The European Union (EU) has recently entered into a new agreement that aims to reinforce the rights of consumers in repairing their electronic devices and appliances. The goal is to extend warranties, require reasonable repair prices, and prioritize repair over replacement. This comes at a time when it has become common for broken devices to be replaced rather than repaired, leading to an increase in waste.
According to the agreement, when a device breaks down, users have the right to demand repair from the manufacturer instead of replacing it. Users can contact the manufacturer and request a repair at a reasonable price and within a reasonable period of time, even if the device is no longer under warranty. In addition, a repair form will be provided outlining the necessary repairs, spare parts, and estimated costs.
The repair must be offered free of charge, and users will receive an additional twelve months of warranty once the device is repaired and returned. Users also have the option to repair damaged devices at a third-party repair company or access the European online repair platform for information on how to do it themselves by visiting the manufacturer’s website.
The agreement addresses some of the difficulties that users face when trying to repair their devices at third-party companies such as lack of knowledge about available options or obstacles put in place by manufacturers to prevent repairs. Under this agreement, manufacturers are prohibited from preventing independent repairers from using second-hand or 3D printed spare parts.
It’s important to note that this is currently a provisional agreement that needs formal endorsement and adoption by both institutions before it becomes definitively effective.