How a right-to-repair victory can help millions save money by fixing their own phones

Apr 5, 2022, 6:15 PM | Updated: Jun 19, 2022, 9:54 pm

LEHI, Utah — When something breaks and needs repairs, it costs you money. But how much you pay can vary wildly depending on how you get it fixed — something manufacturers do not always make easy. Especially, when they make more money by having you bring your broken stuff to them for repairs. Or better yet, replaced. Now, a major cell phone company says they are going to let you fix it yourself.

Dustin Knight runs Tech MD, a phone repair service that comes to your place to fix your phone. Phone manufacturers have not always been cooperative with him or other third-party repairers.

“No blueprints – nothing,” Knight said as he repaired a broken phone screen for Andrew Lambert.

Manufacturers have historically refused to release details of how to properly repair a broken smart phone or even to sell spare parts to third-party repair shops.

“They want you to replace them,” Knight told us. “They want you to get the next newest phone.”

But now, we are seeing a shift that could help you bust inflation.

This week, Samsung announced that its “Galaxy device owners will be able to take product repair into their own hands.”

Samsung will provide user manuals and parts to folks who want to repair their own Galaxy S20 and S21 products. This comes after Apple announced last November that they will allow consumers to repair their own iPhone 12 and 13 models.

It is all long overdue if you ask Gay Gordon-Byrne, executive director for The Repair Association.

“There’s no good reason why we can’t repair our own stuff,” she said.

Gordon-Byrne is one of the leaders of the national “Right to Repair” movement. The idea is simple — if you own it and it breaks, you should have the right to repair it yourself or take it to an independent repair shop.

“This is ‘we don’t want you touching our stuff’ and all of the ridiculous excuses that come with why you can’t touch it — even though you own it,” she said.

“You’ve got to make an appointment. You’ve got to wait to get in,” Knight’s customer, Andrew Lambert, said about taking his broken phone into the manufacturer’s store.

He said by being able to call in a mobile repair shop like Tech MD, he saves both time and money.

“It ends up being quite a bit less expensive,” Lambert said.

The frustration of right-to-repairers goes beyond smartphones. From the cars we drive to appliances in our homes, and even farm equipment, folks are clamoring for the information they need to make their own repairs. Now, millions of smart-phone users have it. And if you don’t have to pay as much to fix your phone, you’ve successfully brought the repair costs down and busted inflation.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

KSL Investigates

FILE - Thousand gather at the Utah State Capitol to support a woman's right to choose. (KSL TV)...
Daniella Rivera

‘It was hastily passed’: Medical, legal experts raise concerns about Utah’s abortion trigger law

Senate Bill 174, passed by the Utah Legislature in 2020, was crafted, in part, to send a message. Now, medical and legal experts are sounding alarm bells about how it will work in practice.
1 day ago
FILE - Credit and deposit cards on a computer keyboard. Electronic commerce, business. Online shopp...
Matt Gephardt

Gephardt Busts Inflation: Americans shy away from using credit cards abroad, missing out on best exchange rates

As COVID-19 wanes, travel agencies are seeing a massive spike in bookings as folks look to spread their wings and travel abroad.
1 day ago
KSL-TV's Matt Gephardt talks to the couple to see how this accident happen....
Matt Gephardt and Cindy St. Clair, KSL TV

Utah couple gets hit with sky-high surprise air ambulance bill

A perk of hitting that out-of-pocket max limit on your health insurance is usually, your insurance covers all other expenses for the year 100%. When a Highland couple continued to get bills, they asked KSL Investigator Matt Gephardt for help.
4 days ago
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are all making news with wild up-and-down swings in value. (File...
Matt Gephardt and Sloan Schrage, KSL TV

Congress considers crypto legislation: What you need to know

It's been a rough year for cryptocurrencies. Prices reached record heights this past November, but by last week, crypto has lost $2 trillion of its market value. Now, there's a new plan for the Feds to regulate cryptocurrencies.
5 days ago
(KSL TV)...
Matt Gephardt

Gephardt Busts Inflation: Despite growing demand for digital coupons, most are still printed

Researchers found that 91% of all coupons are old-fashioned paper coupons. That’s a problem when you compare it to consumer demand.
8 days ago
Matt Gephardt & Sloan Schrage, KSL TV

Gephardt busts inflation: Is saving hundreds on your internet bill worth the hassle?

When you sign up for internet, you need a modem to connect and router for your home's Wi-Fi. But most internet service providers charge you to use their equipment, on top of what you pay for their plan. But did you know you can buy your own and potentially save hundreds of dollars? The thing is, it’s not necessarily that simple.
9 days ago

Sponsored Articles

hand holding 3d rendering mobile connect with security camera for security solutions...
Les Olson

Wondering what security solutions are right for you? Find out more about how to protect your surroundings

Physical security helps everyone. Keep your employees, clients, and customers safe with security solutions that protect your workplace.
Many rattan pendant lights, hay hang from the ceiling.Traditional and simple lighting....
Lighting Design

The Best Ways to Style Rattan Pendant Lighting in Your Home

Rattan pendant lights create a rustic and breezy feel, and are an easy way to incorporate this hot trend into your home decor.
Earth day 2022...

How Are You Celebrating Earth Day 2022? | 4 Simple Ways to Celebrate Earth Day and Protect the Environment

Earth Day is a great time to reflect on how we can be more environmentally conscious. Here are some tips for celebrating Earth Day.
Get Money Online...

More Ways to Get Money Online Right Now in Your Spare Time

Here are 4 easy ways that you can get more money online if you have some free time and want to make a little extra on the side.
Lighting trends 2022...

Lighting Trends 2022 | 5 Beautiful Home Lighting Trends You Can Expect to See this Year and Beyond

This is where you can see the latest lighting trends for 2022 straight from the Lightovation Show at the Dallas World Trade Center.
What Can't You Throw Away in the Trash...

What Can’t You Throw Away in the Trash? | 5 Things You Shouldn’t Throw in to Your Trash Can

What can't you throw away in the trash? Believe it or not, there are actually many items that shouldn't be thrown straight into the trash.
How a right-to-repair victory can help millions save money by fixing their own phones