back to article Super Cali optimistic right-to-repair's negotious, even though Apple thought it was something quite atrocious

California has joined other US states mulling granting folks a right to repair – which would allow people to freely fix their electronic devices, and require manufacturers to provide the tools and manuals to do so. A Cali state law proposed today follows an effort last year that was ultimately defeated by lobbyists, led by …

  1. choleric

    Oh shush!

    See title.

    PLEASE can these headlines actually scan? It takes me a while to work out how they are meant to work, and then to realise that they don't. I feel like the self-checkout machine with an unexpected item in the bagging area. </angst>

    Perhaps this is the whole point and we are meant to throw a General Protection Fault whenever Super Cali does something worthy of public humiliation?

    1. tcmonkey

      Re: Oh shush!

      If El Reg's unique brand of headlines bothers you, may I politely suggest that you might be on the wrong website?

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Oh shush!

      When I see the 'Super Cali' headlines I

      a) try to get the song cadence to work

      b) laugh somewhat pathetically because I have to *live* here in Cali-Fornicate-You

      c) occasionally happy if they actually get something right (like in this particular case)

      So yeah a big thumbs up to El Reg for the entertaining titles

    3. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      "PLEASE can these headlines actually scan?"

      It does scan - if you say right-to-repair in three syllables, Mock Cockney style. Rigthto-repair. Say it with a D*** van D*** accent.

      C.

      1. gerdesj Silver badge
        Childcatcher

        Re: "PLEASE can these headlines actually scan?"

        Say it with a D*** van D*** accent.

        Are you absolutely fucking mad? Even asterisking out *that* name can invoke him.

        "Cor blimey Mary Poppins" .... oh Gods, too late.

      2. choleric

        Re: "PLEASE can these headlines actually scan?"

        Don't you also have to say "Apple" in one syllable?

        I hear tcmonkey's comment about abandoning El Reg, but feel that leaving without fighting for something you love, or at least posting a comment, would be foolish! And in all honesty I can cope with a bit of brain-manglement for the sake of the rest of my fave IT red-top news website content.

        1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

          "my fave IT red-top news website content"

          Thanks for the thumbs up, and for reading!

          C.

    4. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

      Re: Oh shush!

      So, you're more of a Gilligan's Island ballad metre person?

  2. Hans 1 Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    If they could force Apple to use NVMe M.2 SSD's and replaceable RAM they would be back in business for anything with working braincells.

    I will not hold my breath.

  3. Chris G Silver badge

    Next on the list

    Should be car manufacturers and the likes of John Deere who try to make it virtually illegal to service your own car or tractor.

    1. Greg 38

      Re: Next on the list

      Umm, I buy DIY oil, air, fuel and plug change kits for my JD tractor and mower every year from a JD retailer. Also have bought two DIY bearing kits for my mower deck and front wheel.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Next on the list

        @ Greg 38

        I recommend you Google the John Deere DRM fiasco. By design John Deere tractors would refuse to start unless their parts were fitted by their field technicians, at $150 call out fee... not useful if the dealership is 40 miles away and you need to get the harvest in. So the farmers would get hold of pirated JD software that had been cracked by Ukrainians so that their local diesel workshop could fix their tractor. This was legal for the farmers to do as long as they modifications didn't exceed emissions controls. John Deere then started requiring farmers to sign a contract before taking delivery of a tractor so that they could sue farmers for breach of contract if they used the cracked software.

        1. hellwig Silver badge

          Re: Next on the list

          Yes, but those cheap-ass farmers don't buy new tractors every year, so poor old JD had to do something to protect the bottom line.</sarcasm>

          1. Fungus Bob Silver badge

            Re: Next on the list

            "Yes, but those cheap-ass farmers don't buy new tractors every year"

            Which is why potatoes do not cost $70 apiece.

    2. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Next on the list

      I've been expecting it to go the other way with even more restrictions. Maybe the lobbyists will join forces and buy the FTC? I have hope (slim but still...) that the states and if need be, the Feds will do the right thing unlike what they've been doing to consumers of late.

      1. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: Next on the list

        This will only happen if we can ever get all those corporate cronies out of office.

