right to repair: Customers can now freely repair or alter products; All you need to know about ‘Right to Repair’ – The Economic Times

Clipped from: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/india/customers-can-now-freely-repair-or-alter-products-all-you-need-to-know-about-right-to-repair/articleshow/92871011.cms

Synopsis

The ‘Right to Repair’ framework announced today is intended to empower consumers in the local market by harmonising trade between the original equipment manufacturers and the third-party buyers and sellers, while emphasising on developing sustainable consumption of products and reduction in e-waste.

The Department of Consumer Affairs on Thursday announced the ‘Right to Repair’ framework which is intended to

empower

consumers in the local market by harmonising trade between the original equipment manufacturers and the third-party buyers and sellers, while emphasising on developing sustainable consumption of products and reduction in e-waste.

The department has set up a committee which shall be chaired by Nidhi Khare, Additional Secretary, Department of Consumer Affairs, Government of India.

What is right to repair?

The right to repair prohibits unfair anti-competitive practices by manufacturers and asks them to make sure that customers can perform repairs either on their own or with the help of a third party agency.

When we purchase a commodity, we automatically become its full owner. It is argued that the customers should have the freedom to easily and affordably repair and alter products without being subjected to the whims of manufacturers.

What are the sectors included under the right to repair?

The sectors identified include farming equipment, mobile phones/ tablets, consumer durables and automobiles/automobile equipment.

Concerns that necessitated its framing

  • Repairs are frequently delayed, and are often made at exorbitant costs, leaving the customer who previously purchased the product with little to no choice.
  • Companies avoiding the publication of manuals that can help users make repairs easily.
  • Manufacturers having proprietary control over spare parts (regarding the kind of design they use for screws and other).
  • Monopoly on repair processes infringing the customer’s’ “right to choose”. Digital warranty cards, for instance, ensure that by getting a product from a “non-recognized” outfit, a customer loses the right to claim a warranty.
  • Manufacturers encouraging a culture of ‘planned obsolescence’, a system whereby the design of any gadget is such that it lasts a particular time only and after that particular period it has to be mandatorily replaced. When contracts fail to cede full control to the buyer-the legal rights of owners are damaged.

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