You could win a prize for registering your household appliancesBut be wary of opportunistic marketing
05 November 2016
Consumers are being offered prizes for registering both new and old household appliances in a bid to help product safety alerts reach more people.
From now until the end of January 2017, if you go to www.registermyappliance.org.uk and register your appliance - whether it's old or new - you'll be entered into draws with the chance to win washing machines, dishwashers and other smaller prizes.
The website gives quick access to the registration pages of over 60 brands, where you can register your ownership of domestic appliances up to 12 years old.
Should you register your home appliances?
In January 2015, the home appliance trade association AMDEA started pushing for more people to register their appliances. It said that this was to enable manufacturers to track down owners of an appliance in the event of it being found to be potentially dangerous.
But in these days of ubiquitous marketing, we were suspicious that manufacturers might take advantage of the personal data to inundate consumers with unwanted promotions.
To test our hypothesis, we registered 10 fridge-freezers from different brands. We were disappointed to find that six of these required you to untick a box in order to opt out of receiving marketing information about other products.
But despite manufacturers' attempts to cash-in, we think that AMDEA's registration scheme is, overall, a good thing. It's the only one of its kind, and will give you a heads-up on any safety issues with your appliances. Just keep a beady eye out for marketing traps as you go through the registration process.
Is your tumble dryer dangerous?
About a year ago, Whirlpool issued a safety alert about the possibility of its tumble dryers catching fire. It turned out that Hotpoint, Indesit, and Creda dryers - all brands owned by Whirlpool - had accounted for more than 750 house fires since 2004.
Which? research has previously revealed that at least 113 different tumble dryer models are affected, and that there are approximately 5.3 million potentially dangerous dryers in the UK.
Whirlpool says it has sent out 3.4 million letters to notify owners, and that 350 extra engineers have been recruited to undertake the modifications needed to make the dryers safe.
Registering your appliances can help to make sure that you get to hear about important safety issues like this.