corporate, developed a proper grudge memory the problem would disappear.

    If a supplier screws you unreasonably don't buy that brand again. Whenever a salesperson tries to sell you the manufacturer's product in the future. Tell them that you don't buy products made by manufacturers who have screwed you. If enough people do that eventually the bad news will reach the marketing management of the manufacturer and they will be able to be victorious over the legal trolls within their own company.

    It works best if you have a purchasing capability for a large organisation like a bank. At the very least you will get a better discount if there is no alternative equipment.

    Lexmark - take note you screwed me 15 years ago and it cost you loads of sales.

  34. Justin 17

    Rights are transferred

    Rights are transferrable in the UK under the Rights of 3rd Parties Act 1999 and 2001

    The legislation was specifically created to stop companies reneging on warranties simply because the owner had changed. That clause is illegal and unenforcable in the UK, Better still he can take them to small claims court where the rights tend to be in favour of the litigant compared with County Court.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The contract is between the vendor and the customer

    I think a lot of people are missing the point.

    Intel haven't said that they won't fix the product. They've just said that it has to be sent to them by the merchant they sold it to.

    The customer has to take the goods back to the vendor, who can then investigate the problem and replace, repair, or send back to Intel or whatever is deemed necessary.

    This is why, when your washing machine goes wrong, you have the convenience of taking it back to Curry's instead of having to ship it to Hong Kong.

    Your contract is with the vendor. It's a perfectly good, sound, logical system.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    So what happens when you buy something as a gift for someone else.

  37. Peter Galbavy

    Sales of Goods act et al.

    In the UK your statutory rights are only with respect to the seller/supplier of the goods. If a manufacturer wishes to offer you a warranty then that is additional to your statutory rights and can contain pretty much any restirctions they like - within the terms of other acts such as the Unfair Contracts stuff.

    If Intel want to say that the additional manufacturers warranty only applies to the original buyer then that;s their choice. As a consumer your only statutory recourse is only against the seller of the goods.

  38. ChrisP

    Factual Response

    Hang on Mr Customer !

    Scan... agreed to help you out on this issue as a gesture of goodwill to show you our good intentions in helping where we can.

    You contacted us via the Hexus forums and we resolved your issue shortly after. You were PM’ed on the 05/02/10 and an RMA number was issued to you yesterday!

    This is a mountain out of a mole hill :)

    Nothing like a “bite in the hand that feeds IT”.... Scan was helping you out!

    Much love,


  39. Sean Bailey


    Scan... agreed to help you out on this issue as a gesture of goodwill to show you our good intentions in helping where we can.

    or because it was a legal requirement, that's always the kicker aint it.

    1. ChrisP

      @Sean Bailey

      Thank you for your post, however, it is most definitely invalid. Warranty is in addition to your legal rights, providing a warranty is not actually a legal requirement in any case and the transferability of a warranty is certainly not a legal requirement under current UK legislation.

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