Have you ever taken your phone to the company store and been told it “can’t” be fixed, especially not by a third-party, and your best bet is to upgrade?
In the US, laws originally meant to protect video game and DVD copyright are now being used to monopolize the repair business. Huge manufacturers of products we use daily – from your laptop or phone to tractors and cars to ventilators used by critically ill people in hospitals – claim unfair competition from third-party repair shops; infringement on intellectual property; and even liability for faulty repair as reasons to squelch your right to independent repair. In 2018 alone, “right-to-repair” proposals were defeated in 20 states because of intense pressure from Apple, John Deere and other manufacturers.
You can get off the “turn-in or toss out” treadmill: remember you have the right to repair your stuff! Check out ifixit.com for online repair manuals, illustrated how-tos and fix kits for lots of consumer products – and for this summary of last year’s report from the Federal Trade Commission on why manufacturers’ arguments against independent repair are wrong. And check out the status of right-to-repair laws in your state, then weigh in with your elected officials.