Consumer Reports Survey Finds Americans Support Right to Repair

Survey Finds Americans Support Right to Repair

Consumer Reports released findings from a nationally representative survey about consumer attitudes toward repairing and replacing broken products and the choices available to them. A strong majority of Americans expressed support for policies that would help ensure consumers have the ability to repair their own products or to have them repaired by the servicer of their choice.

The right to repair means that the manufacturer cannot require consumers to take the product to the manufacturer’s hand-picked repair shop.

Other highlights from the survey include:

Consumer Reports says that eight out of ten Americans (81%) say they have, in the past five years, replaced at least one of the types of items asked about (smartphones, small and large home appliances, and vehicles) due to breakage. When deciding which product to purchase in certain categories, repairability is important. For those planning to buy a vehicle, 83% say repairability is very important; for large appliances, 60% say it’s very important. When asked if they believe consumers have enough choices when it comes to picking where they will get something repaired, more than half (57%) of Americans said “No,” there are not enough choices for at least one of the product types asked about.

More than half of Americans (53%) say they have replaced a broken product, in at least one of the categories we asked about, sooner than they wanted to because they couldn’t find a repair professional they were happy with to fix it.

Most Americans (84%) say they agree with a policy that would require manufacturers to make repair information and parts available either to independent repair professionals or to product owners. Legislation to guarantee consumers the right to repair has been gaining support at the state and national level as manufacturers have made it more difficult to make what should be simple repairs on electronics-enabled products.

Consumer Report says right to repair advocates have been making progress on several fronts in recent months. Last November, Apple announced that it planned to start providing customers with access to parts, tools, and manuals necessary to repair certain models of the iPhone.

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