Need your smart phone battery changed or have a cracked screen replaced? The New Hampshire legislature will soon consider a proposed digital electronic repair bill.
Shaheen & Gordon Attorney Mike McLaughlin has been working with Repair.Org to start the legislative process to loosen the hold that consumer electronics giants such as Apple and Microsoft have over the repair of their products.
“The goal is to empower small businesses with the ability to repair cell phones, laptops and tablets at a reasonable cost to the consumer,” says McLaughlin. “Manufacturers prefer to sell a consumer a new unit and with repair costs so high the consumer has little choice but to discard their phone or tablet and start anew.”
The repair market is so strictly controlled that the availability of parts for a small company offering any repairs must cannibalize discarded products for parts. In addition to parts, specialty tools as well as repair manuals are largely unavailable. To help remedy that, the bill seeks to make is possible for small businesses to offer repairs at reasonable rates. Now, repair costs in the consumer electronics industry are kept at high levels to discourage consumers from seeking to repair a product.
“There is no attempt in the bill to access ‘trade secrets’ or proprietary information, only to treat consumer electronics the way we treat our automobile, having an alternative repair option at a reasonable price,” says McLaughlin.
You can read more about this proposed legislation via the Concord Monitor: http://www.concordmonitor.com/right-to-repair-legislation-NH-13309738