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An undercover reporter from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation took a broken laptop to the Apple store in Toronto, where they were told repairs would be .
But when an independent tech opened the computer, it took him less than two minutes to repair it. For such a simple repair, said technician Louis Rossmann, he usually wouldn't charge anything. $1,200 vs. free -- how much more stark can it get?
Independent repair is getting harder and harder as manufacturers block access to parts and manuals. Independent repair is critical to fixing our relationship with throwaway products and our throwaway culture -- repair cuts waste and costs. When the only option for repair is going to the companies that made the product, there is a financial incentive to get the customer to upgrade to the newest version.
The truth is, on the campaign trail for right to repair, we hear stories like the CBC exposé quite often.
In testimony earlier this year, in Washington state, Bill Inglehart told a story of his work repairing computers. A local school district had 20 iMac computers, sitting in storage. Apple told them they were completely dead and would be $1,000-$1,200 to fix. The school instead replaced the computers, at around $2,000 each. Mr. Inglehart asked to take a look at a computer, opened it, and discovered the problem was an internal battery had gone dead -- .
Think about that next time you get asked to chip into the school fundraiser.
A lot of us have been in a position where we were told the repairs would cost more than the cost of a new item. And when we see exposés like the one CBC did, we have to ask ourselves, were we misled?
We might never get that $1,200 back. But, by backing right to repair, we can make sure we have options to keep our stuff working.
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