As companies continue to infuse technology into even the most mundane of household appliances there is an ever growing battle over what can and should be done in the event a product breaks.
Do consumers automatically run to the store to purchase a new product or do they attempt to repair the old one?
While this may seem like a decision for consumers, many manufacturers and retailers limit our choices by controlling and limiting repair plans and the availability of necessary replacement parts. Some companies even utilize digital software locks to prevent consumers from making repairs.
This mostly is experienced in the realm of mobile phones, televisions, and the like but its also creeping into things like cars and appliances due to increased levels of technology. While televisions are not made like they used to be, and while older TV models are simply unacceptable when compared with new high definition TVs, the old ones lasted much longer - even decades longer.
When an old TV broke, people mainly had them repaired rather than purchase a new one.
That is not the case anymore. To many people, the option of simply buying a new product is easier and less time consuming than having the old one repaired. Especially when prices of technology come down after time. (Remember when a DVD player cost $500?)
Yet many consumers still wish to retain their independence and repair devices, especially big ticket items like cars or appliance.
This increased demand for repair services is being noticed by businesses and the options for repairing your broken technology are greater than we thought. The Internet is making it more difficult for manufacturers and retailers to push consumers into simply purchasing a new product or face unending headaches.
A good example of this is iPhone screens, which notoriously crack. Visit a college campus and you’ll find at least a half dozen stores that specialize in repairing cracked screens and broken phone cases.
Some service providers even offer do-it-yourself kits for fixing a certain problem. The growing number of these providers illustrates that consumers wish to do what they choose rather than be forced to make a new purchase.
At least when the option is available.
Increasingly manufacturers are resorting to courts to block your ability to repair your purchased products, using legal tools such as the infamous Digital Millennium Copyright Act, meaning that even though you’ve bought something you don’t have the right to fix it.
As technology, and with it software locks and other dirty tricks to prevent repair, creeps into nearly every major purchase a consumer makes expect there to be an ongoing battle for consumers to keep the right to repair.
For more information on this topic visit Right To Repair