It's a modern dilemma — a customer wants to fix a broken smartphone, tablet or laptop, only to be told by the manufacturer they will have to pay top dollar at an "authorized repair center" or fork out for a replacement.
But for farmers like Paul Green, who grows grain in Western Australia's Wheatbelt, the stakes are a lot higher than a broken iPhone. "In my view, if I'm paying $800,000 for a tractor then I own the tractor and I can do what I want with it," Green said.
Mr Green is one of many growers across Australia anxiously watching a legal battle unfold in the United States between the 'Right to Repair' movement and manufacturers, like Apple. The 'Fair Repair' bill would give individuals the ability to purchase software diagnostic tools that would allow them to take their equipment to a dealer of their choice to fix the problem or try to repair the machine themselves.
And it's not disgruntled city consumers, frustrated over the lack of options for fixing personal electronics, but farmers who are spearheading the movement. Nebraskan Senator Lydia Brasch, a farmer with a background in computer science, is sponsoring the bill in her state, last Thursday California became the 18th US state to introduce a similar bill.
Read the full story, "Farmers driving 'right to repair' issue as legislative battle unfolds in US," at www.abc.net.au.
- Related: How to get vendors to understand your vision and expectations
- Related: Interview: unlocking world-class maintenance