This. Don't know when all this changed ( 80s ?) in the US, but even appliance repairs are sort of a thing in the past here. If a washing machine or microwave stops working people simply get a new one.
I was quite amused to see an "Appliance Repair" van parked in my neighborhood in San Francisco the other day. I started chatting with the guy and turns out he was from Ukraine and told me that in the former Soviet Union countries, they never throw away any appliance if it stops working. They repair it. Same is the case in countries like India (where I was raised), china.
Esp. in India, there are scores of Radio, TV, phone, appliance repair shops in every city and even in villages.
Most large property management companies employ a group of repairmen, or have contracts with several appliance repair companies. If your refrigerator stops cooling in a large apartment building, the management sends a guy to fix it; they don't Amazon you a new fridge.
Similarly, if your washing machine breaks, your home warranty company isn't going to send out a replacement machine until an appliance repairman says the thing can't be fixed.
I've lived in about a dozen different apartments and houses in almost as many cities in the last 15 years. I've had my appliances fixed by repairmen at least five times.
Interestingly, I had two brand-new GE appliances in brand new apartments that needed to be repaired within their first year of operation. But my current 1999 Maytag washer keeps chugging along without complaint. (Though its companion dryer has been repaired by a repairman twice — once for a clogged exhaust hose that caused a small fire, and once for a dead igniter.)
I disagree. The fan in our fridge died recently. I was able to find the motor online for around $150, and I called a few local appliance repair shops to see the cost for labor. They charged between $75 and $100 an hour and estimated the repair at 2-3 hours plus parts. That's a minimum of $300 to repair a 10 year old fridge that I could replace new for $800. Worst case it would be nearly $500 to fix, and the compressor could go out the next day and cost just as much.
Check with your power company, they might give you a bonus for replacing it.
Yes sometimes you fix something another thing breaks. But does that happen often enough to be a gamble?
It's not always a binary choice though, in my case I actually ended up buying a used fridge off craigslist. I found one that was a bit of an upgrade, newer, and about the same cost as repair.
I found that it was pretty easy to replace the battery and screen of the last few cellphones I've owned. Ironically, it was much easier (and cheaper) to find the necessary parts to repair the apple ones than the cheapo android phones which often cost as much as the aftermarket parts.
If you consider the cost of specialized labour needed to diagnose the problem, then repairing quickly becomes unaffordable for a $300-$1000 purchase. This bill will not stop that.
Appliances are physically larger, and therefore are much more difficult to dispose of, ship, and get into place. So if you compare the cost of repair, to the shipping and disposal cost, they probably become equivalent. Goodluck getting a fridge out of your house without damaging the walls for cheap.
I had a third party fail to repair the "touch disease" problem on an iPhone 6.
Anything I've fixed that involved replacing glue strips or removing little splintery bits of broken glass left the device in dodgy shape. Things don't quite fit right, they make squeaking and cracking sounds when you touch them. Aluminum enclosures seem to get gouges and scratches in the process, even when using soft plastic spudgers to separate and scrape things off.
You can never be certain of the waterproofing after you've messed with something.
These are thin, tiny devices that are half put together by machines, half by people that do this for hours and hours day after day with specialized tools - and even they don't get it right all the time.
They're not toasters. I think the days where a normal person can fix this stuff are ending if not already long gone.
The replacement battery was ~$7 USD including shipping, while the replacement screen (all-in-one digitizer/glass/screen assembly) was ~$15.50 USD including shipping.
The special screwdrivers/suction cups/spudgers/etc required to perform the procedure were included with the parts.
The swap process was relatively straightforward & lots of high quality photos/videos detail the entire procedure. Numerous guides are freely posted all over the internet.
Getting parts for a cheap Android device, however, proved more expensive than the cost of replacing the device (ignoring labor costs). The market is so fragmented it seems harder for an efficient parts supply chain to develop organically, let alone the knowledge/repair guides to effectively use those parts.
However, since the iPhone 6 Apple has taken to adhering the battery to the case with insanely strong adhesive tape, which means you have to take out the logic board and heat the device to get the battery loose. It’s not impossible, but it certainly docks some points from the repairability score.
Witness the widespread use of "security screws", epoxy on chips, cases which can not be opened without breaking them, and explicit warnings that opening the device would void your warranty.
