Do You Have the Right to Repair Your Phone?

April 6th, 2018 / Darcy Patko / 0 comments

You bought the device. You should own the right to repair it. Sounds simple enough, right?

What you might not know is that the powers that be don’t want to you to have the ability to fix your smartphone yourself! What’s your opinion on your right to phone repair, Vancouver? If you don’t know much about the subject, allow us to give you a little history lesson.

Right to Repair Legislation in Canada

In 2009, right to repair legislation was introduced at the House of Commons in Ottawa. This right to repair referred to motor vehicles. It stated auto repair shops should have the right to the information to fix modern vehicles, as they are software driven. This information is often withheld or restricted by Original Equipment Manufacturers of vehicles in Canada. Auto manufacturers fought against this, stating copyright law and information property violations. In the end, a voluntary agreement was met, meaning that, ultimately, it’s not mandatory and up to the company to share the information.

What does that have to do with your phone? Well, the same argument is happening right now for mobile devices in the US and we expect to see it trickle over to Canada at some point.

Why the Right to Repair?

Consumer agencies argue that having right to repair legislation means it will:

  • reduce the amount of devices sent to landfills (e-waste)
  • save the consumer money in repair costs
  • ensure longer device life if the item can be easily repaired (rather than the ‘oops, guess you need a new iPhone’ scenarios of yore)

Big Companies Fighting Back

Of course, easy to repair devices means a looser grip on repair networks of high-tech manufacturers, such as Apple. Most of these companies argue that letting users repair their own devices poses a security risk and infringes on their intellectual property. You can bet they’ll be giving it their all to hold on to their rights to be the only people to repair your phone.

What’s Happening Now

In the United States, the fight has been going strong with 17 states already passing legislation. Companies have to allow independent repair shops the same access that the manufacturers have to tools, parts, and information.

While there is currently not the same push in Canada, it’s inevitable that we’ll feel the effects of what’s happening across the border. Expect to see proposals to expand the right to repair legislation to electronics in the future.

How does this affect me?

If the right-to-repair movement were to succeed, this means companies like Samsung, Apple, Google, etc. would be forced to provide their OEM parts to the marketplace where potentially anybody could purchase them. In addition, this would ensure that repairs done by individuals or third-party companies would not void the warranty on repairs. In Vancouver, we can already report that the Apple Store is no longer voiding the warranty on devices with third-party repairs. It’s a start!

At GoMobile Repair, we think everybody should have the right to be able to fix their device wherever they want. If you don’t have healthy competition, companies like Apple will be able to charge whatever they feel like. Hopefully, these mega-corporations will wake up and realize that by allowing more repairs to take place, this will naturally increase the popularity of their phones and tablets. In the meantime, GoMobile will continue to always give you the best repair prices and turnaround time on the market. We’ll be following this closely and keep you updated.

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