    3. Maelstorm Bronze badge

      Re: Next on the list

      Actually, at least here in the United States, car manufacturers are required by law to publish all documentation about vehicles and information about specialty tools. That's why tool manufacturers such as Snap-On make a killing in the automotive repair industry.

      1. M.V. Lipvig

        Re: Next on the list

        Yup, and I have a set of factory manuals for my two cars. Makes fixing them a lot easier, even if most of the repairs are intuitive and I really only need the manuals for torque values and bolt tightening patterns.

  4. alain williams Silver badge

    Where else will this apply ?

    John Deere tractors & motor cars to start with.

    What about broken firmware on 'phones, IoT devices, etc - many of which do not receive updates for very long - if at all.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm now confused, Mary Poppins said a spoon full of sugar would help but my doctor says it's an apple.

    1. Marketing Hack Silver badge
      Headmaster

      No, the phrase is "An Apple a day makes Tim Cook a lot of money".

      1. JJKing Bronze badge
        Facepalm

        Sorry, but isn't his name now Tim Apple?

        1. JohnFen Silver badge

          Yup. Trump Conman told us so!

          1. M.V. Lipvig

            When Mary Poppins makes you think of Trump, you have a serious mental problem. You can get treatment for Trump Derangement Syndrome these days, you know. Trump wasn't even mentioned here until you brought him up. There's more to life than politics.

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Trollface

      the spoonful of sugar only works when the "medicine" is going down your throat...

      1. Marketing Hack Silver badge
        Gimp

        Apple is willing to provide the medicine, but only in a suppository form, for introduction at the other end...

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Spoon ful of sugar

      Didn't Mary Poppins get Diabetes?

  6. sisk Silver badge

    Both major US parties should be behind this if their public stances are to be believed. The DNC claims to represent the little guys and oppose evil megacorps, so backing this and letting people repair their own phones makes sense for them. The GOP claims to support a free market, and what's more free market than having the option to take your device where you choose for repairs.

    Of course, both parties are lying about what they represent.

    1. tcmonkey

      The GOP will likely opine (rightly, IMO) that if being able to repair your device is important to you, then you should choose manufacturers who support this. Vote with your wallet, as it were. As it stands this just doesn't seem to be a major sales point for most people, or at least it ranks beneath having the latest shiny.

      With this said, it is indeed woeful that so much technology ends up either in landfill or "recycled". I do wish that people cared more.

      1. Gene Cash Silver badge

        > you should choose manufacturers who support this

        Uh huh. And where is that an actual option? Where can one buy these unicorns?

        It's hard enough finding a phone with a simple god damned headphone jack on it these days.

        1. tcmonkey

          I don't disagree that there are a lack of options if that's high on your list of priorities, but by the same token there aren't a lot of phones that come with scratch-and-sniff screens. The long and short of it is that the majority of customers don't care (Reg readers notwithstanding) and as such manufacturers don't care either. You need demand for there to be a supply.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            I think it is less that people don't care and more about there being very few actual parts manufactures and design companies. The manufactures and design companies understand that if you build a phone with few or no replaceable parts and those parts that are replaceable are very difficult to replace then they'll sell more more phones.

            Keep in mind that the ubiquity of cell phones is a very new thing. The manufactures and design companies, very quickly, found making phone basically impossible to repair, for most or at least many people, meant they sold more phones and hence earned more money.

            I believe that people have finally become aware that their phones break to easily and that they have spend too much money to get a new one because they are too difficult to repair. The "free market" and its lack of regulation, heavily lobbied for by very large companies, is not a good thing.

          2. JohnFen Silver badge

            Don't confuse resignation with not caring.

        2. tcmonkey

          Out of curiosity I did some digging. 5 seconds on a search engine revealed that iFixit maintains a list of phone repairability ratings, which can be found here.

          https://www.ifixit.com/smartphone-repairability

          The list has bullet points explaining their reason for scores. I didn't read the whole thing, but there's at least one 10/10 score on there, the Fairphone 2. Whilst it's not going to win any styling prizes and the specs could be nicer it still fits the bill for what most people want in a repairable device and is generally affordable.

          https://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/Fairphone+2+Teardown/52523

          You might not be able to find what you want from the big three manufacturers, but to say that there are no options out there is demonstrably false.

