One thing we have learnt this week – right to repair

43788119_1135480189940189_4856292381688856576_nThe EU has introduced a right to repair directive.  One of the most annoying things that happens is that you buy something and it does not last.  Also annoying is that when whatever it is goes wrong repair is either very expensive rendering it uneconomic or impossible.  This in my experience is most prevalent with electronic goods.  We have found this with a Toshiba DVD recorder.  It went wrong.  We bought it online so getting it sent back to Toshiba was difficult.  My to my surprise they actually did repair it and send it back to us.  It then gradually went wrong again with various features stopping working before conking out completely just after its guarantee ran out (about 1 month).  Of course Toshiba did not want to know.  Its not all bad news.  Cars have got much more reliable than when I was young although arguably much more difficult to service and repair.

When I was young there was a whole industry that repaired things.  Everything from clothes to shoes to TV’s.  This infrastructure has disappeared although there are repair shops opening up such as one in Edinburgh where you can take anything or the makers club near me which does iron work (above).  The EU directive should make such initiatives much more viable.  It should also force manufacturers to design recycling in and make their goods more reliable (many of us think built in unreliability is a ploy to get us to buy new stuff).  The right to repair should mean less stuff going to landfill as well.

Neil

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