‘Failing the Fix’ scorecard grades Apple, Google, Dell, others on how fixable their devices are

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Dell leads pack for laptops; Motorola for cell phones; Apple ranks lowest for both, according to repairability analysis by Right to Repair advocates.

BOSTON — Consumers often don’t know which products will last and they’ll be able to fix, or which manufacturers make fixable devices and support Right to Repair. A new scorecard from MASSPIRG Education Fund, “Failing the Fix,” ranks the most popular cell phone and laptop makers for consumers who seek to purchase easily repairable products – especially those from companies who do not fight Right to Repair.

“No one walks into the store and thinks ‘I’m going to buy something unfixable,’” said Janet Domenitz, executive director of MASSPIRG Education Fund. “People should be able to buy products that will last, be repairable when they break, and which are made by companies that respect our Right to Repair.”

Over the last year, France has required manufacturers to publish a repair score, from 0 to 10, with their products. “Failing to Fix” collected the French repair scores of 187 devices from 10 popular manufacturers, weighed a few additional factors related to how repair-friendly the manufacturers and products were, and came up with a final score.

Representative Adrian Madaro, who recently assumed the chief sponsor role for the Right to Repair bill pending in the MA Legislature, said, “Our electronics are some of the most expensive items we have; they help us stay connected to the people and resources we need. When they break, it’s often the case that we are unable to find a solution besides replacing them completely. The corporations who make these devices need to step up, help reduce waste, and give consumers a fair shake. That’s why I’m so enthusiastic about pushing the Right to Repair bill over the finish line.”

The report found that the prevalence of unfixable stuff is a problem for both consumers and the planet. The Environmental Protection Agency reports that electronic waste is now the fastest growing part of our domestic municipal waste stream, and an earlier PIRG report found Americans could save a combined $40 billion if they were able to repair instead of replacing their products.

“It is fundamentally fair to allow consumers the ability to repair the products they purchase or get them fixed at a trusted, skilled local business. If passed, the digital right to repair bill saves money, cuts waste, benefits consumers, and is good for small businesses. By guaranteeing that all products are fixable, Right to Repair brings power back to the people,” said Senator Paul Feeney (Foxborough).

Massachusetts was the first state to pass Right to Repair protections for car owners, and legislation to extend those protections to other kinds of products has been in consideration for the last 6 years. Current legislation, S. 166 and H. 341, sponsored by Sen. Michael Brady (Brockton) and Rep. Adrian Madaro (Boston), passed out of committee last month and is pending action in the state Senate.

The Failing the Fix scorecard is part of PIRG’s work to recognizeNational Consumer Protection Week 2022 by putting actionable consumer protection information in the hands of all Amercans. All week, MASSPIRG Education Fund is providing consumer protection tips and tools to help Americans address some of the most common consumer issues that threaten our health, safety or financial security. To see all of our resources for consumers, go to:https://masspirgedfund.org/blogs/blog/usf/national-consumer-protection-week-2022