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JCow

Insurance Giant Allstate Buys Independent Phone Repair Company, Joins Right to Repair

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Long time lurker, sorry in advance if I mess up the formatting. 

The following is the article, original source can be found at the bottom. 

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Allstate, one of the largest insurance companies in the United States, just made a curious purchase. Through its subsidiary SquareTrade, the insurance giant bought iCracked, one of the largest independent smartphone repair companies in the country.

The acquisition means that Allstate has become one of the most powerful proponents of right to repair legislation in the United States. According to Gay Gordon-Byrne, executive director of Repair.org, which is pushing for the legislation, the company has already loaned a lobbyist to the effort in New Hampshire.

 

This is potentially big news for the right to repair movement, which is trying to get laws passed in 15 states this year that would make it easier for independent repair professionals to get repair tools and parts for consumer electronics. Thus far, it’s been largely a grassroots effort from organizations like Repair.org and iFixit. Companies such as Apple, John Deere, Facebook, Microsoft, and trade organizations that represent huge tech companies have used their considerable political power to lobby against these bills. But Allstate’s purchase of iCracked is a potential gamechanger.

iCracked is a giant chain that does a lot of third party repairs. A change in the laws would benefit it, and now Allstate, as much as the average consumer.

“iCracked has been a major supporter of right to repair, and we really appreciate their valuable contribution to the fight for freedom,” Kyle Wiens, CEO of iFixit, told me in an email. “I’m optimistic that this partnership will elevate the visibility of the work that we’re doing together.”

I reached out to SquareTrade to see where it stood on the right to repair. “SquareTrade continues to work with manufacturers as well as the independent repair community,” Jason Siciliano, VP and Global Creative Director of SquareTrade told me in an email. “As this issue evolves, we will maintain good relationships and continue to listen to the key players on all sides of the debate and will work towards sensible solutions whether they are led by the industry or regulators.”

 

Even before the acquisition, Allstate has been a powerful ally to the right to repair movement behind the scene. “Allstate has been very helpful to us,” Gordon-Byne told me. “They have loaned us their lobbyist in New Hampshire.”

New Hampshire is a state on the forefront of the right to repair movement. The state legislature is currently considering HB 462, a bill drafted with help from Repair.org, that would require electronics manufacturers to provide the owners of independent repair businesses with access to manuals and replacement parts.

Allstate, the fourth-largest insurance company in the country, is an ally the movement is happy to have.

"Right now, the struggle on right to repair is us Davids versus a whole slew of Goliaths,” Nathan Proctor, the Director of the Campaign for the Right to Repair at US PIRG told me in an email. “In the end, even if some larger companies support the right to repair, the reason will end up winning is because legislators hear from their constituents, if more Davids join in, and make their voices heard.”

Allstate and iCracked did not respond to a request for comment.

 

Original article here: https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/nex3dz/insurance-giant-allstate-buys-icracked-phone-repair-company-joins-right-to-repair-movement?utm_source=mbfb

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wait how am I supposed to feel about this?

 

EDIT: Insurance companies would love right to repair as it means fewer vehicles have to be written off as "totaled". More repaired cars means Allstate get's to keep more of your insurance premiums as profits. This is a situation where the consumer and the business both benefit.

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@JCow please adjust your post to meet the posting guidelines;

 

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On topic; Very interesting indeed.


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Posted · Original PosterOP
1 minute ago, SansVarnic said:

@JCow please adjust your post to meet the posting guidelines;

 

 

 

On topic; Very interesting indeed.

Sorry, never really posted before, I'll adjust it. 

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Posted · Original PosterOP
3 minutes ago, CUDAcores89 said:

wait how am I supposed to feel about this?

If you're for the right to repair, I'd say excited! I sure am! 

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It saddens and surprises me to see John Deere on the opposition list. Makes me like CAT just a bit more, but I have too much sentimental value invested into JD to turn away from it. Still though, people can be fired, minds can be changed. So it's only a matter of time before some companies see the movement and see where they need to go to keep their customer bases. This whole thing also makes me feel pretty good about Allstate, I may just have to look into switching insurance companies now...

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Posted · Original PosterOP
6 minutes ago, CUDAcores89 said:

wait how am I supposed to feel about this?

 

EDIT: Insurance companies would love right to repair as it means fewer vehicles have to be written off as "totaled". More repaired cars means Allstate get's to keep more of your insurance premiums as profits. This is a situation where the consumer and the business both benefit.

That is one way to look at it, but it'll mean less waste. Their acquisition of icracked leans more for the repairability of phones and computers. Apples among the worst when it comes to repair ability and their active lobbying against the Right To Repair. 

