Amazon displays repair scores for electronics in other countries. Why not here?

Right to Repair scores tell consumers how repairable that new laptop or cell phone is. Amazon should display them for consumers in the U.S. to help reduce e-waste.

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No one clicks “add to cart” thinking “I’m going to buy something unfixable.”

But many phones and laptops sold on Amazon are designed to be difficult to fix. As an online shopper, it can be hard to know which ones are repairable and which ones are doomed to the dump.

Before we spend hundreds of dollars on a new phone or laptop, we deserve to know if it can be repaired when it breaks.

And there’s an easy solution: In some other countries, Amazon already displays a Right to Repair score that tells shoppers how fixable a product is. We think Amazon should do the same here in the United States.

How do Right to Repair scores help reduce e-waste?

The sheer volume of unfixable stuff available for sale online is a problem for both consumers and the planet. Electronic waste is the fastest-growing waste stream in the world. If we could fix our stuff, we’d prevent a lot of that waste from polluting our planet.

And, Americans spend nearly $1,500 on new electronics per household, per year. We could save a combined $40 billion if we could extend our electronics’ lifespans by 50% by repairing them.

Right to Repair scores for tech such as laptops, phones, and appliances, are like EnergyGuide labels for repairability. They provide consumers with a 1 through 10 score that measures the availability of spare parts, ease of disassembly, and longevity of support. 

If American consumers were able to tell at a glance if a new product is repairable, we could save money and avoid producing piles of e-waste. 

Amazon should make Right to Repair scores available to American consumers

When we raise our voices together, we know we can convince Amazon to adopt more sustainable practices.

PIRG and our national coalition sent 138,000 petitions to Amazon earlier this year urging the company to cut back on wasteful plastic packaging — and the company listened. Amazon has announced that it will phase out padded plastic shipping envelopes in favor of recyclable alternatives, a great first step toward cutting out wasteful plastic altogether.

Now we need to convince Amazon to take another simple step toward a more sustainable future.

Amazon is already displaying repair scores in other countries. Why isn’t the company letting Americans see if a product is fixable before we buy? 

By taking this simple step, Amazon can help its customers in the U.S. avoid unfixable products that are adding to our e-waste crisis, and set a sustainability standard for other companies to follow. But Amazon will only act if it hears from customers like you. 

Add your name to urge Amazon to display Right to Repair scores that tell us how fixable products are, as it does in other countries.

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Authors

Lucas Gutterman

Director, Designed to Last Campaign, PIRG

Lucas leads PIRG’s Designed to Last campaign, fighting against obsolescence and e-waste and winning concrete policy changes that extend electronic consumer product lifespans and hold manufacturers accountable for forcing upgrades or disposal.