Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Right to repair

SO - if we agree that we have the right to repair things? Does that actually help?

"Right to repair" could be enshrined in law (EU or otherwise) but it won't really help, unless we also have the ability to repair.

Just like Brother/Sister Loretta in Monty Python's Life of Brian, fighting for the right to have babies, but without a womb it's not really useful.
REG: What's the point of fighting for his right to have babies when he can't have babies?!
FRANCIS: It is symbolic of our struggle against oppression.
REG: Symbolic of his struggle against reality.

My experience - Indesit Hob

The Indesit hob was brilliant. It was perhaps, the most amazing thing I've ever repaired. I pulled it to pieces - with standard tools - and the parts were all clear. I easily identified the failed part.

But the best thing was, Indesit supplied a replacement at a reasonable price and delivered it quickly. It was easy to fit and worked first time. The hob works to this day.

Unbranded / Screwfix hedge trimmer

The hedge trimmer worked fine until it hit some metal fencing wire, then it stopped. The culprit was found - despite Torx security screws holding the thing closed - to be a smashed metal helical gear. After reading all documentation and talking to Screwfix. it was clear that a replacement was never going to be forthcoming.

The trimmer got replaced under sale-of-goods "reasonable durability"  but it's definitely a lose. I expect they threw the broken one in the bin (along with a bunch of others with the same fault presumably)

Deraileur gear mech hangers

On bicycles, Deraileur  gears are the most popular. Each bike frame which uses them, has a "mech hanger" which is a sacrifical steel part designed to bend or break if the mech ever ends up in the spokes.

Unfortunately there is no standard for these parts and they come in a dizzying array of shapes and sizes. Manufacturers are not interested in providing spares for discontinued models (even though they might have some stock for current models).

How do we fix our bikes? Several companies now use modern (CNC) techniques to make any mech hanger - and keep databases of designs. These will be available essentially forever because they are made to order and the designs don't consume physical space.


We need companies to provide spares (like Indesit). If they can't economically provide spares, they should provide information which allows other companies to make spares using modern CNC or other techniques (like mech hangers). 
The right to repair is great. The right to have babies is great, if you have a womb.

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