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How much junk mail do you like to receive? Are you fond of others mining your personal information? The cold truth about product registration cards, and warranty cards is that they are often used as a marketing ploy to collect information about you, and in some cases, to sell that information to other vendors. There are very few instances where you will actually have to send in product registration cards, which may come as a surprise to the people who dutifully register their purchases, either by sending in the cards or by registering online.
First, you may notice that these product registration cards are asking a lot of information that has no bearing on your purchase of the product. They might ask for name, phone number, your age, the number of kids in your house, and a lot of questions about your personal habits. If and only if your warranty, usually a short term one, states that you must register the product in order to qualify for the warranty, most business experts suggests providing only the minimum needed information: name, address, phone number, and a copy of the receipt. In most cases you will not void your warranty if you don’t include other information, and in some cases, if this additional info is required, you’re actually selling information about your personal life in order to get warranty.
The question you should ask is whether the limited warranty is worth selling such information by filling out product registration cards. If you spent $40-50 US Dollars (USD) to buy a new DVD player, are you really happy with the idea that you have to sell your personal information to get a limited warranty? In many cases, if something goes wrong with the DVD within a few weeks of purchase, you can take it back to the store. Shop at stores that offer the most liberal exchange policies to avoid problems. Unless the warranty is going to last a very long time, you may find it comes at a very high price when your personal information is at stake, and used to send you marketing offers you don’t want.
In many cases, product registration cards are unnecessary things, and frequently, you do not need to register your product in order to qualify for any warranties. Read the fine print, and it will tell you exactly whether you have to send the card in to qualify. When you don’t, don’t waste the ink! Instead, keep the registration card and the receipt of purchase together should a problem with electronics, appliances or any other purchases arise.
There are some cases where you might want to fill in product registration cards. If you buy a new computer and want to get deals or offers from the company, this is the quickest way to accomplish that. In the main though, if you’re a bit tired of junk mail, and your warranty doesn’t specify registration, you can use your time in much more productive ways, like trying to read through the manual of your new product.
You are correct about many registration programs. However, there is a movement among manufacturers to conduct their own registrations versus using a third party company who will definitely sell your information.
If the registration does not ask about non product related issues then you are probably safe to fill out the form. The manufacturer uses the information for several valuable reasons. 1) To build a database for the customer service department so if you need help they have your information ready, 2) Product recalls or upgrades 3)To better understand who is buying their products and why so they can build more appropriate products in the future.
Bottom line is, if you are being asked about how many dogs you have when you are registering your toaster, beware. Otherwise, you may get an indirect value from the registration.
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