ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — With technology evolving every day, new legislation would make it easier to repair products like phones and computers. The Digital Fair Repair Act would allow small businesses to repair devices locally rather than through manufacturers.
This bill would require original equipment manufacturers (OEM) like Apple or Samsung to make spare parts, schematics and software available to independent repair shops.
For Louis Rossman, owner of Rossmann Repair Group, he says this bill would allow him to purchase the parts he needs without jumping through hoops. He says consumers don’t know how difficult it is to attain parts needed to repair their devices.
Rossman says oftentimes, repair shops get their parts from China or Korea where factory employees sell pieces that are meant to be thrown away.
“They think that I just buy these parts on the Internet, so there’s a lot of jobs that we say no to or if you would like your data off this come back in five years when the chips are available and they just look at me side eyes like ‘what do you mean come back in five years when the chip is available?’ But that’s the reality of our business,” he said.
Gay Gordon-Byrne, Executive Director of The Repair Association, has been fighting for this piece of legislation for years and says this would be good for the economy.
“We literally all benefit if we can fix our stuff even if we never use an independent repair shop, the fact that there’s an option keeps prices in line and it keeps service quality up because if somebody does a lousy job they’re not gonna get repeat business,” she said.
The legislation would also make industrial parts more easily available for farmers, who say they end up waiting months for a repair from manufacturers.