A website, which was launched yesterday (January 15th), has made it simpler and faster for Brits to register their appliances so they can be alerted to any recalls, repair notifications or safety updates.
Register My Appliance is operated by the Association of Manufacturers of Domestic Appliances (AMDEA), and is supported by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. Its aim is to protect the health and safety of families in the UK, and therefore, all information submitted to the website will solely be used for safety notices.
The site provides easy access to the registration pages of 47 different domestic appliance brands. It will also give owners advice about maintenance, installation, proper usage, guarantees, appliance warranties, testing, product standards, the AMDEA Code of Practice on Product Safety, and recall listings, and will encourage consumers to amend their details if they sell or give away appliances or move house.
Appliance recalls are not particularly commonplace – every year, there are only around six to ten recalls – but when they occur, manufacturers can find it very difficult to trace the majority of people who own the defective appliance because so few people go to the trouble of registering their purchase.
A survey by YouGov, undertaken on behalf of AMDEA, revealed that only 36% of Brits who buy appliances register the purchase with the appliance manufacturer, and that 41% of people who do not do so believe that registering an appliance is unnecessary. Nonetheless, most respondents (73%) admitted that they would be likely to register their appliances if they thought the manufacturer might need to get in touch about a safety repair or recall.
The survey also found that:
- 35% of purchasers say they ‘sometimes’ register appliances, and 15% ‘rarely’ do.
- 9% of purchasers never register their appliances.
- 57% of British adults believe that appliances are typically safer than they were ten years ago, while 28% think they are about the same and 5% believe they are more dangerous.
- The main reason people register their appliances is to activate the guarantee, cited by 75% of those who register.
- Only 24% of those who registered said that being informed of safety issues was a motivating factor in their decision.
RoSPA Public Health Adviser Sheila Merrill said her organisation “strongly encourages” Brits to register their appliances, that the charity is pleased to support the website, and that the initiative offers a useful tool to the industry and consumers.
The website will make it easier for appliance manufacturers to get in touch with their customers when they “urgently need to”, she said.
AMDEA Chief Executive Douglas Herbison explained that domestic appliances are safer than they have ever been, but pointed out that there are over 100 million large appliances in Britain’s homes, many of which are used for more than ten years.
Although the incidence of recalls is low, Mr Herbison noted that manufacturers have “no way” to trace their customers when they need to make safety adjustments, and said that the website aims to help the appliance industry “act swiftly” when they discover a fault in a batch of products.
Consumer Affairs Minister Jo Swinson said it is “so important” for people to ensure they register new appliances, as this means they will not risk missing out on important information that could save their lives.
The initiative will help consumers register old and new appliances and will make sure relevant people receive vital details about safety notices and product recalls, she added.