There's also the ever greater miniaturization of components and the ever greater increase in density of parts inside a case. The former often requires microscopes and other specialized equipment to service them, and the latter results in parts not fitting back in the case after you've completed your repair.
It gets even worse when software is involved, where the user is usually at the mercy of the manufacturer to come up with a software update (if they even ever choose to do so) or require some specialized equipment and authorization to even attempt to do their own repair (as is the case with modern automobiles which have so many computers in them).
Now, the glass + digitizer + LCD (or OLED) are sold as one piece. Sure you are "paying for a LCD/OLED" that "isn't broken", but the cost still comes down under $100 (typically) and saves probably 2 hours of labor.
It's all about volume. iPhone has volume, so you can get all kinds of accessories and inexpensive repairs for it.
Because Apple controls the design of all the parts, the number of screws is low and you only need 1 or 2 sizes to do the whole job.
And with a small product count ecosystem, you’ll never sit on your parts for a while.
Because of a lack of Samsung-trained/qualified technicians in your area, or something else?
My ovens been broken for over 8 months now and is too expensive to replace so it sits unfixed because they don't even attempt repairs. When the water heater had a problem however it was just replaced immediately.
There's about 200-210 units in the building and I see at least 2 items every week in the trash out of a combination of water heater, fridge, or washer/dryer
The only thing I've actually seen them repair has been the air filters and I think that's only because it takes them 30 seconds to replace
Well, there's a reason the Maytag man is the loneliest repairman. ;)
You are correct. This is also uniquely western. Labor costs are almost as much - and in some cases more than - buying a new item to replace the broken item.
Edit: this repair took 1.5 hours and required only basic tools and skills.
Yep. You essentially 'ate' the labor costs, which are exorbitant in the US.
I recently had a plumber come in to look at my leaking toilet tank flush.
Cost for parts = 10$ as I later found out at hardware store.
Labor = 236$ (I'm not kidding). It literally took the guy 5 mins to change the flush balloon thingy. I observed him and now do it myself too.
It's almost seems like Plumbers in the city (San Francisco) have ganged up together to set price for any kind of repair. I did call 2 other plumbers and they both quote price in between 220 and 240 USD.
Plumbing parts are cheap in most cases easy to work with and forgiving of screwing up. Turn off the water and start again. This is why poor people fix their own shit. Prices would have to be very cheap to be worth paying for services.
Middle class + are time constrained and willing to pay significant sums to avoid digging into their available time.
Offering a perceptively reasonable price for easy jobs like your toilet would result in lots of people calling them for such easy jobs when they could be engaged in more lucrative matters.
You can see your bill in terms of opportunity cost. Both the value of the middle class persons time saved and the plumbers who could be engaged in more lucrative endeavors.
Since the plumbers time and the average middle class persons afternoon is worth $236 its unlikely that you will find the service for a reasonable price.
Plumbers (like mechanics) also often have set fees. Sometimes, the repair is really simple, as in your case, and would probably have been very easy to do yourself. Other times, there are going to be complications that can take quite a bit more time.
If you go to 'youtube' and search for 'leaking toilet valve' you can find a video documenting how to repair a leaking toilet.
>plumbers and they both quote price in between 220 and 240 USD.
Sweet. I think there's a business model in here somewhere...
I charge a minimum of $150p/h for my time - sounds like they do too.
Our First TV we bought ran a good 25 years. It was repaired at least 2 - 3 times. Often for 1/10th the price of a new TV. It finally totally croaked. I salvaged speakers etc, and put it to good use.
The TV we have now is running for 10+ years and is going strong. Its a CRT TV. I've told my family we will buy a big new LED one once this croaks. But its going quite strong. Given everyone around has moved on these latest LED TVs, my family is quite pissed that the TV is still running strong :)
My friend gave a new LED Sony TV to me to see if it can be fixed. When I enquired the costs came up to 60% the cost of a new TV. At that point you wonder if you want to keep it and repair it, or just toss out and buy a new one. The problem is lack of serviceable part inside.
Also they don't make durable products anymore. Even in India.
The rate of innovation is then the primary drive of expected product life, and if innovation increased in the 90s and 00s, expected product life naturally decreased. If innovation slows, expected product life should start increasing again.
