How much does it cost to get a phone fixed?
On Wednesday, it looked like there might be a way for the majority of American consumers to make a phone fix that doesn’t involve expensive equipment.
But now, the National Consumer Law Center (NCLC) has announced it’s working on a lawsuit that would require manufacturers to sell devices with “a ‘repair’ button.”
The NCLC has filed suit against Apple, Samsung, HTC, and Motorola to force them to put “repair” buttons on phones.
The plaintiffs are asking the court to rule that these manufacturers are responsible for the “costs and damages” of the phones they sell, and that the “repair button” is a consumer product.
“These companies have the power to sell consumer products that are built for consumers, and they’ve sold them to millions of Americans who are willing to pay more for a phone that can’t be fixed, because the repair button is an extension of that device,” NCLC President and CEO Amy Finkelstein told Ars.
“And if they don’t fix it, consumers have no recourse, and if they do, the manufacturers can simply keep making more phones.”
As it stands, consumers can purchase a “smart phone repair” button for $40 on Amazon, but that price only applies to phones sold in the U.S.
A number of other lawsuits have also been filed against Samsung and HTC, arguing that the devices should be required to have a “repair function” that can be turned on or off.
For now, Finkelson says, this lawsuit is the first to require manufacturers “to make the devices they sell in the United States, with a repair function, so that consumers have the option of replacing that device if it’s not working.”
The NCLC will soon file a second suit that will require companies to make the repair function accessible, but only for devices that are made in China.