Powered by momentummedia
nestegg logo
Powered by momentummedia
nestegg logo
nestegg logo

Invest

It should be easier to fix your phone, Productivity Commission finds

  • June 15 2021
  • Share

Invest

It should be easier to fix your phone, Productivity Commission finds

By Cameron Micallef
June 15 2021

The Productivity Commission has found that it should be easier for Australians to get their smartphone repaired and has recommended changes that include ‘super complaints’ to be reported to watchdogs.

It should be easier to fix your phone, Productivity Commission finds

It should be easier to fix your phone, Productivity Commission finds

author image
  • June 15 2021
  • Share

The Productivity Commission has found that it should be easier for Australians to get their smartphone repaired and has recommended changes that include ‘super complaints’ to be reported to watchdogs.

It should be easier to fix your phone, Productivity Commission finds

According to the report, it should be easier for Australians to get their smartphones, tablets and other devices repaired or replaced.

The commission reviewed the “right to repair” in Australia, with consumers complaining that companies make it harder or more expensive to repair devices by anyone other than the manufacturer themselves.

According to the findings, the most common issues in smartphones is related to screens smashing or batteries needing replacement.

Advertisement
Advertisement

However, despite the commonality, the manufacturers were found to make simple issues harder to resolve, with brands including Samsung and Apple allegedly making it nearly impossible to fix the device yourself, or get it repaired from a third-party source without voiding the warranty.

The report noted that some consumer groups say the difficulty in repairing could be intentional as software updates could be forcing consumers to purchase new products.

“Relatedly, there are concerns that the lifespans of everyday products are becoming unnecessarily short and that products are being discarded prematurely, contributing to wasted resources and the proliferation of ‘e-waste’,” the report stated.

These concerns have led to calls for the government to introduce a ‘right to repair’ law, with consumer group CHOICE highlighting the importance of strengthening and clarifying the right to repair laws for consumer goods in Australia.

“The Productivity Commission draft report released today recognises that a ‘right to repair’ is complex – it covers a lot of different laws and protections, from intellectual property to consumer protections,” says Dean Price, senior campaigner at CHOICE.

CHOICE points to internal survey data which shows that 85 per cent of Australians say that buying products that will last a long time is very or quite important to them, so we should be equipping people with information about how long a product will last.

“Our consumer laws are clear, we have a right to a repair, refund or replacement within a reasonable period if a product fails,” Mr Price highlighted.

“However, some companies fight customers every step of the way when they try to enforce these rights. The Productivity Commission is right that consumers need more options to escalate complaints when a company doesn’t play fair.”

CHOICE highlighted that the need for allowing consumer groups to make “super complaints” is long overdue in Australia, stating that a super complaint system would allow designated consumer organisations to take systemic failures to consumer regulators across the country and require these regulators to respond in a timely way.

“Providing consumers better guidance on durability is a welcome first step. The Productivity Commission has recommended that the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) provide input into the development of this guidance,” Mr Price said.

“But this guidance should be backed up by information on durability at the point of sale. People want to know how long a product will last when they’re shopping, and the information should be as easy to read as water and energy efficiency labels.”

It should be easier to fix your phone, Productivity Commission finds
It should be easier to fix your phone, Productivity Commission finds
nestegg logo

Forward this article to a friend. Follow us on Linkedin. Join us on Facebook. Find us on Twitter for the latest updates
Rate the article

About the author

author image

Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leverage their insights to grow your portfolio.

About the author

author image
Cameron Micallef

Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leverage their insights to grow your portfolio.

more on this topic

more on this topic

More articles

Website Notifications

Get notifications in real-time for staying up to date with content that matters to you.