It's definitely partly about the cost of getting a repair person in, especially for a major appliance where they have to come to your house. (Often twice. Once to diagnose and once to replace a part.) Though I'd note that repair parts, even from third parties, can be a pretty substantial portion of replacement cost even if you can diagnose with some certainty and do your own repair.
This is so true. I've was shocked to realize that the parts to repair my dishwasher would very nearly equal the price of a brand new dishwasher. And all the 3rd party places seem to have nearly the same prices. Fortunately I talked to the manufacturer and they replaced the parts even though it wasn't under warranty anymore, but if they hadn't I probably would have just gotten a new dishwasher.
Call around and wait for someone to come and fail to fix the appliance. Pay way too much for said unskilled labor. Either pay again or wait forever for the original person to come and do it right as they dodge your calls and try to avoid having to finish the job. Oh and you are still on the hook for the cost of parts. And oh yeah they broke something else while they were in there. Good luck getting them to admit they did it and fix it. Also they scratched up your floor and dinged your walls.
Most of the people doing this kind of work are doing it for a reason, and it's not because they are reliable. The barrier to entry is low and there are little to no consequences for doing a bad job. Repeat business is not that important because things just don't break that often.
And then when it is finally fixed you have an old machine and the next thing breaks soon after. Or you could buy something new with a warranty sold by someone with a brand to maintain.
Also see Sam Vimes "Boots" theory.
Same with repairs to our HVAC system. We had to have two visits to replace two in warranty items. The labor each time was just shy of $1000. The third warranty break down the guy gave us free labor because it was just getting ridiculous.
"Ending is better than mending."
My wife thought I was a hero when I fixed our washing machine a while ago!
Aldous Huxley, Brave New World, 1932
You just realize at one point in time, the growth of a capitalist society is limited by consuming power of the masses. So after that the only way to grow is to destroy and rebuild.
Or in other words - 'War'.
Notice no E, R, T, or F keys. First the R key went out, and I got around that by leaving "r" in my paste buffer and typing Command-V instead of r. But then the T key went out about a month later.
Apple wants $600 for a logic board replacement.
It's so annoying to lug an external keyboard everywhere I go. Tiny wireless keyboards just aren't as responsive. But it's less annoying than paying $600 on top of a $2k MBP.
The apple repairs timeout. A coworker who was looking at a battery replacement on an "air" was told it was 6+ years old thus "vintage" and no longer serviced by apple.
At least thats what i’m doing now with a mid-2011. Still fetching the same prices for parts as last year.
I had a Macbook experience similar symptoms and it turned out to be pressure being exerted from the swollen battery. Twice.
Is this a case of people being more likely to complain about it because Macbooks are generally much more expensive than other laptops, or does Apple really have a battery problem with these devices?
Once I didn't even have an appointment; I just walked in with it and they went, "Eeeew! We'll take care of that for you. Stand right there."
Check these guys out: https://www.rossmanngroup.com/
They do excellent work.
>Markdown is a lightweight markup language
Clearly in over my head on this, I'm just going to stop using the term altogether.
BBCode was used on old internet message boards. You'd write something like [b]text[/b] to get bolded text, [i]text[/i] for italics, [img] to embed images, etc. BBCode tags (like [b]) mirrored simple HTML tags usually: since message board posters weren't really trusted, allowing regular HTML was out of the question.
Markdown is a newer markup language that was intended to be easier to read and write. Instead of [i]text[/i], you write
Learned something new, pedantry FTW!
Edit: looks like italics works...
I like seeing the URL (or at least the domain) before I click. Hovering over is annoying, particularly on mobile.
An indented block.
Don't use it for quotes.
People, especially on mobile, will complain.
It was passed by referendum (Voters voted on the law, not legislators...Although when they saw it was going to pass they passed a similar law).
Here is a summary from the referendum: 
"A YES VOTE would enact the proposed law requiring motor vehicle manufacturers to allow vehicle owners and independent repair facilities in Massachusetts to have access to the same vehicle diagnostic and repair information made available to the manufacturers’ Massachusetts dealers and authorized repair facilities."
Not sure about this California bill though. The devil is always in the details.
Also the legislators here will likely change things if they're dragging down the state (We hope...)
we get a summary of ballot questions:
here is the Con argument for the right to repair:
"This measure could lead to the release of sensitive personal information, make vehicle hacking easier, and threaten safety and fuel efficiency innovation. Increased safety threats – including theft – are why law enforcement opposes the measure."
