For some time now, the US government has been interfering more and more in the fight for the right to repair broken technical devices yourself. Now it hits McDonald’s McFlurry ice cream and milkshake machines and the requirements that the group imposes on its franchise partners.
According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is now investigating the contracts that Mcdonald’s has with its restaurant partners and with the manufacturers of the ice cream machines. The reason for this is constant problems with the ice machines. The machines require regular maintenance and can only be inadequately maintained on-site by the restaurant staff.
Machines Have Several Defects
The end result is often repairs that can only be carried out by partners selected by the group – and that is expensive. In addition, according to other research, experts suspected that the ice machines fail more often than average or switch off if even a small mistake is made on-site in the cleaning process. This is doubly annoying for the restaurant operator because if the equipment fails, customers cannot be served and additional costs are incurred because they are tied to service partners in toggle contracts.
But that should not be the case according to the laws on the right to repair. In addition, the monopoly position of the manufacturers is being exploited. According to the Wall Street Journal, McDonald’s franchisees will be banned from repairing the machines themselves. This is exactly what is now at the center of the investigation by the US agency FTC. The FTC tightened enforcement of illegal repair restrictions this summer. The US agency’s focus is not only on McDonald’s vending machines but also on consumer devices in general.
The US journalist and YouTuber Johnny Harris had already dealt with the problem at the beginning of the year:
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