Thousands of consumers are missing out on product safety warnings as they fail to register appliances such as fridges, freezers and washing machines according to research published January 15. Consumer Affairs Minister Jo Swinson is encouraging more people to take this important step and use ‘register my appliance’.
A YouGov survey for The Association of Manufacturers of Domestic Appliances (AMDEA) found that just over a third of consumers currently register all of their appliances with the manufacturer, leaving thousands of owners untraceable if a safety repair is needed.
To encourage more people to register, AMDEA has launched a new web portal, ‘register my appliance’ (www.registermyappliance.org.uk), which provides access to the registration pages of 47 leading brands of domestic appliances and is designed to make it quicker and easier for the public to register all of their appliances.
AMDEA chief executive Douglas Herbison said: “Domestic appliances have never been safer, but we have over 100 million large appliances in use in our homes and we keep them running for ten or more years. The incidence of safety actions is very low (between six and 10 recalls a year) but, unlike cars, if manufacturers need to make a safety adjustment they have no way of tracing the majority of affected models. ‘Register my appliance’ aims to help our industry to act swiftly to contact owners, if a fault is discovered in a particular batch of products.”
Consumer Affairs Minister Jo Swinson added: “It’s so important that we make sure that we register new appliances and don’t risk missing out on key information that could save lives. This initiative will make it easier for consumers to register appliances both new and old, and will help to ensure that relevant owners get vital information on product recalls and safety notices.”
According to the survey, just over a third (36%) of buyers of large domestic appliances make a point of always registering them with the manufacturer, with 41% of those that don’t, saying they didn’t think it was necessary. Yet, nearly three quarters of adults (73%) stated they would be likely to register if they considered the manufacturer might need to contact them to organise a safety repair.
‘Register my appliance’ is designed to provide up-to-date, accurate, contact information for owners who have acquired specific models of appliances within the last twelve years, so manufacturers can issue safety updates or repair notifications to the right homes, AMDEA said. AMDEA members have pledged that this is purely a safety initiative and the information captured will be used exclusively for this purpose. Over time consumers will also be encouraged and provided with the means to amend their details if they move house, sell or give an appliance away.
The site also provides advice on correct maintenance, safe usage and installation, product standards and testing, guarantees and warranties, consumer rights, a product recall listing and the AMDEA Code of Practice on Product Safety.
‘Register my appliance’ is also supported by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA).