News Release

New Report shows what Bay Staters are trying to fix

Study demonstrates demand in Massachusetts for accessible electronic repair guides
For Immediate Release

For More Information:

Sadie Statman, MASSPIRG Policy Intern; 617-935-5126; sstatman@masspirg.org

Nathan Proctor, U.S. PIRG Right to Repair Campaign Director; 617-747-4429; nproctor@pirg.org

 BOSTON -- While New Englanders’ thriftiness is alive and well, a new report released today by the MASSPIRG Education Fund, “What are Bay Staters Trying to Fix?” chronicles some big obstacles in their way. The report analyzes data from the popular repair website iFixit.com and looks at what items people in Massachusetts are trying to fix, and why that can be harder than it should be.

The report’s top findings include

●     1.6 million unique visitors from Massachusetts visited iFixit.com last year.

●     The most popular products people researched on iFixit were cell phones, laptops, automobiles and desktop computers.

●     Of the 10 most popular manufacturers, 6 don’t provide access to spare parts or technical service information.

“With 1.6 million unique visitors from Massachusetts using iFixit, it’s clear that Bay Staters want to fix our stuff.  After all, repairing an old device instead of buying a new one cuts waste and saves us money,” noted Janet Domenitz, executive director of MASSPIRG. “But too often, consumers are stymied in their repair efforts because most of the top manufacturers won’t provide access to spare parts, repair software or service diagrams.”

The report highlights the growing call for “Right to Repair” reforms, which would require manufacturers to make parts and service information available to consumers.

“iFixit.com has many guides for problems that manufacturers have told people are unfixable, and advised them that they need to replace the device. For example, you can easily change the battery in an iPhone yourself,” explained iFixit’s co-founder, Kyle Wiens. “And while we can provide spare parts for that repair, sometimes, we just can’t get the parts: Only the manufacturer has access to what we need to fix the device.”

The most important repair guides on iFixit among Massachusetts residents were for cell phones, and Apple was the most popular manufacturer. Among personal electronics, battery repair was the most common guide type. 

“Throwing out a $1,000 smartphone because it needs a $40 battery is absurd,” commented MASSPIRG policy intern Sadie Statman, who conducted research for the report. “It’s no wonder that we’re increasingly interested in fixing out electronics ourselves. Manufacturers should provide better access to parts and information, and if they won’t, state leaders should step up and enact Right to Repair reforms.”

 

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MASSPIRG (Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group) Education Fund (https://masspirgedfund.org/), is an independent, non-partisan group that works for consumers and the public interest. Through research, public education and outreach, we serve as counterweights to the influence of powerful special interests that threaten our health, safety or well-being. 

U.S. PIRG Education Fund is an independent, non-partisan group that works for consumers and the public interest. Through research, public education and outreach, we serve as counterweights to the influence of powerful special interests that threaten our health, safety or well-being. For more information, please visit www.uspirgedfund.org.

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