Americans support Right to Repair as soon as they find out about it, survey shows

Americans support Right to Repair as soon as they find out about it, survey shows
The fight over Right to Repair has been going on for years now with various success. If you’re not familiar with it, here’s a quick summary. One one side, we have independent repair shops, individuals and small companies. They want to have the right and necessary tools and parts to fix the machines and electronics they’ve purchased. On the other side, we have large corporations that try to limit repair opportunities, so they can be the exclusive repair service provider and use that as an additional revenue source.

A notable example is the company John Deere that used the software on its tractors to lock out people from repairing them. In the world of smartphones, you’ve probably heard about Apple’s efforts against independent repair shops. The company commonly uses software updates to stop devices from working with unauthorized parts. Meanwhile, Apple refuses to sell authorized parts to said repair shops (there have been some recent developments on that front).

The Right to Repair movement’s goal is to have legislation passed that forces companies to stop practices that artificially limit a product’s repairability and make replacement parts, tools and documentation available to third parties. It sounds like a common-sense request but lobbyists (paid by corporations) are fighting hard to stop such laws from being passed.

But how familiar is the average person with this issue? Well, Waveform, a company that specializes in in-building cell service coverage, wanted to find out and ordered a survey. The survey was conducted by SurveyMonkey among 1,065 Americans. The group was age and gender-normalized to better reflect the US society as a whole.

The results are in, so let’s take a look!

Most Americans have no idea what Right to Repair is

Turns out, lobbyists have it easy because most people don’t even know there’s a thing called Right to Repair and what it’s all about. 55.4% of the participants said they’ve never heard of it and additional 16% had heard of it but without any significant knowledge about it.

After being familiarized with the basic concept of Right to Repair it turned out that support for it is overwhelming.

Almost three-quarters of the surveyed were immediately on board, while below 2% were against such legislation. Keep in mind that even if someone isn’t doing repairs themselves, the legislation would give them access to cheaper repairs for their electronics and other products.

Focusing on smartphones, the picture is pretty much the same…

Android and iOS users agree on one thing: they should have the right to repair their phones

With smartphones comfortably hovering around $1,000 and often reaching close to $1,500, it’s no surprise that users support the option to have their phones fixed rather than having to drop 10 benjamins on a new one. Here’s the breakdown:

Android users, being often more into hardware than the iPhone crowd are understandably a bit ahead but not by much. Both groups are above 70% in their support for Right to Repair.

More interesting is perhaps the fact that the Right to Repair legislation unites two groups that are at even greater odds than Andoid and iOS users: Republicans and Democrats.

Political alignment has no sway when it comes to repairs

The results are similar no matter how you choose to divide the population, party support included. Again, around 75% are supporting Right to Repair, with Democrats having an 8% advantage over Republicans and Independents. Those that are firmly opposed remain below 3%.

The survey also shows that the more knowledgeable people are on the matter the higher their support for Right to Repair is. That may be stating the obvious since the legislation has little negative effects on individuals, but it shows how important is just knowing that an issue exists in the first place.

Hopefully, with efforts like these, the word would spread and pressure would shift on legislators to make them realize what people actually want. And in due time, we’ll be able to have our devices repaired cheaper and easier.

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