Right to Repair

Americans Want Right to Repair—Even if They’ve Never Heard of It

We’ve said it before, and we’ll keep saying it as long as we need to: Americans want the Right to Repair their stuff.

Today, a new survey published by Waveform, an online seller of cell phone signal boosters, shows that almost two thirds of Americans would support Right to Repair laws—with almost no significant opposition. Waveform’s CEO, Sina Khanifar, is a board member for the Repair Association (which was co-founded by iFixit). The goal of the survey was simple: determine how many Americans know about Right to Repair and how many would support it. The survey also considered factors such as political party affiliations and income levels. 

The results are in 

Of the nationally-representative sample of 1,065 people, only 28% said they were familiar with Right to Repair. While that’s a lot lower than we would hope for, Waveform points out that this could be an opportunity to win more support.  

  • 55% of respondents said they had never heard of Right to Repair.
  • When provided an explanation, 74.5% of respondents said they would support Right to Repair legislation, based on their previous knowledge or first impression.
  • Less than 2% of respondents opposed legislation. 
  • 23% said they were neutral.
Graph showing support for Right to Repair legislation

More significantly, the survey shows that as people learn more about Right to Repair, they’re more likely to support it—a whopping 90% of pollees who were familiar with Right to Repair said they would support legislation.

Right to Repair is a non-partisan issue

Furthermore, this support is fairly consistent across political parties and income levels. 73% of Republican respondents, 82% of Democrat respondents, and 73% of Independent respondents said they would support Right to Repair legislation. There was no significant difference in support among respondents reporting to make more than $100,000, less than $50,000, or somewhere in-between—over 70% of respondents at all income levels support Right to Repair.

Graph showing support for Right to Repair by American political party

Even though these results are affirming, the reality is that we need more than public support to get Right to Repair legislation passed in the U.S. I’ve seen firsthand how difficult this fight has been—in 2019 I watched bills appear and then get shunted into 2020’s agenda. This year I testified for Right to Repair at the Washington State legislature, and saw people in Massachusetts convince their representatives to push their bill out of committee—further than a digital Right to Repair bill has ever gone—only to watch every state grind to a halt for the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The opposition is tough, and many things are out of our control, be it global health crises or the tricky politics of each state. But we’re not giving up the fight. Momentum for a fair, ecologically sound, and crisis-ready fair repair standard is building. As this survey shows, we have the people on our side. The message coming from everywhere couldn’t be more clear: Let people fix their stuff.