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1 minute ago, TempestCatto said:

It saddens and surprises me to see John Deere on the opposition list. Makes me like CAT just a bit more, but I have too much sentimental value invested into JD to turn away from it. Still though, people can be fired, minds can be changed. So it's only a matter of time before some companies see the movement and see where they need to go to keep their customer bases. This whole thing also makes me feel pretty good about Allstate, I may just have to look into switching insurance companies now...

It's sad right to repair laws are even required. 

 

A well educated public would simply choose to not purchase repairable devices. Then the businesses that make these devices would go bankrupt. 

 

I am for right to repair, but I am also opposed to the government getting in the way of how free markets operate. 

 

What the government SHOULD do is force tech companies like apple, google, and the like to provide the average cost to replace a part if it breaks with every new piece of electronics, pulled directly from their website. We will also include documentation stating how and where to go to get your device fixed and how much it will cost. We will also include links to parts you can and cannot buy.

 

Again, we are not forcing the company to actually do anything related to repair. We are just forcing the company to educate the consumer so they can make the best choices for themselves.

 

I guarantee if that happened there would be a massive outrage over expensive devices like macbooks. People would be so furious to learn their $1500 macbook might be a brick if the screen breaks would certainly prevent people from buying apple products. Apples stock would plummet and the shareholders would react by providing low cost parts for older macbooks themselves.

 

Again, I didn't force the company to do anything expensive. I just forced the company to educate consumers by including a pamphlet with every expensive electronic device.

 

In a perfect world, everyone would know everything about every possible market. In this situation, consumers will make the best choice for themselves thus forcing corporations to behave ethically. If the government steps in and does it for the consumers, you can end up with a slippery slope requiring more and more regulation (with most things).

 

I always prefer of taking an approach where the consumer has a choice, even if it's a bad one. But at the same time, the consumer should be educated and know that there are better options available to them.

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22 minutes ago, TempestCatto said:

It saddens and surprises me to see John Deere on the opposition list. Makes me like CAT just a bit more, but I have too much sentimental value invested into JD to turn away from it. Still though, people can be fired, minds can be changed. So it's only a matter of time before some companies see the movement and see where they need to go to keep their customer bases. This whole thing also makes me feel pretty good about Allstate, I may just have to look into switching insurance companies now...

If you'd seen the videos from farmers detailing how much trouble they have to go through to keep on using their perfectly fine "outdated" machinery, you wouldn't be surprised at all.


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1 hour ago, Dabombinable said:

If you'd seen the videos from farmers detailing how much trouble they have to go through to keep on using their perfectly fine "outdated" machinery, you wouldn't be surprised at all.

This. Unfortunately (my family has a long history with JD products and work), John Deere has been one of the most vocal opponents (and worst offenders) of this entire situation from the very beginning of electronic rights (worse than Apple even.)


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6 minutes ago, Syntaxvgm said:

Image result for are you in good hands

Are your ifixit tool kits in good hands? 

no... I dont think so... Who is that dude anyway?


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2 minutes ago, SlimyPython said:

no... I dont think so... Who is that dude anyway?

dude from all the allstate commercials. 

 


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2 hours ago, Curufinwe_wins said:

This. Unfortunately (my family has a long history with JD products and work), John Deere has been one of the most vocal opponents (and worst offenders) of this entire situation from the very beginning of electronic rights (worse than Apple even.)

eg. Costly attachments for tractors that work perfectly fine...but aren't supported on newer models so they can't be used without hacking the machinery. More of the "fuck you pay us" mentality that's been going on with some of the large manufacturers.


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10 hours ago, Dabombinable said:

If you'd seen the videos from farmers detailing how much trouble they have to go through to keep on using their perfectly fine "outdated" machinery, you wouldn't be surprised at all.

I'm not sure what you mean by this. There are people who enjoy fixing up classic and antique tractors. By nature of age, they will be very hard to fix up like new. It's an obvious thing when you're into fixing up old stuff like that. Parts are not made anymore, documentation may be sparse at best, overall knowledge on how to repair will be less than adequate. But today's machines are all computerized and not only does that add an extreme level of difficulty when fixing, but the computers are crammed in there, making overall working space very small. With everything so well Tetrised together, rather than having say a much more open engine bay to work, will require things to be removed in order to get at one specific part. Is that what you're referring to? Genuinely, I'm confused.

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8 hours ago, SlimyPython said:

ok... who's allstates

"Allstate" is the name of the insurance company. The man pictures is Dennis Dexter Haysbert who's been the main spokesperson for the Allstate commercials run on television in the US. 


