Productivity Commission to run right to repair inquiry

Picture: Shutterstock
Picture: Shutterstock

The right to repair electronic devices without fear of forfeiting the manufacturer warranties is another step closer, with the federal government this week announcing an inquiry into the issue.

A Productivity Commission inquiry will focus on consumers' ability to repair good and access repair services at competitive prices

"We have also been asked to look at arrangements for preventing premature or planned product obsolescence and the proliferation of e-waste, as well as means of reducing e-waste through improved access to repairs," the commission said in a statement.

ACT Greens leader Shane Rattenbury, the territory's then consumer affairs minister, secured a commitment for the inquiry at the Consumer Affairs Forum in August last year.

"Australians are among the highest users of technology products, generating around 25 kilograms of e-waste per capita each year," Mr Rattenbury said at the time.

"A 'right to repair' means that consumers won't simply be stuck dealing with one manufacturer - they can take issues into their own hands to get the product repaired [or] get help from a third party."

Apple was in 2018 found by the Federal Court to have unfairly penalised Australian customers who had taken their iPhones and iPads to other companies for screen repairs. The ruling was considered to have global implications for how the company treated third-party repairs.

The commission expects to report in October next year.

This story Productivity Commission to run right to repair inquiry first appeared on The Canberra Times.

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