      2. NMI

        When was the last time you owned a phone with a replaceable battery? Let alone one that used a battery with an industry std.form factor, capacity, and voltage rating?

        For me, it's been 15 years since I've had a phone with a replaceable battery. And I don't think I've ever had one that used a std. form factor that wasn't unique to the model or brand of the phone. And the luxury of having more than one vendor to source said standardized battery from? Forget it.

        We're way overdue to correct for this throwaway crap.

        1. sisk Silver badge

          When was the last time you owned a phone with a replaceable battery?

          I have one now. In fact, that's one of the things I make sure about before I buy a phone. Sadly most top of the line phones don't have the option.

          1. Mark 85 Silver badge

            I have one also but then, there's a portion of the buyer-brigade that doesn't care about "new and shiny". We want value for product and that includes a life time longer than a battery.

            The way the market is headed these days, if you need a spark plug change on a car, it'll be cheaper to just buy a car.

        2. eldakka Silver badge

          When was the last time you owned a phone with a replaceable battery? Let alone one that used a battery with an industry std.form factor, capacity, and voltage rating?

          Samsung Galaxy SIII from 2012 that I had for 3 years (because I could just pop the cover off with my thumbnail and replace the battery when the original started holding significantly reduced charge).

        3. JohnFen Silver badge

          I own one right now! With an SD card slot and a real earphone jack, to boot. I won't buy a phone that doesn't have all three of those things.

          ...which is probably why my current phone is about 6 years old now.

        4. georgezilla

          replaceable battery ...

          Both of my current phones have them.

          And the batteries can be purchased at the local battery and bulb store ( forget it's name ).

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        We are at a problem with the "free market" wherein the lack of regulation has lead to very few manufacturers. The smaller manufacturers have been bought or gone broke. Combine that with the successful marketing of the extremely slim phone and what you get is fewer manufacturers which mean fewer choices in parts used to build phones and it becomes more difficult to differentiate ones style of phone. I'm still sad that Blackberry, Palm OS, Sailfish, Web OS, MeeGo, Firefox OS and doubtlessly others have either gone or not been more successful.

        For instance, I'd love to be able to buy a new phone about the size of an iPhone 4 with a side slide keyboard and I'll bet I'm not the only one but I can't find one any where. I also couldn't care less about apps. I'd be happy with what amounts to a feature phone as I most just use my phone for texting and that thing one does when you punch in some numbers and then talk to a person not sitting near you. I do that fairly often. What's that called again? I wonder, can get that big assed clam shell phone in NA?

        1. RegGuy1

          What you want mate is a Nokia 3310.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            That's not bad. The phone I had previously was an LG Rumour 2 side slide keyboard. I liked that phone a lot but as I aged found the screen a bit small. Like I said above, I'm thinking something the size of an iPhone 4. I think the screen would be big enough and even with a side slide keyboard it wouldn't be to big to text comfortably with.

      4. Jack of Shadows Silver badge

        With this said, it is indeed woeful that so much technology ends up either in landfill or "recycled". I do wish that people cared more.

        Whether they like it or not, they'll have to care now that China is now refusing to accept all types of recyclable waste. The other nations in that market (or potentially so), even combined, can manage to match China's capacity. This is going to get interesting.

  7. chivo243 Silver badge
    Boffin

    Why should apple care?

    They don't repair computers... I doubt there has been a soldering iron or multimeter in any Apple Store in many a moons. They replace parts. There is a difference? No?

    1. Jeffrey Nonken Silver badge

      Re: Why should apple care?

      You might be splitting hairs. If I swap out the starter in my car, have I repaired the car? By your argument, if I don't rebuild the starter myself, I've merely swapped parts. Even then, if I replace a worn part in the starter, I haven't repaired it either.

      Or if my GPU dies I should... Swap out a chip instead of repairing the chip? I confess I might be able to desolder a large scale integration chip (mmmmmayyyybe?) But I doubt I'll be able to repair its internals. I'll more likely repair my computer by replacing the whole card. Especially considering that I doubt Nvidia will sell me the part. Or give me specs enough to pry it open and fix those tiny transistors. Pretty sure I don't have the equipment out manual dexterity for the latter.

