The Right to Repair Movement is a phenomenon that is gaining global recognition. Similar movements have spurred at different localities and timelines, since the manufacturing industry got commercialized. The ideology behind the movements is that, as a user, do we really own the products we have and can these products be used by manufacturers as a tool to generate additional revenue by monopolizing the repair services of these products?
As a matter of fact, any individual who purchases a product must own it completely to the extent that they can do anything to it. Consumers must be able to repair and modify their products any way they deem fit. For example, a computer repair shop software helps you in running your computer repair business. Likewise, the access to information and tools also brings similar ease to your repair business.
On the other hand, manufacturers argue that their products are repairable but only from the service centers they authorize. This, according to them, is in a bid to protect the consumer’s safety, privacy and security, by restricting unconditional access to devices. For instance, Apple restricts its consumers from getting their devices serviced by any store outside their approved network. To do this, it provides the required Apple repairing tools and necessary spare parts to a list of company-authorized repair shops only.
The Goals of the Movement
The goal of the right to repair movement is to democratize the process of repair and maintenance. It aims to pressurize device manufacturers to the point where they make their parts and tools available to repair shops without their own filters. This ensures that the majority of electronic devices don’t end up in scrap, contributing to the already overwhelming e-waste.
The concept of device refurbishment comes into play here. Fundamentally, the restriction of access to knowledge should not stand in the way of the consumer’s ability to fix the devices they own. However, the manufacturers are actively trying to control the repair sector in attempts to monopolize the marketplace by bringing the service in-house.
Repair shop owners, hailing from various sectors of the industry, have witnessed the onslaught of corporate heavyweights by restricting or holding back on key parts and tools to render the repair industry toothless.
The right to repair movement gained enormous momentum during the Covid-19 period, when several medical equipment manufacturers gave unrestricted access to a segment of the society for the creation and fixing of life-saving medical equipment.
In the US, the right to repair movement is following in the footsteps of the initiatives taken up in Massachusetts, where the legislation was first passed in 2014 to protect the repair industry catering to the automobile sector.
A majority of computer repair shop owners are of the view that the lack of representation by an official trade union for the workers of the industry, the goals are a bit distant. However, some progress has definitely been made. Key players of the industry have managed to get a seat on the policy making table as stakeholders, to protect the consumers and the repairability concepts.
In Europe, however, the case has covered more ground. It is in a more mature state here. Repair shop owners and consumers have put up a joint front and forced the decision-makers towards the cause, to a point where talks are being held over passing a bill and making the movement into a rightful law.
Benefits for Your Repair Business
Having a computer repair shop software integrated in your store helps you manage the cumbersome and time-consuming day-to-day operations. You can get real-time updates of your inventory levels via the POS software. A repair shop software can also generate the monthly revenue and expense reports, and analyze employee performance.
One of the major benefits of the Right to Repair movement for your repair business is that you don’t have to go with the hit-and-trial approach to understand the workings of any product. The aim of the movement is to fill the void left behind by manufacturers holding back crucial information on fixing their devices.
When the movement succeeds, repair shop owners will be able to repair almost any electronic device, without having to worry about any blowback from the big corporations. You will be able to share service manuals, both from official manufacturers and the ones created by you or your industry fellows. This is an encouraging factor for anyone who wants to enter the repair industry.
The knowledge gap can be filled and the consumers of these devices will get encouraged to have their devices fixed, instead of finding them useless. The move also aims to curb the throwaway culture, as technicians can easily update their skill sets on any piece of hardware and/or software.
Another issue the movement raises, which also adds to the practice of wasting natural resources and energy, is that manufacturers design their products with a short life in mind that encourages consumers to replace their old devices with new ones. This is a linear pattern that reduces the incentive for producers to make sustainable products.
The movement requires manufacturers to make parts, tools and information, on all their devices, available to consumers and repair shops so their devices don’t end up in the scrap heap.
Lastly, the right to repair movement ensures the safety and security of the repair businesses in general. Arm your repair store with a quality POS software and experience the difference.