Just Making Sure

Published March 21, 2012

According to conventional wisdom, no one reads warranty language. The lawyer who wrote the warranty for Asus computers apparently thinks so–or thinks the litigation explosion has become absurd.

The extended warranty for Asus computers contains the usual exclusions for damage resulting from natural disaster, misuse, acts of war, and improper maintenance. But the warranty also doesn’t cover damage caused by “space aliens.” So trying to sue for such damages is hopeless.

Kevin Underhill at “lowering the bar” commented on this language:

Obviously this raises all sorts of questions about how the exclusion should be interpreted. If there’s already an exclusion for “acts of war,” why also separately exclude acts of war by aliens (or humans attacking from space)? Could there be space invasions that would not constitute “acts of war”? Seems like there must be, or the two terms would be redundant.

The Invasion of the Body Snatchers was not too warlike, but people still seemed to have strong feelings about it (at first). So maybe the point is to clarify that computer damage caused by (inter alia) body snatchers would not be covered, whether said snatching qualified as an “act of war” or not.

I suppose that might also be “use under abnormal conditions,” assuming body snatching is an unusual event, and I guess we don’t really know if that’s true, do we? Or do you?

Source: Jesus Diaz, “Asus Warranty Doesn’t Cover Damages In Case of Alien Invasion,” gizmodo.com, February 17, 2012; Kevin Underhill, “Warranty Coverage for Space-Invasion Damage Now Unclear,” lowering the bar, February 27, 2012