NJ considers forcing cell phone makers to share repair information
A Garden State lawmaker wants to force electronic manufacturers to share repair information and tools.
Assemblyman Paul Moriarty, D-Gloucester, said his Fair Repair Act would give require Apple and other companies to provide info “with other people so they can either repair stuff themselves or entrepreneurs can open businesses that can more efficiently and more cheaply fix your electronic gear.”
“The big electronic manufacturers have a monopoly on repairs. If you don’t bring it to them to get it repaired they can void your warranty. I think that’s unacceptable. It drives up the cost of repairs, and they will be cheaper if this bill passes.”
“People should be able to take their electronic equipment to get fixed where and when they want to, as opposed to having to take it to the manufacturer, just like they take their car to whoever they want to repair their car.”
He pointed out for something like a cracked screen of a cell phone, to get it fixed right you have to bring it back to the company that made it and pay about $130 dollars, but “if more people can repair these things, and if they have the tools and the know-how that’s provided by the manufacturer, the price is going to come down and those repairs are going to be more affordable.”
He noted similar legislation has been proposed in 12 other states, so clearly it’s an idea whose time has come.
But there’s a catch.
“There’s a lot of push-back from the industry. They’re going to spend a lot of money lobbying against this and we’re going to try our hardest to get this passed,” he said.
Moriarty plans to bring the measure up in the Assembly Consumer Affairs committee, which he chairs, as soon as possible.
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You can contact reporter David Matthau at David.Matthau@townsquaremedia.com