When an appliance is broken, getting access to the product’s repair manual from the manufacturer is often a consumer’s right. However, a new study has found that 86% of manufacturers don’t offer help with fixing the appliances and refuse to share repair manuals.
Consumer rights groups have called for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to interfere as appliance repair manuals are one of the key requirements listed in the right to repair.
After investigating 50 different appliance manufacturers and interviewing appliance technicians and industry experts, PIRG, iFixit, and Repair.org submitted the request to the FTC. said
Nathan Proctor, senior director of PIRG’s Right to Repair campaign said: “The manufacturers that make our home appliances have the incentive to either monopolize repair or discourage it so that their customers are forced to buy new products. People are fed up. It shouldn’t be so hard to access a repair manual. We want dishwashers and refrigerators that are easy to fix and last a long time.”
Elizabeth Chamberlain, director of Sustainability at iFixit also noted: “Consumers who want to fix their own stuff are completely out of luck. Appliance repair is in a dismal state, and the FTC has an opportunity to make the repair more accessible and affordable for everyone.”
The group then recommended: “The FTC would do well to include access to repair information directly on the EnergyGuide label, through QR codes, URLs, or both. Wider public access to appliance repair information would boost the feasibility of do-it-yourself repair, increase competition in the repair market, and ultimately benefit both the environment and consumers’ wallets”
Most appliance repair technicians reported struggling to find repair manuals for appliances, with some companies requesting huge amounts of money for software and “do-it-yourself” repair kits. This drastically increases the repair costs for consumers, and the FTC will now look into the issue.