• John O'Rangers

Right To Repair: Clarifying My Position

I have received some criticism recently for my position on Right to Repair, and would like to address some of the comments directed my way in regards to this matter, as I believe a response is warranted.

Recently I heard from some Twitter users what they thought of my positions, and typical of that platform, they were quite entertaining. I was called everything from "dumb", "unethical", and a "fascist". So I'll respond to those accusations step by step. Granted, it's Twitter so you have to consider the source, but I found it entertaining to say the least.

First, in regards to being dumb. I would encourage those that feel this is the case to see my Linked-In profile, which is written 100% accurately. It includes my education level, which should clarify the limits of my intellectual ability.

As far as being unethical, well, I don't believe I'll waste a lot of time blogging my own defense. Instead I'll direct you to the Google reviews of CDC Cellular Repair, which come from my customers. You can draw your own conclusions from all of that.

Now as far as me being a so-called fascist, that I think is revealing, and further clarifies why I am leery of Right to Repair. I will concede the following points regarding repair of electronic devices, farm equipment, military hardware and so forth. Yes, it's true that the producers of these products often restrict repair to outside entities. Indeed it often does create controversy, such as a farmer having to haul their malfunctioning equipment hundreds of miles for repair by the manufacturer. No question that these repair policies, when the real world is in play, doesn't always mesh with customer demands. With smartphones, a strong case can be made that a broken device needs repair now rather than 5 days out and so forth. So I cannot say that what the Right to Repair advocates are saying should be dismissed. There are some valid considerations with this issue.

Where I draw the line is in two areas. First, Right to Repair seems to focus on using government intervention into what ultimately is a private sector matter. I don't support this tactic for a variety of reasons, but the biggest of which is relationships. If someone like Apple is forced by government to do business in a manner they currently do not do, what kind of relationship would an independent shop like CDC have with them? Not a good one, and I know this from past business experiences where this tactic was used. It ended badly, trudt me on that one.

The second reason I am leery of Right to Repair is that it seems too political from my vantage point. For example, I mentioned Twitter. If you follow the Right to Repair groups and advocates, you will also find that they are active in partisan political activity. Some are grassroots organizers for specific candidates, others I see pushing ideological narratives. I do not believe it's good business practice to engage in these activities, and certainly do not want CDC Cellular Repair to be considered a political company. All are welcome here, all are served to the best of my ability. Who you vote for is not relevant in my book. I also realize that taking a partisan position in your business can and will alienate customers, and Lord knows I don't need that.

To further address the partisanship matter, I have noticed a tactic used in the political world lately where prominent officials will offer a plan claiming to address a specific issue, but when you dig deeper, you'll find it's often a teaser to gain support for a broader agenda. I see this happening with Right to Repair. Not sure if they even realize it, but it seems pretty obvious just from observing social media. I don't wish to get involved in that.

So why would someone refer to me as a fascist? Simple. I am not 100% in line with their way of thinking. It's a tactic that's used by some to bully others into agreeing with them. Unfortunately, I don't fall for those games, as I'm not as dumb as some may think I am. I just have a different way of thinking, and it appears few are willing to express it because of the name calling. That doesn't fly with me.

So in conclusion, what is my belief as far as repair solutions? In my opinion, time and patience is the key. Companies like Apple came about as sort of a niche IT company. They were kind of small in the 1980s and 1990s, and their products were used by a very specific customer base. For example, the Mac was always the mainstay computer for graphics artists. But that's a small group of people compared to the public at large. With the iPhone, Apple has grown into a powerful company with a diverse customer base. In the past their "integrated" model served them well because they were a niche company. Not so much anymore.

So when I say time and patience, this is what I mean. Their integrated model eventually will become too expensive and inefficient to properly service their customers. Eventually they'll need to branch out and develop a service network. Certainly this is my theory and not to be taken as gospel, but if you look at how many devices they have out there nowadays, I think it's very possible. So I'd rather be friendly to them rather than take an adversarial position. I know I wouldn't want to work with someone who is hostile towards me, so why would Apple be any different?

Of course I could be totally wrong on this, and I accept that possibility. But for now I'd rather avoid the nastiness and stick to the business at hand. Whatever happens, I'll work with the hand I'm dealt.

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