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Perhaps it's time for me to do some insurance shopping....


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43 minutes ago, TempestCatto said:

I'm not sure what you mean by this. There are people who enjoy fixing up classic and antique tractors. By nature of age, they will be very hard to fix up like new. It's an obvious thing when you're into fixing up old stuff like that. Parts are not made anymore, documentation may be sparse at best, overall knowledge on how to repair will be less than adequate. But today's machines are all computerized and not only does that add an extreme level of difficulty when fixing, but the computers are crammed in there, making overall working space very small. With everything so well Tetrised together, rather than having say a much more open engine bay to work, will require things to be removed in order to get at one specific part. Is that what you're referring to? Genuinely, I'm confused.

If I'm remembering right from a video I saw, you need JD software to use any electronic bits but they don't offer the software and will refuse to service it it its "outdated" yet still serviceable to anyone with the software.

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4 minutes ago, CyanideInsanity said:

If I'm remembering right from a video I saw, you need JD software to use any electronic bits but they don't offer the software and will refuse to service it it its "outdated" yet still serviceable to anyone with the software.

Okay that makes a little more sense. Kinda sounds like Motorola in way (in reference to programming their emergency service grade radios). So then the old stuff, stuff with minimal or no computers is the way to go, assuming it can still handle the current work load. Funny how things are these days. There's no need for such complex computers in many things. I mean sure in this case they do, but they do more harm then good if the support for them is locked down/not there. Ugh I hate the future.

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I can't help but feel this isn't face value what it seems (though, when is it ever?). I'm all for the right to repair movement. I believe you should have the right to repair your devices at your own risk (that is to say, if you further break your device, I don't believe that anyone but you should be responsible), but I can't help but feel this is a ploy to get into the "repair insurance" market for technology. I don't have a good history with Allstate, and if this is what it ultimately is, I don't see anything positive coming from it.

I have literally nothing positive to say about Allstate. They rank with the likes of Comcast and EA if you ask me.
My parents had AAA whilst I was growing up, when I moved out on my own, I opted to go with Allstate as it was a bit more affordable at the time. There was not a single billing cycle where I wasn't on the phone because of billing errors. Multiple times, my insurance rates spiked due to collisions that both didn't happen, and weren't reported. When it came time to use my insurance, after someone did a number to the back of my truck in a parking lot hit-and-run (car park, car port, whatever you define it as), it was like trying to get blood from a rock. It turned into months to get the issue resolved, and to nobody's surprise, the next billing cycle had a rate increase because of an "at fault" collision. I'm back with AAA and I don't see myself changing any time soon.

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12 hours ago, SlimyPython said:

ok... who's allstates

the company in the title of this post. 


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Screens- Acer preditor XB241H (1080p, 144Hz Gsync), LG 1080p ultrawide, (all mounted) directly wired to TV in other room

Stuff- k70 with reds, steel series rival, g13, full desk covering mouse mat

All parts black

Workstation(desk)- 3770k, 970 reference, 16GB of some crucial memory, a motherboard of some kind I don't remember, Micomsoft SC-512N1-L/DVI, CM Storm Trooper (It's got a handle, can you handle that?), 240mm Asetek based AIO, Crucial M550 256GB (upgrade soon), some hard drives, disc drives, and hot swap bays

Screens- 3  ASUS VN248H-P IPS 1080p screens mounted on a stand, some old tv on the wall above it. 

Stuff- Epicgear defiant (solderless swappable switches), g600, moutned mic and other stuff. 

Laptop docking area- 2 1440p korean monitors mounted, one AHVA matte, one samsung PLS gloss (very annoying, yes). Trashy Razer blackwidow chroma...I mean like the J key doesn't click anymore. I got a model M i use on it to, but its time for a new keyboard. Some edgy Utechsmart mouse similar to g600. Hooked to laptop dock for both of my dell precision laptops. (not only docking area)

Shelf- i7-2600 non-k (has vt-d), 380t, some ASUS sandy itx board, intel quad nic. Currently hosts shared files, setting up as pfsense box in VM. Also acts as spare gaming PC with a 580 or whatever someone brings. Hooked into laptop dock area via usb switch

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3 hours ago, TempestCatto said:

So then the old stuff, stuff with minimal or no computers is the way to go, assuming it can still handle the current work load.

That's the thing though, a significant amount of work that modern farming equipment does is automated now and controlled by the JD software.  The best way I could demonstrate an analog would be an office copy printer.  If you went back to using the older tractors and other farming equipment, you're going from printing something from a computer to using a typewriter and your efficiency will suffer significantly.


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