Productivity Commission prepares Right to Repair report to support consumers

Right to Repair report supports consumers


GROWING community concern that repairing everyday products is getting harder and costlier for consumers, has driven the Australian Government Productivity Commission to prepare a report on consumers’ ‘right to repair’.

General public were invited for their input by 23 July, with the draft now being prepared for delivery to the Australian Government.

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The issue is that such items as mobile phones, tablets and agricultural machinery are required by warranty to be repaired or replaced by the manufacturer only.

Damon Laverick at Coffs Computers, an independent repairer on Harbour Drive, told News Of The Area, “When a customer brings their iPhone to us as a certified Apple repairer we do a report and order specific parts to do the repair.

“This can take three to five working days.

“If you have a Samsung phone you have to send it to Samsung and wait maybe two weeks to get it back.”

The draft ‘Right to Repair’ report outlines measures including: to require that manufacturers provide independent repairers and consumers with access to repair information, tools and/or spare parts.

Another is to change copyright law to allow independent repairers to legally access and share repair supplies such as manuals and software diagnostics.

It also proposes requiring manufacturer warranties to clearly state that if consumers use independent repairers, they will not lose their legal rights to the consumer guarantees, even if the manufacturer ‘voids’ the warranty due to independent repair.

Dean Price, Senior Campaigns and Policy Advisor at CHOICE told News Of The Area, “People should be able to use a repairer of their choice and companies shouldn’t be allowed to stop this choice.

“It’s especially important for people outside of major cities such as Coffs; with only one authorised Mac repairer in Coffs and the nearest Apple store being on the Gold Coast.

“We also want to see manufacturers make it much clearer to consumers that they are often owed much more than their warranty covers – such as a repair, replacement or refund under the Australian Consumer Law.”




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