Buying new household appliances every so often can be a bit of a headache, it can often seem like many essential appliances just aren’t built to last nowadays. If you have ever heard someone say or even thought yourself that it seems like older appliances used to last longer you might be on to something.
Many appliances today are designed to be more disposable but that could be about to change. The right to repair laws were introduced due to EU legislation and were finally signed off in January 2019. So, what does this mean for your home appliances?
There is a lot of fine print to go over but what the right to repair law basically means is that new legislation means manufacturers of household appliances will need to ensure their products are longer-lasting. This also means that appliances will need to be more easy and cost-effective to repair as well.
This is good news for buyers but the bad news is the right to repair law won’t come into effect till April 2021. However, the right to repair laws haven’t received universal praise there are some criticisms of the laws. So, let’s take a closer look at the criticisms of the law and the benefits to consumers in more details.
Right to repair criticisms
One of the main criticisms of the right to repair laws is that under the current guidelines as they are spare parts and even repair manuals could be heavily restricted. This means that essential parts and components might not be readily available to anyone not considered a professional repairman.
This means independent repair businesses could struggle to supply parts meaning your only option for repairs will be to contact your appliance's manufacturer. This will usually work out more expensive for consumers and the bad news is if this goes ahead as planned it will mean manufacturers will usually be the main option for repairs. Research from Repair Aid suggests that many people get a better deal by using an independent repair business rather than the appliances manufacturer.
Limiting the availability of repair services is not going to be a good thing for consumers and as the right to repair law currently stands this very well could happen. However, it is important to note that things could still change as April 2021 is some time off and the right to repair laws have already gone through some revisions.
While the impact the right the repair law could have on the availability of repair services is definitely a valid criticism there is still many benefits the right to repair law could bring. Let’s look at them in more detail below.
The benefits right to repair could bring
The right to repair laws might not be implemented officially for a couple of years (at the time of writing) however I think it is fair to say that many manufacturers will already be developing appliances with the right to repair law in mind. Many manufacturers won’t want to risk developing appliances that could infringe on the right to repair laws.
So, many of the appliances that are coming out right now will be designed to last longer. This is good news for consumers and because the right to repair law covers many different products including things like washing machines, lighting, dishwashers, fridges and microwaves (to name just a few) whatever you are buying you can benefit from the right to repair laws.
And after April 2021 you can pretty much guarantee that any household appliance will be designed to be more long-lasting and efficient. The good news doesn’t just mean better appliances for consumers though it also means you will likely be getting products that are more eco-friendly as well.
Environmental campaigners were one of the groups that praised the right to repair law because it would help cut waste from manufacturers and greenhouse gases. From an eco-friendly perspective the longer a household appliance lasts the better.
In an age where more consumers are concerned with the impact, their purchases have on the environment this is going to be a good thing and could actually help manufacturers build greater customer loyalty. If manufacturers are able to show they are focused on building high-quality appliances that are long lasting then they could easily get return custom.
So, let’s sum up the main benefits, shall we? The right to repair laws pretty much guarantee longer lasting household appliances after April 2021. Many manufacturers will already be developing appliances with these new laws in mind so you can likely benefit already by buying higher quality products.
This will help consumers save money and not have to worry about buying new appliances every time one develops a fault. You will also be helping protect the environment as well and even if an appliance does breakdown under the right to repair laws it should be easier to actually repair.
So, while there are certainly so valid criticisms of the right to repair law as they currently stand there are plenty of benefits as well. In recent years it might have seemed like many household appliances from ovens to microwaves just weren’t designed to last so it is great to see the right to repair law is looking to change things.
Right to repair – what could change?
The right to repair law is actually part of a group of EU laws known as Ecodesign many of these laws focused solely on being more eco-friendly but the right to repair law as a stronger emphasis on ensuring home appliances last longer. Of course, this will help reduce the environmental impact of manufacturing appliances as well but it also gives the consumer plenty of other benefits as well.
However, while I think the right to repair law as we know it now is likely to stay the same in many ways things could still change. Some of the criticism like previously mentioned could mean changes will be made after all 2021 is quite a while away.
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