      At what point does swapping out a damaged part go from "repair" to "parts replacement"? I understand your outrage but suspect you are tilting at windmills.

      1. georgezilla

        Re: Why should apple care?

        " ... have I repaired the car? ... "

        Yes you have. The car wouldn't start. You replace the defective starter,. You FIXED the car.

        You replace parts in a defective starter. You FIXED the starter.

        " ... by replacing the whole card ... "

        The graphics on your COMPUTER stop working. You replace the graphics card. You have FIXED your computer.

        Using Apple as an example. You can't repair your computer. You can't upgrade your memory, or your mass storage. You can't replace either if they become defective. You can't REPAIR your computer.

        If you are to lazy or ignorant to do the repairs, that's one thing. But to solder components to the motherboard ( in the case of Apple, the memory and the mass storage ) so that you can't is another. Especially if the only reason you do it is to make more money, well .....

        You are not going to get any of my money. Even if you make the best damned product in the entire damned history of the entire damned Universe. And that's just one more of the many, many reasons I haven't bought from Apple. And won't, well, maybe every, buy another one.

        " ... At what point does swapping out a damaged part go from "repair" to "parts replacement"? ... "

        It never does. Because by definition, "parts replacement" is REPAIR.

        " ... tilting at windmills ... "

        The only "windmills" being "tilted" at here are the broken ones, that can be repaired.

        * Full disclosure: I spent 7 years in the U.S. Army as an electronic tech. Been doing repairs for 45+ years. So I am both competent and capable.

        Though I will concede that replacing components on a motherboard is neither an easy nor a reasonable thing to attempt. But that is irrelevant to the "right to repair" question.

        I paid for the item in question. I OWN the item in question. Why don't I have the "right" to repair it myself, or have whom ever I choose to do it for me?

        That is the question at hand.

        Now I'm waiting for someone to give me a reason I don't have that right?

    2. DougS Silver badge

      Re: Why should apple care?

      It is impossible to "repair" a chip, you'd have an easier time repairing a car that's been through a crusher. If you have a tiny fiddly board with two dozen chips ranging from a grain of rice to a thumbnail in size, on both sides, how could it possibly make financial sense for anyone to take the time to diagnose and then desolder and replace one? Arguing "well my time is free I don't care if it takes 15 hours" and we should create some vast infrastructure for buying individual chips, tons of schematics so you can diagnose their problems etc. is stupid when one in 50,000 people would do it.

      The idea that anything other than batteries or displays will be "repaired" in a smartphone is silly. Maybe the odd button or connector in certain circumstances. That's all we should be worrying about.

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Boffin

        Re: Why should apple care?

        normally, the kinds of specialized diagnostic equipment that you would need to rework a laptop motherboard (as an example) make it impractical to repair them on-premise.

        Most likely they'll swap the motherboard, then send your old one back to be repaired or analyzed for why it failed by techs that have the right equipment.

        1. Jack of Shadows Silver badge

          Re: Why should apple care?

          When I engineered, trained and stood up a computer repair facility, we'd go out with one each of a set of parts for the site computer broke and do swap repairs on the spot. Quick turn-around, happy customers. Back at the facility we had the automated machinery to detect the exact fault(s) and the skills in micro-miniature (NASA 2M) work to do the component level repair. That's one job I'm second most proud of here.

        2. imanidiot Silver badge

          Re: Why should apple care?

          Look up Louis Rossmann on youtube. You'll find Apple products (pretty much all of them, ranging form macbooks to iphones) are repairable at the component level. Yes, the large chips, like the processor and RAM chips require specialized skills and tools to replace, but it's certainly doable. If you can get the chips and the board schematics, which Apple is making harder and harder. Which is exactly why this whole right-to-repair is so important.

          1. JJKing Bronze badge
            Flame

            Re: Why should apple care?

            Beware of Louis. According to Apple's lawyer, Louis can magically change a MacBook into a PC by replacing a defective chip on the Mac's logic board with the exact same chip that Apple uses. That's just witchcraft or warlockcraft and the Rossmann Group should be forced to move to Salem.