We've had this law for a while and none of it seems to be a problem.
Some other things I remember strong opposition to that now seem like non-issues:
1) Bottle deposits (Grocery stores won't exist!)
2) No smoking in restaurants and bars (They'll all go to NH or RI)
3) Cambridge bring your own bag ordinance (nobody will buy anything here again).
I remember opening watches and other electronics at circa 199x.
Even 10, 15 years ago most electronics used standard cables and standard screws and anyone was able to open, see whats inside and maybe replace 1 or 2 things.
Now it seems the industry moved to a path of making things break fast and hard to replace anything. Resulting in expansive repairs that will push users to purchase a new item that is cheaper than replacing 1 part. Some companies even weld RAM or processor into the motherboard.
The world has limited resources. In the last 60, 70 years after ww2 and industrial revolution, the population has grown a lot and making thing un-repairable will worsen world limited resources. Some day world will run out of required materials.
Some companies create a specific cable that can only be used on their devices. So if one breaks, the owner cannot use his old one because it is incompatible with that new model.
Standarization of cables would good to have also.
Nice move california!
It seems they're not exactly a "step ahead", just trying to keep pace with Nebraska. ;)
I imagine that would depend quite a bit on how close you are to supply lines.
My (admittedly amateur) understanding of most military grade devices is that where possible they reduce them not to the level they can be throw away, but to the level that the number of things that can cause a problem are reduced to a level the average soldier can be trained to diagnose and fix. If your AR-15 jams or gets clogged, you're expected to know how to disassemble and fix it. A few replacements for the parts that are most likely to be unrepairable is likely much easier to carry than full replacement units. I imagine the same is done for their communications equipment.
But I also think for it to work, it should be simple and easy for the consumer. Ideally, they could mail smaller items or put their larger items in a special trash bag on collection day. Less ideally but also somewhat feasible would be requiring stores selling or repairing certain classes of things to accept the same class for recycling regardless of whether or not the customer buys something from them. We could require a recycling fee on such purchases, refundable if there is a trade-in.
I hope I'll be able to maintain the 7-year refresh cycle with my T480; newer ThinkPads are less beefy, but they still have similar levels of maintainability, so I should be able to fix anything that breaks.
I am very much looking forward to the screen upgrade—even the best screen available for the T410 was mediocre at best. I've heard good things about the WQHD IPS screen I'm getting on the T480 (not quite as good as a MBP, but leaps and bounds better than my T410).
-- Someone who likes repairability as much as the next guy.
Do you mind connecting the dots on this? Apparently you think it's self evident why it would have those effects on companies, but it's not, at least to me.
As a small company/startup, right now, you design, make, and sell a product. It may just be you or a small team. The design of your product may be complicated, but the usability from the user perspective may be simple AND FOOLPROOF. There are no other considerations generally other than the product works, and people like it and my margins are good.
With more regulation, like requiring the right to repair, the task above just became a lot more difficult. You now have to design a product that can be repairable, which can be more expensive from your design/production side. You have to make sure there is documentation to go with that for consumers to repair every aspect of your product, an incredible amount of time. And then you have to have a way to "rescue" a user if they really screw up the product and "brick" in in a sense. This will add to the total cost and the time it takes to go to market and/or iterate on the product. Small companies in many ways, can't afford this. not to mention being in compliance of the regulations and the additional cost/time that will take.
On the other hand, a larger company will have no issue complying with these regulations as far as documentation, user support, return and fix issues, etc. Making sure consumers have the tools available to "repair" the products as well. Because larger companies have economies of scale, both with supplies, manufacturing, and labor costs, it is much less of a burden for them than a small company barely trying to survive.
Apple doesn't repair logic boards, if you have a bad backlight controller on your MacBook Pro and it's out of warranty you can expect to pay $700+ for a logic board replacement - repair shops can replace the backlight controller for a much more reasonable fee.
Right now Apple products are the most popular market for these 3rd party repair shops exactly because Apple charges so damned much for out-of-warranty repairs, and they work in a legal gray area because Apple won't give out board schematics or sell replacement components. Without schematics troubleshooting issues ranges from anywhere to a pain to impossible, without parts anything that can't be readily sourced from a manufacturer (thankfully they use bog-standard Texas Instrument controllers for the LCD backlight that you can buy reels of, but other components like the SMC, GPU, etc. you are pulling off boards that were dumped from the factory or if you can somehow find "new" ones the chances that they are DOA is dubious since they're often factory rejects).
