Big Companies Don’t Want You To Save Money or the Environment- 17-Year-Old Fights For the Right to Repair

Surya Raghavendran started fixing phones when Apple installed a defective screen on his phone and tried to charge him $120 to fix it. He went a different route and bought a third party replacement screen for his phone and fixed it himself.

That was in ninth grade, and by tenth he had a small business repairing phones. Problems arose when Apple released an update and third party screens stopped working. Something similar happened in 2017, many speculate that this was meant to discourage non-Apple repairs.

From smartphones to farm equipment, companies want a monopoly on repairing those devices. Apple and John Deere charge a lot of money to repair what they manufacture, and make it hard for third parties or people themselves to do the repairs. Which ultimately hurts the end-user, the environment, and small businesses.

We treat everything as disposable and are often charged a premium because of it, both in immediate costs and freedoms and externalized costs and long term consequences. We need to start reusing things and moving into a more sustainable economy. Diverting electronics from landfills, and helping to decrease the need to pull more materials out of the ground.

Right to repair activists want corporations to turn over diagnostic information, repair manuals, and anything that will help people repair their own devices.

Photo: “Broken screen iPhone” by Bruno Sanchez-Andrade Nuño is licensed under CC BY 2.0