Urgent request for your Right to Repair stories

Hi everyone :blush: I’m putting out a call for YOU to share your stories of a time when the Right to Repair was needed in your life. For example:

  • Has there been a time when you couldn’t complete a repair because of a lack of spare parts or proprietary tools?
  • Or because parts pairing software meant you couldn’t?
  • Have you taken a product to be repaired by the manufacturer only to be given a new one instead?
  • Have you ever had to throw something repairable away simply because the repair was too expensive?

We want to take your stories to UK politicians to show them the real and urgent need for Right to Repair legislation - so please share them below!


Hi @London Restarters, we want to take your stories to UK politicians to show them the real and urgent need for Right to Repair legislation.

I’m sure you’ll all have a great story or two to share of a time when the Right to Repair was needed in your life! Please let us know by responding to this thread :slight_smile:


In 2020 we bought a Vax Steam Cleaner. Within approximately a year, the on-off switch broke, and we were at a time when Restart Parties weren’t being held.

We contacted the manufacturer, which informed us that they didn’t have that part as spare, instead they sent us a whole new unit. We kept the old one just in case we ever need other spares, but…what a waste!


Hi @Holly_Davies,

Very excited to hear that Restart is about to storm parliament - fabulous news.

I must explain that my answers will seem rather odd unless I point out that I’ve run a PC repair shop since the late Middle Ages.

  • Has there been a time when you couldn’t complete a repair because of a lack of spare parts or proprietary tools?

Virtually every day. Take the most basic of laptops as an example with a simple fault like a cracked lid. Even though it’s a non-electrical fault, I’ll still be scrabbling around in the the dark corners of the internet looking for parts. (Most) manufacturers have no interest in selling parts or even allowing user/owners to know details of the parts, so they can be sourced elsewhere.

If this is useful, the worse example I see is printers with severely blocked heads. We junk tonnes of functional units because the heads are no longer replaceable (and refuse to unblock). As the whole printing sector is modelled on ink sales, the devices are classified as disposible. If, by some miracle, a replacement part is sourced, the chances of stripping and rebuilding a consumer inkjet without wrecking it are slim.

  • Or because parts pairing software meant you couldn’t?

Took our Ford CMAX for MOT at a local independent garage. They had to replace the ABS electronics, a part they had to buy from Ford. They swapped the part & the car wouldn’t start due to serialisation. It was eight weeks before Ford came to the garage to start the car.

  • Have you taken a product to be repaired by the manufacturer only to be given a new one instead?

Yes. We’ve handled thousand of warranty claims covering laptops and desktops and we advise customers that they needs to consider the data on their device as the manufacturer may dispatch a brand new unit. In essence, once the manufacturer has it, anything can happen.

When a ‘new’ device is shipped back to the client, often it isn’t new. More than once we’ve found old data on the ‘new’ device.

There’s a new trend with gaming/high-end laptops where the manufacturers don’t repair under warranty or replace, they simply refund the purchase price.

  • Have you ever had to throw something repairable away simply because the repair was too expensive?

There is a threshold which people hit where the repair is so outrageously expensive, that they’d rather spend a bit more to have a totally new device.

Recently, a laptop motherboard was swapped under warranty. I was told that the part would have cost £570 (ex. fitting charges). The customer has only paid £550 for the laptop.


Thanks so much, Lee! Extremely frustrating stories but exactly what we need to show politicians for them to understand the need for R2R legislation :raised_hands:

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Last year I bought a fancy glass kettle with lights, bells and whistles, which abruptly stopped working within months. Tea just didn’t taste the same with any other kettle. Bit gutted, I opened it up, but couldn’t find any definitive reason for the break. I refused to throw it away wondering if anyone might be able to help me do some circuit testing. Started looking for solutions on the web. Came across Restarters and the Right to repair movement. After just a single visit, one of the bright sparks found a loose wire embedded deep in the mechanism. It was fixed!


A good example in a recent YouTube video about an apparently deliberate policy to make a product obsolete due to the withdrawal of consumables - water filter for Tefal clothes steamer: https://youtu.be/1R_92abQNp8?t=4205


Ordered spare part.

“Sorry, you can’t have that sir, we don’t sell it to consumers.”

“You’ve taken my order and you’d better honour it!”

“Oh all right then.”