Nobody wants to make life more difficult for companies designing their products, the Right to Repair crowd just wants to be able to fix their own devices provided they have the skills to do so.
Not suing people for repairing or tinkering with your hardware is also a "cost" I suppose if you want to phrase it that way, because of the lost revenue you would have gotten from locking down the market and only providing overpriced replacements yourself. It's a cost in the same way that a law against stealing purses imposes a "non-zero cost" on all of us, since we don't have that potential source of revenue available to us anymore...
Components? Sure, but you bake that into the cost you sell them at. You're already buying them in massive quantities, so let repair shops order some from you - nobody is going to complain about having to pay x% over cost of materials to cover your expenses.
No, you don't. Pretty much the only thing you have to do is provide the same information that you provide to your authorized repair centers. If you don't repair a product, and therefore you don't have a service manual or diagnostic codes, you don't need to now create them to satisfy the law.
This is about having things like "secret" diagnostic codes that require you to go to a dealer to pull off.
I see the largest difference this will make is that larger companies won't put extra time and money into locking down devices so they can't be repaired. For example, locked down diagnostic modes, and special hardware to open devices.
> And then you have to have a way to "rescue" a user if they really screw up the product and "brick" in in a sense.
Are you sure? There has to be a sane cut-off for when a device is broken and when it's repairable. A company will not be forced to provide directions on how to fix my device if I've decided to use it in a "will it blend" demonstration, so statements like this are FUD without us getting a good grasp of the details of when and what a company will actually need to comply with this.
As an aside.. AFAIK, nobody ever been capable of producing regulations and laws that don't have unintended consequences, or even have guaranteed results. Working off of probabilities, a right to repair law makes sense to me. Maybe it doesn't to you, but your argument is purely your own speculation, which is valuable, but its hard to argue against.
If your workflow is "move fast and break things" or "just ship it, we won't have to support it in a year anyway" then, yeah, this will be a pain in the ass.
Big companies can afford it, start ups can’t. The alternative for an incumbent is less profit and a higher barrier to entry for ne competitors. The alternative for the start up is not existing
Whenever the largest corporate entities are talking about how bad something is for "small businesses", it really means it is bad for them.
Yeah. "Small business" and "family farm" are nice words for the big guys to hide behind.
No small business can afford to just eat that cost so it's either going to be paid in risk or out of the productivity of existing staff.
How much documentation are you required to give users? If a device relies on programmable hardware, is it really "repairable" if you don't have the source code? What if there's a security vulnerability in the software, how do you fix that? If the ICs can be replaced but the original manufacturer stopped selling them, what then? Do the electronic interfaces between all the components need to be documented? How do small device manufacturers stay in compliance? Do end-user repairs void the warranty if the user is just bad at soldering and screwed up a surface-mount part? If the original design of the product was defective in some way, do consumers have the right to fix defects, or only to do repairs that return them to the original condition they were in when delivered to them?
I think it's possible to craft a good right-to-repair bill that strikes a reasonable balance between consumer protection and not being overly burdensome on manufacturers, but I can't tell if this bill does that.
The description (like most descriptions of bills given to the public by their proponents) is long on all the anticipated positive side effects and short on details of how it's accomplished.
I would really wish for the 'Right to Repair' to be strong enough so that producers of all those trash IOT devices, mobile phones etc. would be forced to provide a guaranteed maintenance period for at least 5 to 10 years or would have to release all the source code and documentation if they stop updating their software so that other companies or users can step in.
As a side effect it might also be possible for the consumer to choose the software separately from the hardware. Because then not only the Hardware designing company would be the only one that can write Software for it. More competition and a level playing field would be good for the consumer and economy as a whole.
Ideally any diagnostic tools you have developed and schematics, the same things you should have available yourself as the OEM. Legislation like this isn't usually designed to make companies make walkthroughs for replacing a BGA component on a board, but to make resources available so customers can get their products repaired at a 3rd-party repair center for a lower cost (or optionally themselves if they are capable of performing the repair on their own with the documentation made available to them).
