Right to Repair My Stuff

When you buy a product the usual thinking is that once you pay  for it you own it. That means if an item that you own fails you either fix it your self or take it to a local repair shop. That seems reasonable enough when you own something. But over the years companies have increasingly made it harder for anyone who is not a licensed dealer to fix  there products. For example if you have a new model car from any of the Big Three in Detroit you pretty much have to take it to a dealer to get it fixed. The reasoning for that is pretty simple, money. If you were a major corporation would you want third parties making money of your product? Of course not. But instead of just car companies doing this, tech companies like Apple and Microsoft or doing this as well. They are all making there products in a way that you have to go through them to get it fixed.

Well as you can imagine many people don’t like the idea that they don’t have the right to fix the product that they own. That is why many states like my home state of Nebraska are pushing  right to repair laws.

It’s yours. You own it. You shouldn’t have to beg the manufacturer for permission to fix it when it breaks. The Fair Repair Act, or LB 67, is simple. It requires manufacturers to provide owners and independent repair businesses with fair access to service information and replacement parts. So you can fix the stuff you own quickly—and get back on with your life.  –Nebraska

Now obliviously many manufactures of game consoles, phones and other tech devices are going to argue against these types of laws. The usual arguments against these types of laws is to keep people safe and to prevent hacking. On the safety front I can understand they don’t want little Timmy  cracking open an Xbox One and accidentally electrocuting himself. But anyone who doesn’t mind voiding the warranty will at least have enough sense to turn off the device before opening it. And when it comes to hacking a Xbox One or PS4 that probably already  happens. In manufactures defense I  wouldn’t want to release service information to third parties because it will eventually makes its way to the internet. From strictly a business stand point no one wants to make it easier for anyone to find out how your product works.

On the flip side though if I pay for a product I should be able to fix it. But if I have to essentially ask for permission, getting the manufacture to fix my device, do I really own my product? From what I have observed many manufactures are letting you own the product you own to an extent. Now I would be Ok with this if it wasn’t for the often sub par service when you try to get your device fixed. For example back when I had to get my Xbox 360 fixed I was on the phone for at least a half hour to get the mailing label to send it to them. Then I waited at least 2-4 weeks for it to get fixed. But if I was just able to take it to a local repair shop it probably would have been fixed in 1-4 days.

From a business standpoint I can see why they don’t want these laws but since the process to fix the devices is far from convenient. I rather go to a friendly local repair shop that will at least pretend to care about my broken device. Instead of going through a long painful process where I am just repair number 10,256 out of 50,878.