As technology prices increase, so does the cost of repair. The more advanced our technology becomes the more expensive it is to fix when damaged, and certain factors make the repair process even more difficult. For example, you purchase a brand new laptop, tablet or phone, and spend just over a thousand dollars. A few years later the battery starts running out faster and faster, and soon you can’t even use it without a power cord. Perhaps you spilled something and now there’s water damage. The point is you need the device fixed, so you take it back to the manufacturer only to spend another thousand dollars (or close to it) just for a repair. This has become a problem in all areas of technology, but a growing movement is pushing back against companies that prevent customers from going anywhere other than the manufacturer for repairs.
The Right to Repair movement has been around for years, but has recently become more prominent as more technology is released. The Right to Repair bill is currently active in over twenty states, and has been introduced in fourteen. The idea is simply that customers who purchase technology should have the right to repair that technology in any way they see fit. The reason for such a bill is the lack of information available for third party repairs which have raised concerns over possible violations of rights under the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act. Larger tech companies typically withhold tools and parts that enable anyone else to repair their products. Claims have been made that this is due to potential data breaches and other security concerns, but the restrictions limit options for customers and often leads to customers spending extra money on something that could have a more cost effective solution elsewhere.
A right-to-repair advocacy group, The Repair Association, has four main objectives:
- Make information available
- Make parts available
- Allow unlocking
- Accommodate repair in the design
These objectives would provide third parties, whether it be repair companies or a single mechanic working on their own with the necessary information, diagnostic tools, manuals, schematics and software updates in order to repair any damaged hardware. The advocacy group also suggests the legalization of unlocking or modifying devices for custom software installations. Another reason third parties have difficulty repairing certain devices is the design. Some companies have a specific electronic design that prevents anyone other than the company from working on the device, or makes repair impossible. The implementation of these objectives would provide customers with other, potentially more cost effective solutions for damaged electronics, and prolong the life cycle of hardware that might have otherwise been disposed of before its time.
If a piece of technology is not able to be repaired and needs to be disposed of, it is important to find a safe, environmentally friendly disposal method. HOBI International Inc. specializes in the clean, safe disposition of IT assets, and ensures that all data is erased from every device before recycling. For more information about our ITAD services, call 877-814-2620 or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.