Right To Repair Movement Gains Steam As Petition With 15K Signatures Is Delivered To FTC
Breaking a phone can be a nightmare of an ordeal, with replacement parts sometimes being absurdly expensive and repairing difficult or downright annoying. Sometimes, you cannot even use a local repair shop for fixing devices as it must go to the manufacturer lest you break some warranty-voiding clause in the end-user license agreement. This is obviously absurd, but companies still get away with it unless the FTC enforces right-to-repair laws. Thankfully, things may be looking up for right-to-repair.
Over the past several years, right-to-repair discussions have come up multiple times, with little to no action coming from it. In that same timeframe, however, people are becoming more aware of the discussions and inaction, and the movement is gaining more steam. Now, repair company iFixIt, alongside US PIRG and Repair.org, have delivered 15,059 signatures asking the Federal Trade Commission to enforce a fair repair market.
This joint petition requests that the FTC stop “companies pushing customers into authorized repair contracts, voiding warranties in violation of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, and refusing to sell replacement parts, tools, and manuals to independent repair techs.” Furthermore, it pushes for new rules against “restrictive, unreadable end-user license agreements (or EULAs), exclusive repair arrangements, and product designs that intentionally sabotage repair.”
At present, iFixIt snarkily claims that “If the FTC looked around, they would find that far too many companies put up artificial blocks against repair,” and other countries and fixing problems where we are not. The hope is that between the petition, FTC hearings, and right-to-repair movement gaining steam, the FTC will be spurred into fixing the right-to-repair market. Whatever ends up happening, let us know what you think of right-to-repair in the comments below and be a part of the conversation.