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Advocate for Right to Repair: Embrace Your Advocacy for a Good Cause and Communicate with the FTC

No matter if you’re a nagger (and you absolutely love to complain in detail and drive everyone around you crazy), or you’re the strong silent type, if you support the Right to Repair movement, now’s the time to act.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) wants to hear from you, says iFixit’s latest lengthy blog post.

On November 14, 2023, iFixit and the Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) asked the US federal government to regulate Right to Repair and petitioned the FTC to initiate a rulemaking for Right to Repair laws.

Now, the FTC announced the opening of a comment submission period. “This is the key next step, and the popularity determines whether the FTC will respond to our petition with a draft rule”, reads the iFixit blog:

So, crack your fingers, recall the last time you had a product break without good repair options, and tell FTC your story.

The deadline is Friday, February 2.

What’s in the Petition?

iFixit’s petition proposed a variety of ways the FTC could restore competition in repair markets around the country.

“We identified several ways that companies could make repair easier and more widely available:”

  • Accessibility of Consumable Components: Parts that routinely wear out, like batteries, should be replaceable and readily available for the product’s entire lifespan.
  • Availability of Common Parts: Components prone to wear and tear should be easily replaceable.
  • Freedom of Repair Choice: Consumers should have the liberty to choose their repair provider or opt for DIY solutions.
  • Sustained Product Support: Even after a product is discontinued, its key functions should remain intact, with repairs possible through independent shops.
  • Interchangeability of Identical Components: Components from identical devices should be interchangeable without needing manufacturer intervention.
  • Protection of Consumer Privacy: Independent repair shops should not be mandated to disclose customers’ personal information to manufacturers.

“We suggested that the FTC might initiate a repairability labeling rule, adding repair information to the yellow Energy Guide labels on energy-intensive products like TVs and washing machines. Or perhaps they might mandate a period of availability of repair parts, tools, or manuals“.

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