The United States is taking a step forward in the “Right to Repair” movement, just as President Joe Biden signs an executive order into action.
The order aims to boost competition amongst various industries, from healthcare and technology to the auto industry and online platforms. The hope is to increase support for smaller, independent repair stores as well as other third-party repairs. By encouraging the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to create rules against anticompetitive restrictions, consumers looking for DIY solutions and local tech repair shops will have better access to parts and repair tools.
This legislation will have an impact on larger corporations who are seeking to force small businesses out of the market. Oftentimes it’s difficult for individuals and smaller companies to have access to parts and tools, as well as software that would fix an issue. This makes repairing an iPhone or other smartphone difficult to do independently, which drives the cost of service way up.
An example of this from another industry can be seen with companies including automakers like Tesla. After taking his Tesla Model 3 to a company owned service center, one man found out the hard way how costly brand name repairs can get. The estimate for a damaged battery pack cost right around $16,000 at the service center. However, after checking for an alternative fix online by an independent group, the cost of repair came to only $700.
Blocking consumer access to repairs only drives up prices and stifles legitimate resolutions. This practice can be seen in anything from cell phones and mobiles phones to medical equipment and farm equipment. It’s imperative that legislation be introduced to give people easier access to hardware and software necessary to fix an item that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. It shouldn’t cost almost half of what an item is worth just to get it up and running again, especially when the company is blocking access to alternative solutions.
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