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It’s Time to Stop Making Excuses for Amazon’s Disposable Tech

IFixit: “Amazon doesn’t repair their own products for customers outside their return or warranty periods. The company doesn’t make parts available. Need a new battery for your old but still functional Kindle Paperwhite? That’s too bad, Amazon doesn’t sell them directly (though you can roll the dice on a number of third-party vendors). The same goes for microwaves and nightlights. And even after you’ve given up on fixing something, Amazon’s recycling and trade-in programs for its own products exist, but they’re drastically under-promoted. The impact of Amazon’s cheap, hard-to-fix gear is ignored or obscured at every level. The company’s environmental report talks about a “circular economy” mostly in the context of refurbished goods customers can buy. Customers, it reads, “may discover” a device recycling program or trade-in programs (we had no idea either existed, and you likely didn’t, either). On a human scale, an iFixit staffer who twice received a keyboard with a missing part was told by different Amazon customer support reps to “just simply thrown into trash” (sic) and “just [give] it to garbage man, they will separate that.” That this goes overlooked is odd, as Amazon’s impact on everything has gotten attention lately. The dangers and small business pinch of “free” delivery, the mire of fake reviews, the privacy invasions of Ring video doorbells or Alexa/Echo devices, even the impact of Cyber Monday cardboard: we’re all starting to think more critically about Amazon’s all-consuming reach…”

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