O president of United States, Joe Biden, has asked the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to create a “right of redress” rule to allow consumers to fix your devices in the independent establishments of your choice.

The subject is widely discussed in American retail: today, most manufacturers operating in the country work with their own technical assistance or pre-approved/agreement. In practice, this prevents you from looking for an establishment of your choice, or manufacturers claiming a breach of warranty if you do.


This practice, by the way, was the target of criticism from the FTC itself in May 2021.

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Image shows a woman holding a smartphone with a broken screen. President Joe Biden wants to change the repair rule, which recommends only the use of technical assistance provided to manufacturers
Many manufacturers, such as Apple, limit repairing broken devices to self-services only, but President Joe Biden wants to change that. Image: yelantsevv/Shutterstock

Companies like Apple e Microsoft, for example, often impose this type of limitation, with customers arguing that these guidelines contribute to increased repair costs for damaged appliances. While the size and scope of the new rule is yet to be decided by the FTC, sources close to the matter told Business Insider that it “will likely” encompass smartphones, tablets and video game consoles.

The executive order is expected to be made public in the coming days, and should also benefit the agribusiness North American: That's because farmers using heavy machinery often face high maintenance costs for modern tractors and other products, which often require expert care and proprietary tools and software. In short: material that only the manufacturer – at the price it decides – can offer.

The measure comes on the heels of a similar ad made by European Union, which recently confirmed the establishment of rules to place the decision-making power of repairs in the hands of the consumer within the Old Continent.

The other side of the coin

Companies that impose this limitation argue that allowing this access will bring more problems than benefits: according to Business Insider, technology companies and other manufacturers say that such a rule can cause mishaps such as the use of Batteries inadequate or second-hand, while tractors and agricultural machinery may be subject to unsanctioned vehicular modifications.

While the former argue that the situation can undermine the integrity of a smartphone or tablet, modified farm machinery can even be in violation of environmental standards usage and other security issues.

Biden's executive order to repair devices at independent stores is part of a larger project. Another part of it is intended to make it easier for large agricultural producers and ranchers to be prosecuted more easily if their workers find themselves in poor treatment (pay below the floor, unpaid overtime, abusive contractual clauses, etc.).

Another effect will be the updating of labels and packaging for some products. Biden wants to ban companies from naming items “Made in the USA” if their production comes from foreign countries – another common practice in technology companies, which outsource the production of their products to factory lines in China, Taiwan and South Korea.

While the order is expected to be announced in the next few days, there is still no exact date when a law can take effect.

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