> If a device relies on programmable hardware, is it really "repairable" if you don't have the source code? What if there's a security vulnerability in the software, how do you fix that?
Provide pre-programmed IC's, everyone is happy. Requiring the source code for firmware to be available would have huge ramifications for the protection of proprietary IP, and while I would love for companies to release open-source firmware for components I realize forcing them to do so is a straight up no-go.
The goal of repairing a device is to get it back to (or as close as feasible) the state it was originally delivered, anything else is modification.
> If the ICs can be replaced but the original manufacturer stopped selling them, what then?
Not much you can do here, if you as the OEM can't source replacement parts you say "tough luck" and maybe offer a replacement at a reduced cost if you're a nice guy. Unfortunately this does mean 3rd party shops have to turn away work, but such is life, you can can only control companies you source parts from so much.
> Do the electronic interfaces between all the components need to be documented?
Pinouts and the connections between components should be documented ideally, including any voltage and/or resistance on the line so they can be properly inspected with a multimeter. Knowing the electrical communication details between two chips does me no good, knowing it operates at a certain frequency might me useful though to verify with an oscilloscope.
> How do small device manufacturers stay in compliance?
The same way large ones do. Provide documentation for download, buy spare components and offer them for resale at a markup to cover your costs.
> Do end-user repairs void the warranty if the user is just bad at soldering and screwed up a surface-mount part?
Yes, this is already federal law under the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act, manufacturers cannot require they get repairs from certified vendors or even use certified replacement parts - but they can void the warranty if the unauthorized repair caused further damage.
> If the original design of the product was defective in some way, do consumers have the right to fix defects, or only to do repairs that return them to the original condition they were in when delivered to them?
The latter. I mean, as a consumer once you have the device you are free to do whatever the hell you want with the physical object itself - but if you start modifying it beyond the factory state you have no guarantee of support.
Whether this bill implements these is unknown, I can't find the text anymore - but the above answers are reasonable responses to your questions that shouldn't impose more than a minimal burden on businesses.
The battery in my Nexus 6P is about 18 months old and it currently only holds about 40% of it's original design capacity (known issue with the phone). Replacing the battery is a very delicate task due to the glue and placement of the battery and the need to replace the glass and LCD.
If you happen to be in Austin or Houston, contact me :)
Seems like there’s a pretty big loophole here in that it’s mandating just manufacturers, not retailers and resellers. There’s a fair amount of electronics on eBay and Amazon that are from US resellers of Chinese manufacturers. Those manufacturers often have no US presence, and so no compelling reason to care about any of this.
The problem is manufacturers who "lock-down" their products to prevent repairs using things like proprietary software and DRM.
To make matters worse, Section 1201 of the DMCA makes it illegal to break DRM, no matter what the reason, effectively making it illegal to do repairs in many instances.
The "grass-roots" movement for "right to repair" legislation was started in Nebraska by farmers who are sick of being unable to repair their tractors without the assistance and permission of John Deere Inc. John Deere tractors are currently rejecting usable parts because the owner of the tractor cannot tell the software to use the part.
The Earth has a limited amount of resources, so we should really start thinking about better resources management because otherwise, we're going to have serious problem in the future.
The problem is that too short product lifespans close off a lot of avenues for long term utility extraction from products. (Second hand markets, donated stuff.)
I've search high and low and absolutely can't get my hands on one.
EDIT: Is it even possible to restrict access to people from a US state? Even if I wanted to do that I would have no idea how.
In case of a major issue with a product, you can:
Repair, replace or refund. And it is the buyer's choice - not the company.
In case of a minor issue:
The company must provide a free repair within a reasonable amount of time. If they don't or can't, you can get it repaired elsewhere and pass on the cost, or get a replacement, refund or compensation for the drop in value.
Also the best bit is it makes no reference to warranty time period. So a company cannot say "6 month, 12 month or 24 month warranty" - if they do, consumer law overrides that condition. The length of time is intentionally vague as "the time you'd expect it to last".
If you purchase a 100" TV brand new for $300, because of the cheap price the warranty may be only a year or so. If you purchase a 50" TV for $4000, you'd "expect" it to last many years - and people have received full refunds for their TVs 5+ years after purchase when they have developed a major fault.