            And lawyers wonder why they are down so low on the totem pole of popularity. Think the judge(s) in this instance should join them if they believe crap like that. It's just like the prosecutor who told the judge that Kevin Mitnick could launch ICBMs (you know, the ones with the instant bucket of sunshine) if he had access to a laptop that had no connection to any other machines. Some people are such luddite twats.

      2. Olivier2553 Silver badge

        Re: Why should apple care?

        The idea that anything other than batteries or displays will be "repaired" in a smartphone is silly. Maybe the odd button or connector in certain circumstances. That's all we should be worrying about.

        I kind of disagree. My grand son had a phone that had a faulty connection in the mainboard: it would work and stop working and work again when bumped at a specific angle. Cold or broken solder. Local shops would not go though the detailed diagnostic and I finally decided to discard the phone. I am now thinking that I should have tried to reflow the solder first, if it worked, he would have saved the cost of a replacement unit.

      3. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: Why should apple care?

        "It is impossible to "repair" a chip"

        But it's easy to replace a broken chip, assuming that you can get a replacement part. That's a huge part of what the right-to-repair movement is trying to ensure you can do.

        "If you have a tiny fiddly board with two dozen chips ranging from a grain of rice to a thumbnail in size, on both sides, how could it possibly make financial sense for anyone to take the time to diagnose and then desolder and replace one?"

        Finding and replacing borked chips isn't nearly as hard or time-consuming as you seem to think. Also, there's the fact that microchips are not the most common parts to fail.

        1. DougS Silver badge

          Re: Why should apple care?

          Getting a replacement part is easy. There are other phones that are broken you can cannibalize parts from. Why would you need a supply of new parts for a consumer item that sells in the tens of millions each quarter?

  8. Headley_Grange Silver badge

    RAT

    What about creating a standard for repairability and then adding Repairability Added Tax to widgets based on how well they score? Poor repairability = low score = high RAT = lower sales = incentive to do something about it.

    I guess that the flaw in the proposal is that many people already seem willing to pay stupidly high prices for devices which they know cannot be repaired and they expect to replace in about 2 years, so manufacturers wouldn't have any incentive to avoid the RAT.

    The manufacturer's marketing dept. will, I assume, argue that widgets are hard to repair because they have to be really, really, really thin. They can fuck off.

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Re: RAT

      While it isn't a standard, iFixit does teardowns of popular devices and assigns a repairability score to them - and in the process shows you have to disassemble them so you can e.g. replace the battery. I'm not sure how you'd "standardize" such a subjective thing.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: RAT

        Repairability is only a part of the equation, since one has to take into account durability and user satisfaction as well. I.e, it doesn't matter how easy it is to repair if it doesn't go wrong, and if it was a frustrating piece of trash to begin with then nobody will actually want to fix it.

        1. JohnFen Silver badge

          Re: RAT

          "it doesn't matter how easy it is to repair if it doesn't go wrong"

          Every machine that man has ever made will eventually break down.

          1. DougS Silver badge

            Re: RAT

            If a machine outlives me or its usefulness to me, I would consider it to "never go wrong".

    2. Nick Kew Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: RAT

      I'm minded to point to the entire Free Software movement as evidence of a large minority who care about the right to fix things. With an activist core who really care a lot, and a wider user base who care in varying degrees.

      Looking outside our own discipline, I recently replaced a dead washing machine[1]. In researching a new one, I found articles from people in the business who care a lot about repairability, and tell you what to look out for. Of course they're up against "probably cheaper to buy a whole new one". And if that's true for a mechanical device that spins a load at 1400rpm, how much more so an electronic device with no moving parts to break in ways we can understand and know what needs fixing?

      [1] The dead one was just two months shy of 14 years old, and had outlasted a fridge-freezer bought at the same time. So I can't complain too loudly.

      1. imanidiot Silver badge

        Re: RAT

        Many electronics, with the proper knowledge, or access to schematics can easily be fixed with a few dollars worth of components and a few hours work. Is it worth it to shell out 150 dollars for a new motor, drive belt and bearings on a 14 year old washing machine? Probably not. Is it worth it to spend 150 dollars on a 800 dollar device that's barely 2 years old and holds all your photos, agenda, email, etc? For a lot of people, yes.

