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Canada Looks To Pass Right To Repair Law

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Canada Looks To Pass Right To Repair Law

Canada is edging ever closer towards successfully passing a “right to repair” law. But what exactly is a right to repair? And why on earth would anyone need to ask permission to repair something already bought and paid for? Sounds like madness, right? Surely one of the perks of full-title ownership of any device should be that of being permitted to repair that piece of equipment when happens to break / gets damaged?

On closer inspection of the mentioned conundrum, it soon becomes apparent that it isn’t as much about asking permission from a manufacturer to repair a device once it breaks, but rather the availability and price issues associated with certain products.

And in the latest fight for a fair right, the main object in question is the cellular phone, also commonly referred to as the smartphone.

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For the benefit of our readers not familiar with the ins and outs of smartphone tech; it’s very damaging to the environment to manufacture one of these clever e-devices. Furthermore, just to make the situation even more of a problem, it’s quite expensive to recycle a cellular phone. Most out-of-order smartphones ultimately end up on dumpsites and in landfills.

But the actual problem is the fact that manufacturers, ever eager to boost sales, make it near impossible to repair their products. And it’s not even always a matter of price; some companies go as far as limiting spare parts and supplies to the point of non-availability. Those who enjoy keeping up appearances with the general public are quick to point out that devices may be handed in at authorised repair shops when any repairs are needed. What they fail to mention is the smooth way in which they side step being accused of price-fixing. But in essence, by making it more expensive to repair a device that what it is to simply purchase a new one, price-fixing is exactly the nature of the monster under the bed.

U-Turn Up Ahead

The good news is that local governments are beginning to put up a fight against the monopolies of the tech-world.  Just last week, a private member’s bill seeking to Ontario’s Consumer Protection Act so as to allow for the very first “right to repair” legislation ever proposed in the country, was introduced.

Some of the issues addressed by the proposition include fair-price repairs and widespread availability of parts, the provision of free electronic manuals and the prevention of lockout software interfering with the general repair process.

We might just end up having our phones and fixing them yet!

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