This is great, because it forces manufacturers to bare the cost and not plan intentional obsolescence into their products to force you to upgrade when they break. It's therefore cheaper for manufacturers to build quality products that will last.
I also feel 'right to support' is very important. Copyright law that mandates proprietary service and technical manuals and software should become public domain after x years.
As an example, modern cars are virtually unserviceable by mechanics with no access to proprietary diagnostic software and equipment.
If a company is out of business or their support staff are unfamiliar with old products, publish everything to help right to repair...
New product prices are:
Repair-part costs are dominantly comprised of:
If (2)(3)(5)(6)_oldProduct > (1)(2)(3)(4)(6)_newProduct the market is telling you your time is better spent doing something else and properly recycling the equipment.
If the state inflates (4) to get (2)(3)(5)(6)_oldProduct < (1)(2)(3)(4)(6)_newProduct to be true, all that's been achieved is bureaucracy has siphoned off value from R&D and less products are produced.
If there are negative, socialized costs associated with consumption (externalities) there's a justified argument to allocate those costs on the people who are producing them (recycling tax at time of purchase). Product Management via regulation is not how you get a vibrant market of inexpensive products that people want.
In any case, regulating the right to repair opens up new service markets, new parts supply chains, and a large job market that is local and difficult to outsource.
Currently trying to figure out how your stuff works can carry a prison term if there’s DRM involved.
2. easy to document and repair hardware components, what about failure caused by software? is factory-reset the only way?
just some random thoughts, lunch time here
It happened in the car world when emissions regulations hit the scene and vacuum hoses and check engine lights became the norm. Can’t imagine anyone repairing their own Tesla.
If the answer is to make devices thicker so they can be more easily serviced, I couldn’t be more against.
I've personally repaired a number of home appliances over the past few years including a LCD TV, a clothes dryer, a remote light switch, a juice machine, an espresso maker, and a vacuum cleaner, and I've tried and failed to repair a coffee maker and an electric tea kettle. I've also evaluated a macbook air and a samsung galaxy phone for repair and found that the replacement parts were too expensive to justify.
My perspective is that usually the replacement part is available but the parts cost plus the time/skill to diagnose multiplied by the potential success factor in repair makes replacement a better option in many cases. I don't have a whole lot of confidence that the government can solve this problem with legislation; any rule that would solve repairability issues with your electric tea kettle would make your phone bulkier, for example. So my guess is it's going to involve a lot of lobbying by different industries and ultimately end up toothless, misguided, and ineffective.
Oh well. I guess I'll just keep on replacing fuses and repairing traces.
A known issue bricks a device that is less than two years old and I had to go get a replacement. What the fuck.
This only stands true in a competitive economy. We live in an oligopoly, where the highest tech choices are not repairable.
The oligopolists will be able to lobby against the "Right to Repair."
My point is there isn't much ability to have "preferences" (i.e.: nothing to vote our pocketbook on) in the first place.
I literally cannot vote with my wallet when there is a monopoly. That is the problem here. This legislation is about preventing a company from claiming a monopoly over repair of the products they sell.
If you say that your environmental regulation actually made people healthier then you'd better be able to point to the dropping health insurance rates.
If you say that your new traffic laws make driving safer then you better be able to point to the dropping car insurance rates.
If you say that your 'right to repair' bill made goods cheaper then you better have data that says that the lifetime cost of ownership of electronics is significantly lower and that the preowned/refurbished market is thriving.
Of course the rest of the world doesn't exist in a vacuum, which makes a simple cause->effect relationships hard. In the real world environmental regulations can be making the air cleaner while at the same time an opioid epidemic rages. If opioid costs outweigh air quality savings we won't see "dropping health insurance rates", but it also doesn't mean that no value exists to better air quality. The reverse of your question is: Would health care costs be the same in the absence of air quality regulations?
In other words, the manufacturer can't hold back information but there's no requirement to change designs so that your laptop is easy to take apart and repair.
Absolutely no one wants to own a product that the original manufacturer takes active actions to disallow them from repairing. These actions are nothing but abusive and wasteful. They are also effective ways to make more money.
Monopoly is not a good thing, or even something that can be "wished away" by spending money elsewhere, because you can't. That's what makes it a monopoly.
