Have you ever cracked the screen of your iPhone? Or had the internal battery of your laptop die? If you’re like most people, you’ve had experience with an electronic device that stops working for whatever reason.
When this happens, you are often faced with two choices: pay for a pricy repair that only the electronics manufacturer can perform or simply buy a new device because unless you have special tools and knowledge, there’s no way you can fix most electronic devices yourself. This is where right to repair laws come in.
If you want to learn more about right to repair laws and how they might benefit you, read on.
What Is Right to Repair?
Right to repair laws implement government legislation that gives consumers the ability and right to perform repairs on their electronics. Most manufacturers have tamper-proof coverings on their products, so unless you have tools unique to that device, you can’t repair it.
If you’ve ever had to shell out hundreds of dollars to get a cracked screen fixed, you know what we mean.
The other difficulty is that companies may only make repair parts needed to repair their products available for a short period of time. If your device is older, you may not be able to find replacement parts for it.
Right to repair laws would require companies to provide instruction manuals or guides for how to make the repairs, products that can actually be repaired by consumers, and parts that can be used to make the repairs.
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History of Right to Repair
The right to repair movement started in the US and was originally centered around the automobile industry. The goal was to make sure that consumers could make repairs on their own, did not have to go to approved service providers to make the repairs, and could access the necessary parts to complete repairs.
In addition, advocates of right to repair want to reduce our carbon footprint and the amount of electronic waste we produce by ensuring that devices can be repaired and don’t have to be discarded when they break.
Who Has Passed Right to Repair Laws?
The goal of right to repair laws is to extend the lifespan of certain products to 10 years. This will also reduce the amount of electrical waste produced. Great Britain, Ireland, and the European Union approved right to repair laws in March 2021.
Currently, 14 states in the US have enacted right to repair laws, with more states following suit with legislation in progress. The federal government is also taking on companies and pushing for competition and right to repair laws enacted at the federal level by the Federal Trade Commission.
Right to Repair Laws Greatly Benefit Consumers
Right to repair laws will greatly benefit consumers, giving them options to use devices for much longer than they previously could. By allowing consumers the ability to repair their devices, find the parts to do so, and choose who they want to perform the repairs to, these new laws will expand consumer rights and also reduce electronics waste.
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