Let’s talk about Right to Repair and what it is means for us as consumers. There’s a lot of hidden knowledge out there that many people don’t know about regarding this and I believe that in today’s digital age it’s important to realize how something like this can directly affect you. With this post, I hope to inform you and help you have a better understanding why it’s not only beneficial from a business perspective, but for your own individual and personal use as well.
Let’s start off with what we are trying to accomplish. What legislating the Right to Repair would do is give repair shops access to manufacturer parts at a fair price so that devices are able to be repaired with the same quality of parts that the device was designed for. The reason this is important is because many shops now, are forced to compromise what could be a high-quality repair by purchasing lower-quality parts just for the fact that they do not have access to the OEM parts needed for a proper repair. This applies heavily to the automotive industry as well. By passing state laws protecting the right to repair our own devices, vehicles, and even farm equipment, we can create and maintain entire new markets which would not only provide more jobs, but also allow a wider variety of services for you, the consumer to choose from.
Take this example into consideration, If you were to drop and crack your brand new iPhone 7 screen today and the home button became damaged, your only option is going to Apple for their $319 Out-of-Warranty pricing to get a replacement device. Why is that? Why can’t you just take it to the repair shop down the road and have them repair it at half the cost instead of getting a replacement phone? Well it all comes back to not having access to the right tools to be able to perform a proper repair. It isn’t that these local repair shops aren’t capable of doing it, but a matter of more and more parts inside these devices becoming non-servicable because they are linked at a software level, not just hardware.
Here’s a better explanation of the scenario. Right now, that home button that was just damaged on your iPhone 7 can only be replaced by Apple. If anyone else were to purchase a brand new home button or even another brand new iPhone to take the home button off of in attempt to repair your broken one, it won’t work. The part installs fine, but the software prevents any type of functionality from the new button. You will not even be able to use it to simply return to your home screen. With the right to repair, shops would be able to purchase the machines, software, and quality of parts required to repair these devices how they were intended to be and without fear that they could potentially brick their customer’s or even their own $700+ phones.