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: RAT

        "[1] The dead one was just two months shy of 14 years old, and had outlasted a fridge-freezer bought at the same time. So I can't complain too loudly."

        And to be fair, in the case of a 14 year old washing machine, there's a fair chance a new one will pay for itself in a few years in energy savings (and water, if you are metered) Similar applies to fridge/freezers. Sometimes replacing old kit is actually the best option.

  9. Raffbone

    Don't forget that this headline was done once before...

    http://www.thecelticwiki.com/page/2000-02-08%3A+Celtic+1-3+Inverness+Caledonian+Thistle%2C+Scottish+Cup

  10. Johnny Canuck

    @DougS

    People do desolder and solder tiny components on phones and laptop motherboards. See any number of videos by Jessa Jones and Louis Rossman. The Guy from "Parts Unknown" even added a headphone jack to his iPhone 7.

    1. Jack of Shadows Silver badge

      Re: @DougS

      I used to have that level of certification including repairing/replacing traces on multilayer boards. TEMPEST too, for that matter. I wouldn't even try now due to neurological degeneration.

      1. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: @DougS

        Personally, I think soldering and desoldering those tiny surface-mount parts is actually easier than doing the same with old-school through-hole parts. BGAs excepted -- those are roughly on par in terms of difficulty with through-hole.

  11. davideckels

    With a few refinements

    For instance medical instruments: if the end user wants to repair it, the manufacturer cannot be held responsible for life threatening errors caused by the unlicensed repair, and only the repairer is liable in the civil lawsuit.

    Everyone with brain cells says “oh yes obviously this isn’t that”...but the law will undoubtedly be written vaguely enough that we’ll wonder if lawmakers are in the group of people described as “everyone with brain cells”.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: With a few refinements

      Plus what happens when the manufacturers switch to using parts for which only they hold the patents? Then they can counter with patent law's requirement to defend the patents.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: With a few refinements

        That nicely illustrates a problem with lack of regulation.

      2. imanidiot Silver badge

        Re: With a few refinements

        Easy, they are required to sell the replacement parts at a reasonable cost. If it's severely patented that reasonable cost can be profitable. This is definitely not an argument.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: With a few refinements

          Why would they be forced to do that? Their patents aren't Standard-Essential and any kind of price control flies in the face of free market philosophy. Plus, who defines "reasonable" when they hold a captive market like the guerillas controlling the only well in town?

          1. JohnFen Silver badge

            Re: With a few refinements

            > price control flies in the face of free market philosophy

            [...]

            > when they hold a captive market like the guerillas controlling the only well in town

            If they hold a captive market, then it's not a free market so free market philosophies no longer apply.

            1. Charles 9 Silver badge

              Re: With a few refinements

              Sure it is. A free market simply means a market where the government doesn't intervene. That says nothing about de facto monopolies which come about through simple seizure of opportunity (like guerillas controlling the only well in the town).

          2. imanidiot Silver badge

            Re: With a few refinements

            Because the proposed right-to-repair bill would not allow them to make proprietary parts unavailable. The tactic currently used by for instance the Fruity Company is to use weird chip numbers that have weird pinout and through contract clauses prevent their supplier from selling those chips to anyone else. The proposed rules changes would make that last part illegal and thus the first part uninteresting. This would by itself already make repair easier as suppliers would stop using weird chips just to prevent anyone attempting a chip replacement.

  12. Da Weezil

    Just a small point, I guess many consumers - like me - took advantage of the battery replace offer to refresh a phone they are very happy with and have no plans to "upgrade" to a phone that doesnt have features they want like a 3.5 jack or a "home" button, or fingerprint unlock.

    So not a lost sale for Apple, just a cheap overhaul for the consumer. Thats how it worked for me and several people I know.

  13. lafnlab
    Megaphone

    Talk to/write to your legislator

    I live in Indiana which is one of the states considering a right-to-repair law. I did this a few months ago and it was painless. It took about 20 minutes to write something and send it in.

    If you make a living doing repairs, contact your legislator and tell them how the right-to-repair affects you and your job. Hopefully it will counterbalance what they're being told by Apple, John Deere, etc.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Talk to/write to your legislator

      You know what they say: Money talks, all else walks. Unless you have a bottomless checkbook, you can't talk louder than firms where seven-figure checks are just nicks on the proverbial roll. Hell, at those rates, they can finance whole campaigns for whoever they want.

