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US FTC States Repair Limitations Forced by Manufacturers Impact Consumer Rights, Small Businesses

US FTC States Repair Limitations Forced by Manufacturers Impact Consumer Rights, Small Businesses

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released a report addressing consumer protection and antitrust issues related to repair restrictions imposed by manufacturers, particularly in the mobile phone and automotive industries. These repair restrictions include the use of adhesives, which makes it difficult to replace parts, makes diagnostic software more difficult to obtain and limits the availability of replacement parts.

These repair restrictions will harm small businesses and affect consumer rights under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. It also outlines the measures the FTC can take in certain non-maintenance practices. A report submitted to Congress by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) mentioned that the repair and maintenance of many consumer products have become increasingly difficult because they usually require special tools, the use of proprietary diagnostic software, or hard-to-find parts.

Consumers repair their phones or other equipment, but this also limits the ability of small repair shops to repair equipment problems. These methods to prevent manufacturers from performing repairs, especially in the mobile phone and automotive industries, violate the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, which regulates the warranty of consumer products. The report also mentioned that many black-owned small businesses carry out repairs and maintenance, and these anti-maintenance practices will have a disproportionate impact on small paint companies.

The report cited research showing that low-income Americans are more dependent on smartphones, and these communities are negatively affected by smartphone maintenance restrictions. Manufacturers usually use adhesives for phone parts, while notebook manufacturers (such as Microsoft stick batteries and display panels) use adhesives that are difficult to replace. Some manufacturers make their diagnostic software unavailable, so buyers, and sometimes even repair shops, cannot understand the problem and are therefore forced to bring the device to the manufacturer.

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In some cases, cell phones and car manufacturers restrict the availability of spare parts. Forcing consumers to order parts directly from the manufacturer, resulting in longer delivery times or higher costs. According to the report, the manufacturer said that these repair restrictions were established to protect intellectual property rights and prevent infringement. Restrictions can prevent reputational damage, which may be caused by the poor quality of repairs in small repair shops, thereby making them liable. In order to solve these problems, the FTC pointed out that manufacturers can exacerbate safety hazards by “not providing parts and manuals to personnel and repair shops, and these manuals do not contain information about the dangers of certain repairs”.

In some cases, if the compensation limit causes significant damage (economic loss or unreasonable health and safety risks) that cannot compensate for the benefits to consumers or competitors, the company may use the repair period. According to Article 5 of the Federal Trade Act, it is considered illegal. Committee. In some cases, this can be considered a violation of antitrust laws. The FTC can also “make certain types of repair restrictions illegal.

US FTC States Repair Limitations Forced by Manufacturers Impact Consumer Rights, Small Businesses

credit: ndtv

LAST THOUGHTS:

These repair restrictions include the use of adhesives, which makes it difficult to replace parts, makes diagnostic software more difficult to obtain and limits the availability of replacement parts. A report submitted to Congress by the US Federal Trade Commission mentioned that the repair and maintenance of many consumer products have become increasingly difficult because they usually require special tools, the use of proprietary diagnostic software, or hard-to-find parts.

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