The Right to Repair: Is It a Yes or a No?

The Right to Repair: Is It a Yes or a No?

Technology has become everyone’s best friend during the pandemic. Employees had to shift to remote work. They had to rely on their most trusted computers and tablets for their daily tasks at work. This is also where they communicate with their co-workers. Students had to attend school thru online classes via video calls. They also share notes via distance learning hubs. Gadgets and an internet connection are the life of the pandemic. Without these, productivity is on the line. 

How much do people rely on their computers and Internet? How does it affect their work and studies if something goes wrong with their gadgets? 

Devices are a necessity

In an April 2020 survey, 87% of American adults said that the Internet is personally important for them during the pandemic. At least 65% of the respondents who said the Internet is essential to them are college graduates. In another survey, almost half of American adults said that Internet interruption or cellphone problems during the pandemic are a huge problem.

Digital problems are also common in the household. At least 29% of parents said that they would normally encounter problems with technology when doing schoolwork on their cell phones. This shows how households experience problems with their gadgets. This proves how these gadget problems affect their work.

This is also why people rely on computer repair shops when something is wrong with their gadgets. The only problem is that spare parts are costly. 


Pushing for the right-to-repair 

Recently, there has been a question on whether small repair shops should be allowed to repair devices and appliances. At least 39 right-to-repair bills from 25 states are considering passing bills pushing for easier access to repair for their gadgets.

If such a law is passed, small repair shops can work on the repair without the brand manufacturer’s information and spare parts. This will allow households to repair their devices at a lesser cost. Repair in these shops is less costly compared to the manufacturer’s shops. According to advocates, this is a need amid the pandemic, when people use their devices more often.

The Maryland Public Interest Research Group supports this call. According to their research, Americans spend an estimate of $1,480 per household buying new gadgets yearly. And because manufacturing parts are costly, people would rather buy new gadgets than bring them for repair.

With this, people usually spend more money amid the financial struggles brought about by the pandemic. Thus, families are buying more and spending more. While they can bring them to small repair shops, repair shops also have to order the original parts straight from the manufacturers. Usually, these are more expensive. Aside from the cost, it is also stressful for families to look for spare parts from the manufacturer’s stores. The cost also adds to their anxiety.

This is why they support the call for right-to-repair. According to their research, a typical family in Maryland can save $330 per year if they reduce spending on new electronics. If only buyers had the right to bring their devices to any local repair shop, people could save big money. Up to this day, people are calling for manufacturers to remove repair restrictions. They are waiting for positive action from lawmakers as they push the bill to legislation.


Repair services are still available

For now, there are available computer and laptop repair shops in the area. They do diagnostic checks, system updates, virus scans, and data backups for smartphones, laptops, tablets, and computers. These repair shops rely on their repairmen’s training, skills, and experience in different device problems. 

They also replace parts and order original parts from the manufacturer. This may take some time, though, given the restrictions of the manufacturers. But, they guarantee you a quick turnaround and lifetime service guarantee, too. They are also available for in-store and at-home service. Hardware problems may be a little costly given that they have to order from the manufacturer itself. But, if the right-to-repair bill gets passed, you might not need to worry about spare parts. 

The crucial thing here is that devices are a man’s best friend these days. The rights of the consumers should always be prioritized. Especially now that people are struggling with the cost of daily living, it is right for the industry to also assist buyers. The waiting game continues, though, as it is in the lawmakers’ hands whether they’d pass the bill or not. For now, the best thing to do is to take care of your gadgets and hope that everything works until this pandemic is over.

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