  14. Bryan Hall

    HVAC

    Could we add HVAC manufacturers to this list? They don't want to sell you anything such as replacement blower fans, etc. unless you are a "licenced professional". And if you do somehow manage to get a unit or part, all warranty is void This is complete rubbish as there is nothing complicated with installing a replacement fan, etc.

    This is just another example of the current control freak society who thinks nobody should be able to do anything for themselves and we all should be completely dependent on "professionals" who they can further tax (license) and control to make themselves feel more powerful.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: HVAC

      I'd sooner add gas distribution companies. Our local company came out to replace a gas meter. They would not come out unless they had access to inspect all equipment (even though I stated that everything was spark ignite - no pilot lights), On inspection they did a 'repair tag' that required a licensed installer to correct within 42 days - for what you may ask? To make sure that the boilers were 'serviced on a yearly basis' - in short that I hire someone to come out, vacuum the burners and then sign the %^&*I paperwork that the boilers were serviced....neither one of the 'techs' who did the work found ANYTHING wrong with the setup....

  15. Potemkine! Silver badge

    Having the right to fix as you want the stuff you own

    Sounds good, sound even obvious.

    1. Boohoo4u

      Re: Having the right to fix as you want the stuff you own

      It’s not that simple. There is a reason Apple devices have a high resell value, its because Apple repairs/refurbishes their own devices (for the most part).

      If the “right to repair” goes through the there will be a flood of trash out there, and Apple resell value will decline. One of the reasons why customers pay more for Apple devices is due to the high resell value. Smart Apple buyers don’t want Joe Schmo’s repair service.

      For those doubting Apple Store superiority. I have personal experience. I have taken my iPhones and IPads to Apple Store multiple times. Each and every time I get the device back in pristine condition. My sister takes hers to ifixit (or whatever it’s called) to save the extra 30min. drive and a few bucks. She’s had problems with the mike and speakers (different phones) when only getting the screens replaced. Not only is the screen sub oem quality, they introduced new problems.

      Hell no to “right to repair”. I want to be able to buy referbs with confidence or sell my phone with a high trade in value. If Apple is able to certify the all repair shops... then I don’t care as much. But that’s not going to happen....

      1. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: Having the right to fix as you want the stuff you own

        "If the “right to repair” goes through the there will be a flood of trash out there, and Apple resell value will decline"

        That's something that Apple can easily address the same way other companies have addressed this in the past: offer a "certified pre-owned" program. It would be easy for Apple to certify that a used device was never touched by anybody but them, keeping the resale value for those devices high, while at the same time allowing people who don't care about the resale value of the device they own to be serviced in any way they deem fit.

      2. The Nazz Silver badge

        Re: Having the right to fix as you want the stuff you own

        re each and every time.

        Really, sounds like you've been buying shit to start with.

  16. Kicker of Metaphorical Cats

    Beyond John Deer

    Tesla requires a VIN before they will even tell you if a part is available and flat out refuses to sell certain (most?) parts unless they are doing the service. Certain VW transmissions require a computer to set the fluid level and they will not sell the computer to anyone other than a VW dealer. Ford voids warranties on new vehicles if suspension work (e.g., leveling kits) was done by someone other than a Ford dealer. GM voids warranties if the serialization code in the computer does not match what they last pulled (you cannot save the config, re-flash, and put the original back on). Heck, dealers permission and a code from GM (which GM is unlikely to give) if you put significantly larger tires (lifted truck) on a vehicle that requires the transmission to be reprogrammed with the tire size for the speedometer to read correctly.

    Now should they be forced to do these things? I say no. However, I do think they should be required to follow something similar to a perpetual licensing model. This is what you can/cannot do when you buy the vehicle, phone, whatever, and they cannot change the rules for your purchase after the sale. Change it all they want for future stuff, but then you get to decide if you want to buy that new agreement or point your wallet in a different direction.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Beyond John Deer

      Then what happened to the Right of First Sale (also known as the Exhaustion Principle)? Why should car manufacturers (or anyone else) have the right to hold First Sale hostage?

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