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Why don’t manufacturers want us to repair their equipment?

Manufacturers are changing their approach. While once the emphasis was on the easiest possible repair of virtually any electronics, nowadays it is definitely not so. Spare parts directly from the manufacturers are essentially unavailable, and repair manuals as well. Brands are even able to go so far as to sue those who try to distribute official service manuals for free.

At the same time, the situation was diametrically different a few decades ago. Even a brand such as Apple, nowadays a major opponent of service for its products (especially from unauthorized services), has added detailed manuals to its computers. These, in the case of most failures, allowed their owners to figure out the cause of the problem, and the owners themselves were even able to remove it themselves. However, the smarter, more advanced and more functions the devices have, the more often various failures occur.

Why should this problem bother us all?

The situation in which many users, and possibly you as well, have already found themselves, looks as follows. The device malfunctions. First of all, it is very difficult to find out the very cause of the fault, its exact form. Only the manufacturer himself and possibly authorized services have the necessary tools for this. However, repair is often so expensive that the consumer decides to buy a new device.

Even for a relatively small problem, the entire device is changed so often, simply because of the poor availability of spare parts or repair instructions. Of course, only one stakeholder is happy, and that is the manufacturers. Their income comes mainly from the sale of new equipment and it is therefore in their interest that the user, instead of keeping his equipment alive, proceeds to replace it as soon as possible. For the rest of us, however, it means something completely different.

Unnecessary costs

What each user feels directly is the cost. The cost of buying a new device is often very high, especially for the top models in the category. However, a number of corrections could be relatively easily resolved. However, this is not in the interests of manufacturers who are not afraid to fight against servicing their own equipment.

They also have very effective means to do so. Most modern electronics need software to function, but this remains the property of the manufacturer even after the consumer has purchased the device. If the manufacturer finds that an unauthorized repair has taken place, he shall have the means to make such devices remotely inoperable.

A well-known case is from Macedonia, where the owner of an iPhone had the glass replaced by an unauthorized service center. Although the device continued to work smoothly, the manufacturer literally turned it off through the next update. He justified his actions by protecting the privacy and security of the user, which could be allegedly compromised.

Brands simply do not want their equipment to be repaired and, if so, only at authorized services. However, the price is often significantly higher there and the repair itself is no longer so attractive.

Amount of waste

The second, even more serious problem is the growing amount of waste that is generated due to the short life of today's electronics. In 2019 alone, more than 53 million tons of so-called e-waste has been created. This is a serious problem for our nature and for ourselves. In addition, the long-term trend is rising sharply and, given the ever-worsening service options, it will probably only get worse in the near future.

What can all of us do for it, though?

If you want to save the environment and your own wallet, in case of any malfunction, always carefully consider whether you or a professional service can remove it. However, we certainly do not recommend performing the repair without the necessary knowledge or tools or entrusting it to an unprofessional technician. On the other hand, if the manufacturer only offers you the option of exchanging for a new piece (of course with a high surcharge), try to consult another, verified service.

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