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UK bowls at a right to repair law

by on02 July 2021

Typically a bit rubbish

A British right to repair law comes into force today, requiring manufacturers to make spares available to both consumers and third-party repair companies, but while something like this should be good, the British have managed to find a way to make the law a bit rubbish.

Despite claiming to cover "televisions and other electronic displays", the law somehow excludes smartphones and laptops and enables the big tech polluters to carry on with their antics.

The European Union introduced a right to repair law in March, and the UK agreed prior to Brexit that it would introduce its own version.

From Thursday, manufacturers will have to make spares available to consumers, with the aim of extending the lifespan of products by up to 10 years, it said.

The right to repair rules are designed to tackle 'built-in obsolescence' where manufacturers deliberately build appliances to break down after a certain period to encourage consumers to buy new ones. Manufacturers will now be legally obliged to make spare parts available to consumers so appliances can be fixed.

Which? notes that the UK law ensures spares are available for either seven or 10 years after the discontinuation of a product, but that it only covers four specific consumer product categories (plus some commercial/industrial ones).

From the report: "Spare parts will have to be available within two years of an appliance going on sale, and up until either seven or 10 years after the product has been discontinued, depending on the part. Some parts will only be available to professional repairers, while others will be available to everyone, so you can fix it yourself. For now, the right to repair laws only cover: Dishwashers, Washing machines and washer-dryers, Refrigeration appliances, and Televisions and other electronic displays. They also cover non-consumer electronics, such as light sources, electric motors, refrigerators with a direct sales function (eg fridges in supermarkets, vending machines for cold drinks), power transformers and welding equipment. Cookers, hobs, tumble dryers, microwaves or tech such as laptops or smartphones aren't covered."


Last modified on 02 July 2021
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