The push for the right to repair laws in electronics is gaining momentum across several state legislatures in the United States of America. It’s about time Canada also follows suit and supports ‘the right to repair’.
In California, State Assembly Member Susan Talamantes Eggman, D-Stockton, recently introduced a bill requiring electronics makers to sell replacement parts and provide access to diagnostic tools and device schematics to consumers and independent repair shops. California is the 18th state to propose the right to repair legislation.
What Is The ‘Right To Repair’?
A new generation of devices that are purportedly too hard to mend because of its intricate design, legal or copyrighted software and parts are leaving consumers frustrated with lesser repair options. Often consumers are left with no other choice but to go back to the manufacturer for the repair at a steep cost.
The right to repair legislation would require manufacturers to release repair information to the public and also sell their spare parts to owners and independent repair shops. If passed, the laws would provide consumers with more options rather than just going to the manufacturer for repair.
Too often, people cannot make simple repairs. On the contrary, it should be easy for consumers to fix their devices or get them repaired by a professional of their choice without being penalized. Right to repair laws can let you access the innards of devices with detailed diagrams and individual parts of the product. This will help you to accurately repair any device with greater freedom.
The ‘Right to Repair’ movement aims to disrupt the prevalent cycle by providing repair professionals with parts, tools and service information that is needed to fix devices.
Why The Right To Repair Is Needed?
Back then anyone with basic tools, a little patience, and an instruction manual could fix just about anything. But these days performing the most basic of repairs require specialized tools and know-how that renowned cell phone companies guard furtively. That makes it really hard for cell phone repair shops to gain business and in turn, help the consumers.
Hence, at the end of the day, most consumers are choosing to throw out their non-functional devices and opt for new ones. As a result, it generates piles and piles of toxic e-waste that then leads to detrimental effects on soil, water, and air quality.
A recent study by United Nations University found the amount of global e-waste hit record highs of 41.8 million tonnes in 2014, with Canadians finishing 15th on the list of the largest producers. Then, the sum has continued to grow exponentially, according to industry watchers.
Recycling is not fully possible when it comes to mobile devices as you cannot find a use for every element found in such cell phones. The simplest way to reduce all that e-waste is to reduce the barriers to repair. More repair means less waste in the first place!
Reasons Why The ‘Right To Repair’ Should Be Supported!
1. Make The Cell Phone Repair Industry Transparent And Easy:
Being the only one who can make cell phone repairs provides the manufacturer with the advantage to charge as much as they want for replacements. If the right to repair law is implemented, it means that as cell phone repair shops you can stay in business and be relevant.
Just like how cell phone unlocking without the permission of the carrier got legalized and made life a lot easier for consumers, so would the right to repair.
2. Access To Original Parts, Manuals, And Diagnostic Codes:
The presence of technology in several parts of modern cell phone devices has facilitated manufacturers to reduce access to repair by proclaiming that it might violate their proprietary rights. These have caused a huge setback for repair shops.
However, with this legislation, original equipment manufacturers are liable to provide equal access to repair documentation, diagnostics, tools, service parts and firmware as their direct, or unauthorized repair providers.
3. Win More Customers:
With the predominant monopoly on repair services for certain mobile devices, the price goes up and the customer has no choice but to go to them. The right to repair legislation will open up the avenue to independent repair shops and attract more customers.
The right to repair legislation facilitates manufacturers to get out of the way of independent repair shops. It enables the consumer’s ability to decide who can fix their devices. It will pave the way for the repair shops to stay in the limelight.
4. Create Healthy Competition:
Repairing and reusing mobile devices is not just a means of efficient use of scarce materials that go into the manufacturing of the product.
It can also stimulate the local economies and create a healthy competition amongst repair shops as consumers turn to them. It also gives a chance for repair shops to diversify their offering and provide attractive services to woo their customers.
What Happens Next?
Repair is the lifeline of local economies. Repair shops help to make products last longer, save consumers money and create local jobs.
Back in 2012, 85% of voters in Massachusetts, United States overrode big car companies and passed the Automobile Owners Right to Repair Law in 2012 and so did Canada with the help of the Canadian Automotive Service Information Standard or CASIS. It brightened the business of several automobile repair shops.
Several states in the USA have followed suit and adopted the right to repair act. We hope for the same to repeat in Canada too and it’s only a matter of time before it happens. Canada should adopt a thing or two from America’s small proactive steps towards the right to repair legislation.
It appears that Canadians are literally at the mercy of the manufacturer, their extended protection plans and warranty plans and skewed terms with little recourse to speak of. It’s about time to stand up for your own right and take notice of what right to repair movement can do for you.
In the age of massive e-waste, planned obsolescence and tightening budgets, there should essentially be no roadblocks towards the right to repair your devices.
If you are a mobile repair store owner, defend your right to repair!
For top quality replacement parts and unlocking services, get in touch with us at Techrepair!