These businesses are monopolizing repair, and that is not okay.
as far as repairing tablets and such, any design changes forcing easier to repair items will have costs baked into the next generation and do these laws limit how much replacement parts can cost? Because it can take awhile for a 3rd party to make working replacement parts. finally, who certifies such?
The gears are plastic and turn into snow once it dries out.
Thats the point though. If people actually valued repairability, then they would elevate its importance above other constraints in their purchasing habits.
I'm not following this argument.
Surely if all the manufacturers acted in their obvious local-maxima best interests and jacked their prices, you'd have no choice but to take out a mortgage to get a phone.
The answer is obvious: the first company to defect and charge $1000 for a phone instead would take over the entire market.
What's the difference between price and features? If repairability is important to consumers, why is nobody "defecting" from the cartel of non-repairable vendors to take over the market?
It's not a complicated argument.
I love it when people end complicated arguments like this. "It's easy you dolt! Just eat your soylent and be happy!"
My point is I don't get a real vote because there is no option for me to vote on.
> The government certainly shouldn’t foist that minority view on everyone through right to repair laws.
Except it's not just what a small minority of poor people wants if the government can agree enough to pass it. Also, there are actually and real concerns about waste and resource usage that drives the want to repair rather than purchase new devices.
There is a vast market for repairable phones that run free software and have unlockable bootloaders, but that market isn't significant enough to convince incumbent manufacturers to stop abusive wasteful practices like built-in batteries, proprietary screws, proprietary drivers and locked bootloaders.
In fact, it's the abusive practice itself that constrains the free market.
If the market was truly vast, someone would start targeting it by selling such products.
Very few people care about free software and unlockable bootloaders on their phones. Very few people in the world even know what a bootloader is, and among those who do, very few really care about unlocking the bootloader on their phone.
Should those of us who care about the problem - which is those of use who understand the problem - wait until a literal majority of customers complain to start solving the problem?
Don't use the ideals of a free market to give corporations a free pass to abuse customers. This ideology that regulation is inherently evil and must be avoided at all costs does nothing to help the free market. It only blinds from common sense.
Sell a security camera bundled with cloud storage, fine - shut off the cloud and the camera still works.
Sell a John Deere tractor that can't be serviced without buying parts, patches, and paying for access to the engine computer - this seems problematic.
It’s not a problem unless the seller can exercise some other sort of market power (e.g. they’re the only licensed seller of that particular kind of thing).
How does this compare to the "licensed printer ink only" sort of DRM, wherein companies like Lexmark charged upwards of 10x generic (i.e. cost-of-goods) prices for printer ink? I understand that in legal concept, contracts can be structured however... For consumers at large, however, the burden of savvy-ness starts getting rather high.
For example, I understand paying an expert to help me negotiate the terms of purchasing my home, since the price is high and arrangements (HOA, easements, municipal utilities, etc.) vary wildly. It seems unreasonable to have to hire a lawyer to facilitate the purchase of my printer. Thus, it seems prudent to have certain reasonable assumptions around the exchange of physical goods. Buy it, and it's yours to do with as you will.
The reason this matters is that consumers can be and are sued by the sellers of products for attempting to circumvent such DRM-like restrictions. By ownership of the physical good, shouldn't the consumers have the right to fix it, hack it, or upgrade it, the same as they could with a chair or a table?
I strongly suspect that people _know_ the trade offs they’re making when they buy the cheap inkjet printer with expensive ink, the lowest priced airline ticket, the cheapest bidding contractor, or the unfixable gadget. They just want to eat their cake and have it too. Then the regulators come in and make the decision for everyone, just because a tiny minority of people have buyers remorse.
This likely won't change your opinion either, but it's a good piece that adds color to this conversation about right-to-repair: Motherboard published a video about John Deere's tractor/maintenance lock-in that looks at the issue from the perspective of 6-figure industrial equipment.  It's worth a look.
Look for example at games pre-steam- these where gated-communitys, walled in plattforms and gardens. All those modders, where putting in work anyway.
And instead of taking a percentage, and supplying a plattform - we shut them out.
Cant wait for someone to offer a hardware-steam version for IOT devices and vehicles. Add a simple scripting language like Lua to that - and suddenly - one ecosystem to rule them all, thanks to all those tinkering customers, who basically send you free money.
But hey- lawyers and small sighted software department CEOs will see that it does not come to that.