Product disappears off website



As Louis Rossmann says: “Schematics or Die:smiley:

One very important thing is information: documentation & diagrams.
If you don’t have that information, you may not be able to discover what parts & tools you need.
Once you have the information, you can often do the repair, despite the lack of tools and spare parts,
by improvising the tool(s) and/or second-sourcing the part(s).

My Sharp combi microwave (make and model are actually irrelevant since many have the same fault) is a classic example: it blew an internal fuse (see below for why) and there is no mention of the fuse (or anything else about repair) in the manual or any available online documentation.
(This is nowhere near the dangerous microwave part of the oven BTW).
Once I’d taken it apart, it was obvious that the fuse was blown and I managed to source an identical part from Cricklewood Electronics (thanks guys :D) but most people wouldn’t know to do that.

The reason that the fuse blew was a broken door safety latch which is INSANE but apparently it’s a known issue, e.g. see here although, of course, the issue is never mentioned in any manufacturer’s documentation.
I couldn’t source a replacement door latch (although there was a nice guy in Italy selling an almost identical one :cry:) so I had to heat-weld and epoxy-glue the old one back together :crazy_face: :crying_cat_face:


A reply from a private user to your request for stories regarding the Right to Repair.

For more than two years I have been trying to repair our Panasonic Combination Microwave Oven (A Dimension 4 Model No. NE 972 QB03459).
This microwave works perfectly well (I have replaced the turntable motor myself in the past,) but the oven section is prevented from working by the failure of the oven temperature thermistor, an item which would probably cost less than £10 if I could identify it.
It is part of a Panasonic assembly for which I have the part number ANE605Y2LOAP.
Panasonic say that they cannot provide the part and will not provide the details of the Thermistor so that I can source it elsewhere. They will not let me know if a similar item is included in any of their other Combination devices or a part in any other brand name device that they produce.
Their local repair agents will not help and no-one will provide a circuit diagram or a service manual for the device although I am the owner of the device and I feel that I should therefore have access to such information.
I have replaced the damaged item with another Thermistor which is one estimated to be similar (although not accurate for the purpose of temperature determination). This allows the oven to work, confirming that I have correctly identified the problem with the device and that the fault is not due to the control board. Before installing this replacement the oven wouldn’t operate at all, now it operates but the temperature at which it stabilises is incorrect.
The end result is that I SHOULD dispose of the device and send it to scrap, buying another item which would cost at least £350 for the inability to replace a component which would cost less than £10.
In addition I have tried to obtain a scrap device of the same series from our local recycling centre but the council operatives and the council recycling officer, who I contacted directly, have refused to allow me to remove the scrap device, extract the part which I am looking for and then return the scrap item to the recycling centre. Again this means that an extra item will have to go to recycling instead of remaining in service.
I trust that this is the type of story which you are looking for.
Regards David Willoughby.


Ah yes - ovens. Reminds me of this - Samsung trying to make it impossible to replace a bulb: https://x.com/MatthewMarks42/status/1205539770476175360?s=20

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I spent hours researching how to repair ordinary items that are thrown away in the millions in the UK but there are no workshops on how to repair, for example, umbrellas or re-use them. I am turning some of the ribs into lamp stands, the fabrics are the top have many uses, plastic milk containers are now lampshades for my terrace and I keep going on about the millions of solar lights that could be saved from going to waste, just by changing the batteries or re-wiring them. I read that 9.2 million lights are thrown away every year. I wish there were workshops to repair these type of items.
The reason am bringing this up here, is that to my surprise, I was told by a fixer that my solar lights were too cheap to be repaired and it wasn’t worth it.


Who was that fixer? They should be named & shamed!!!

FYI with umbrellas, it’s almost always the ribs that break, not the fabric.
The fabric, if it’s carefully removed and the hole stitched up, makes a great, almost waterproof, cover that you can use as a bag liner, welly-boot carrier, wet seat cover etc. The securing strap makes a good tie for the bag.

A personal and recent frustration…

  1. Miele induction hob, bought new: £700 (approx)
  2. Component starting to fail after ~7 years: probably a resistor somewhere (cost < £1) but you need to know which one - I absolutely agree with @Dave re schematics!
  3. Service call-out to diagnose - £80 (approx)
  4. Quote for a whole new PCB control board including installation: £900 (approx) :money_mouth_face:
  5. End result: a new induction hob whenever it completely dies (…but I will get a refurbished one!)

Just spotted this relevant post on LinkedIn which you might all enjoy. About a Dyson vacuum cleaner and cheap bearings…