Massachusetts

There's a Push to Create a Right-to-Repair Law for Electronics in Massachusetts

Beacon Hill lawmakers have been asked to take up a digital right-to-repair bill, giving consumers and independent repair shops access to parts, manuals and tools for electronic device

NBC Universal, Inc.

It can be expensive to fix your phone and computer. But there’s a new push to make it easier and cheaper in Massachusetts.

“Anti-repair design is really the biggest complication in repair,” said David Webb, who repairs electronics at his shop Hamilton Computer Repairs in Worcester.

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“Most things are built to be disposable. Right to repair is like, you know, so we’re not trapped in a two-year cycle of a replacement.”

Beacon Hill lawmakers have been asked to take up a digital right-to-repair bill, giving consumers and independent repair shops access to parts, manuals and tools for electronic devices.

“The average American now has roughly 24 electronic devices in their homes,” said Janet Domenitz of MassPirg. She said consumers shouldn’t have to pick between expensive repair bills from the manufacturer or throwing their device away.

”It means we spend more money. We generate more waste and we’re frankly letting these corporations get away with something they shouldn’t be able to,” she said.

Webb has been fixing computers for the better part of a decade. He says the electronics industry has definitely moved away from parts and repairs.

“You used to be able Google it and you’d find OK here’s this part, but not on any of these newer machines because why would they let you repair it when once this dies you’re just going to have to buy a new one,” he explained.

The digital right-to-repair bill is based on the concept Massachusetts voters adopted with regard to fixing automobiles. That law requires manufacturers to provide independent repair shops with the same information and tools needed for repairs that they provide to their dealerships.

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