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Understanding the 'Right to Repair' Movement and Why It Matters

| 1/31/2019 9:32:00 AM


Guy Mills, a farmer in Ansley, Nebraska, remembers a time when he could repair his equipment without seeking professional help. "If we had a problem with our John Deere, we could fix it ourselves.

No longer," he explains, and others have supported his sentiment. Tractors, coffee makers, laundry machines, mobile devices and even simple children's toys are now far more challenging to fix — but why?

Some might attribute it to the complexity of these items, with more advanced design, but this is far from the truth. Shareholder disclosures from Apple reveal the actual reason behind the shift, as the company views the longevity of its products as a direct threat to sustaining profitability. The money they make off repairs and replacements — and the reliance of their customers — represents a steady stream of revenue.

Unfortunately for Apple, and other large corporations, the "Right to Repair" movement is gaining momentum. More than a dozen states have introduced right to repair legislation, founded on the belief that consumers shouldn't have to depend on companies to repair their personal property. This legislation would mandate design decisions which facilitate independent servicing, as well as access to manuals and parts.

So why is the right to repair movement important, and what implications does it have for consumer goods? We'll walk you through everything you need to know about both sides of the argument, examining the subject in greater depth.

3/11/2019 1:13:51 PM

It's time businesses thought more about providing higher quality products and building a reputation based on superior quality, not cheaper cost to buy. Repair costs have been catalyzed by questionable company strategies, to rise to the point of being prohibitive. Net result: Throw it away, or (laughable though this might be in truth:) recycle it. Recycling usually means sending it to a country where people below the poverty line are obliged to toxically threaten their lives to render down microscopic quantities of gold, reducing the rest of the recyclable to carbon.

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