Tech companies have been trying to lock down and control the repair market for far too long, boxing out small repair businesses and device owners. That’s why we’re asking the Federal Trade Commission, the federal agency charged with enforcing consumer protection and competition laws in the United States, to step in and end these abusive and anti-competitive practices. Your support would help us get their attention.
We’ve written at length about how manufacturers are hurting small businesses by trying to monopolize the repair market. They do this by restricting access to the tools and information you need to fix your stuff, and designing products that are difficult, if not impossible, to repair. As more manufacturers use serialization to pair parts and require specialized software tools to complete a repair, these problems will only get worse. Soon you’ll be left with only the manufacturers’ own limited, authorized repair options, at their chosen prices. We need your help to convince the FTC to take action now to protect your Right to Repair.
It’s a good time to be pressing the issue. President Biden has nominated a new FTC commissioner, Lina Khan, who promises to be tough in enforcing tech company competition. Nearly two years ago, the FTC hosted a workshop, “Nixing the Fix,” in which we, and others, told the Commission how some companies stifled repair. And while nominations and workshops bode well, it’s time to see some real enforcement and policy change.
By signing this petition, you can help push back against companies that do everything they can to make you buy more and fix less. We’re asking the FTC to enforce existing laws against companies that:
- Use “tying arrangements” to push customers into buying authorized repair contracts
- Violate the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act by voiding warranties if a product is fixed outside authorized channels
- Refuse to sell replacement parts, tools, software, or manuals to independent repair techs
And we’d like to see new action against companies that:
- Hide restrictive terms and repair prohibitions in dense, unintelligible end user license agreements (EULA)
- Arrange exclusive supplier/provider arrangements that shut out independent repair providers
- Sell products that cannot be repaired without being destroyed, with no notice provided to the customer
The FTC could end the parts-pairing serialization that threatens to end phone repairs, end scare-tactic warranty violation stickers once and for all, and push companies to offer repair outside their preferred (i.e. most profitable) networks. But only if they know it’s important. That’s where you come in.
Sign our petition at https://ftc.repair.org/. Urge the FTC to take action to protect your Right to Repair.