Service Industry Association (SIA) advocates “Customers should have Choices” and took the battle to Capitol Hill

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Contact:  Claudia J. Betzner, Exec. Dir.    619-221-9200 or cbetzner@servicenetwork.org

Service Industry Association (SIA) advocates “Customers should have Choices” and took the battle to Capitol Hill

SAN DIEGO, CA. May 2, 2012 –

The Service Industry Association (SIA), a non-profit association of enterprises involved in the support of high-technology products, took their battle for open service where Customers have Choices on their IT hardware maintenance service contracts to Capitol Hill last week. Several member companies along with the Executive Director met on Capitol Hill, meeting with a couple of dozen Senators and U.S. House Representatives with the goal of making sure that all customers of technology products have adequate rights to repair their purchased hardware.

The battle stems from several policy changes by OEM’s, (Original Equipment Manufacturers) in the IT service industry intended to thwart competition for hardware break-fix.  The policy changes by some  OEM’s are limiting the availability of diagnostics tools, software patches and firmware updates necessary for service to the end users and independent service providers unless they have a direct contract with the OEM. Other policy changes include bundling of hardware and software maintenance, dramatically increasing diagnostic costs and refusal to sell service parts.  The SIA believes these actions are a concerted effort to limit competition and customer choices.  If this trend is left unchecked, the SIA projects that all products with technology components will eventually be impossible to repair outside the OEM.  The impact will be the same as being unable to repair a vehicle other than with the Dealer.

With the U.S. Government the largest customer of the high tech service industry it is important manufacturers do not monopolize the aftermarket service business to keep costs down and the service quality high.  For the past two decades manufacturers and independent service providers have co-existed but with the anti competitive policy changes on the rise, the Service Industry Association is taking a stand in favor of healthy competition where there is a level playing field.

The SIA will continue to be the customer advocacy association looking out for users interests around the globe. The SIA’s goal is to equip our members and their customers with the information and resources that will help them thrive in the markets they service and compete on a level playing field, here and around the globe” said Claudia Betzner, Executive Director of SIA.

The Mission of Service Industry Association is to create a forum where service partnerships are made and business transactions are completed and to serve as a forum where every member can enhance their business and to take collective action for the betterment of the industry whenever necessary.  SIA was founded in 1985 as the leading trade association for companies engaged in the repair of electronic hardware and those that support the high tech service industry.  The SIA has been instrumental in fighting for the rights of end users in the Right to Repair Act, now part of the DMCA in 1998, many Friend of the Court Briefs, White Papers and Complaints filed with the Department of Justice to the U.S., European Council, FTC, and Canadian Commission in support of open and competitive service. http://www.servicenetwork.org

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