Gadget makers may soon have to offer mandatory repair services for their products, from cellphones to laptops, as a consumer right. The Ministry of Consumer Affairs has set up a committee to develop a comprehensive framework on a “right to repair”, an official statement said Thursday.
This step could change the landscape of technical maintenance, reducing the costs of broken devices. Unlike automakers, mobile phone companies often don’t offer original repair options, forcing consumers to replace defective parts entirely or make a new purchase. That could change.
“Agricultural equipment, mobile phones/tablets, consumer durables and automobiles/automotive equipment among the sectors have been identified for right to repair by the committee,” the ministry said in its statement.
Consumer studies, such as a 2017 survey by Mostafa Sabbaghi of the University at Buffalo, showed that when tech products falter, most consumers replace them with new ones because repairs are difficult. faulty devices reliably. Often, manufacturers do not reveal complete maintenance information.
In the United States, for example, President Joe Biden in 2021 issued an executive order that “included a directive on limits on how technology makers could restrict repairs,” according to a New York Times report.
The aim of India’s new right to repair framework is to empower consumers and buyers of products in the local market, an official said. It also aims to harmonize exchanges between original equipment manufacturers and third-party buyers and sellers.
“Once deployed in India, it will be a game-changer both for product sustainability and will act as a catalyst for job creation through Aatmanirbhar Bharat (self-governing India) by enabling third-party repairs,” the official said. .
The committee, which met on Wednesday, said technology companies should provide full knowledge and access to manuals, schematics and software updates, the official said. “The software license should not limit the transparency of the product on sale. The parts and tools necessary for the maintenance of the devices, including diagnostic tools, must be made available to third parties, including individuals, so that the product can be repaired in the event of minor problems,” the statement said. .
“In the West, this is an ongoing battle between corporations and consumer rights activists, with governments becoming increasingly sensitive to a demand for reliable repairs, not just replacements of faulty parts,” he said. said Sajid Ali of the Internet Consumer Forum, a Bangalore. NGO based.