Technology

Samsung reportedly requires independent repair stores to rat on customers using aftermarket parts

If you take your Samsung device to an independent store for repair, Samsung asks the store to send your name, contact information, device ID, and the nature of your complaint to the mothership. Worse yet, if the repair shop detects that your device has already been repaired with an aftermarket or non-Samsung part, Samsung requires the facility to “immediately disassemble” your device and “immediately notify” the company.

These details were revealed thanks to 404 Media, which secured a contract that Samsung requires all independent repair shops to sign in exchange for selling original replacement parts. Here is the relevant section of the contract: “The Company shall immediately disassemble all products created or assembled from, composed of, or containing service parts not purchased from Samsung. It adds that the store “shall immediately notify Samsung in writing of the details and circumstances of any unauthorized use or misappropriation of any Service Part for purposes other than those provided for in this Agreement.” Samsung may terminate this agreement if these terms are not complied with. Samsung did not respond to a request for comment from Engadget.

Samsung’s deal is troubling: Customers who take their devices to independent repair shops don’t necessarily expect their personal information to be sent to the device manufacturer. And if they’ve already repaired their devices using third-party parts that are often much cheaper than official parts (and just as good in many cases), they certainly don’t expect a repair shop to forwards them to the manufacturer and has their device rendered unusable.

Experts who spoke with 404 Media said consumers have the right to use third-party parts to repair devices they own under the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act, a federal law that governs consumer product warranties in the United States. So far, right to repair legislation exists in 30 states in the United States. country according to the Public Interest Research Group (PIRG), a consumer advocacy organization. But in states like New York, Minnesota and California, where this legislation takes effect this year, contracts like the one Samsung is making repair shops sign would be illegal, 404 Media underlines.

“This is exactly the kind of onerous, one-sided ‘deal’ that requires the right to repair,” Kit Walsh, an attorney at the Electronic Freedom Foundation, told the publication. “In addition to the provision you mentioned regarding the dismantling of devices containing third-party components, these create additional disincentives to have devices repaired, which can harm both the security of the devices and the environment , because repairable devices end up in landfills.”

This isn’t the only device repair incident where Samsung has found itself in hot water. A few hours before the report of 404 Media, repair blog and parts retailer iFixit has announced that it is ending its collaboration with Samsung to launch a “Repair Hub” less than two years after the partnership began. “Samsung’s approach to repairability does not align with our mission,” iFixit said in a blog post, citing the high prices of Samsung parts and the unrepairable nature of Samsung devices that “frustratingly stuck together.” ” as reasons why they pulled the plug.

News Source : www.engadget.com
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