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Product recalls increasing, but are they publicised enough?

Man Carrying Large Television Box

A record 229 products were recalled from sale in the UK last year – an increase of 12%. But do we always hear about them – or could companies do more to publicise these recalls to customers?

Maybe I need to read the papers more carefully, but I can’t remember seeing more than a couple of articles about product recalls in 2010. So how come last year saw the highest number of recalls ever recorded, with 229 products taken off shelves?

Admittedly, not every recall is going to make exciting headlines – the exploding Candy washing machines that left German consumers diving for cover being the exception rather than the rule.

And if they can’t get a story in the paper, the other ways companies can publicise a recall aren’t likely to reach everyone. These include notices on their websites and in stores, adverts, and in the case of electronic goods, emails to customers who’ve registered the product online.

But it’s still important that they do everything possible to let the public know about recalls, especially as some faults aren’t immediately apparent.

Most parents wouldn’t have been aware of any potential problems with Maclaren pushchairs until the company recalled 1 million of its pushchairs in the US in November 2009, for example. The fallout from that story led to more than 40 British families banding together to sue Maclaren and subsequently receiving compensation from the company.

So tell us: have you bought a product that’s later been recalled? Do you think companies could do more to publicise recalls – if so, how should they let consumers know when there’s a fault with a product?

Comments
Profile photo of Patrick Taylor
Member

Where can I see a list of all 229 products?

BTW this was interesting from the linked article:
“Highest number of recalls ever recorded during the past year
Toy recalls represent 43% of all Chinese-made product recalls in UK
62% of consumer recalls of products from China”
though the article could have been clearer as I take it that 43% of the Chinese products recalled are in fact toys. Therefore excluding toys the % of consumer recalls relating to consumer products is actually nearly 30%. A significant amount for those of us who do not have children to conjure with..

Profile photo of Matt Clear
Member

Unfortunately, I’ve contacted the law firm which carried out the research and the full list isn’t publicly available. Sorry about that!

30% does seem like a significant amount. To judge exactly how significant, I guess you’d need to know how many of the goods sold in the UK are made in China, but that information doesn’t seem to be easily available.

Member
Sarah D says:
24 July 2017

Product recalls notice are certainly not adequate! I been in several supermarkets where there have contamination to food products and faulty goods recalls on a small sheet of A4, tiny writing and/or somewhere your not necessarily going to see. Even if it’s on the front entrance, it’s that small your not likely to see it. Really annoying. What happened to dangerous recalls to be on the news?

Profile photo of malcolm r
Member

Do you think companies could do more to publicise recalls – if so, how should they let consumers know when there’s a fault with a product?

Unless customers register products and provide contact details I see no way full recalls, or the distribution of safety-related issues, can be done effectively. There is, for those who have not seen it, a separate conversation looking at this:
20 JULY 2017 / HOME & ENERGY
Update: it’s time to overhaul the UK’s product safety system

What the scope of a national recall system should be needs considering. It would be too unwieldy to cover every product so I presume initially it is likely to cover household electrical appliances. Compulsory registration by the seller at point of sale is proposed by many.

For other products I suspect the only way is to register a product with the manufacturer/ UK distributor on line or by post and introduce regulation to make it mandatory for them to notify registered users, as well as the press, of significant safety issues or recalls. Registration should not involve anything other than that – no unwanted marketing communications for example.

Profile photo of KennethWatt
Member

Sadly Malcom the internet phenomena of TL;DR applies.

Too Long, Didn’t Read.

So many people even if they see stuff like that simply appear not to bother.

It amazes me the number of people the guys go to, spot an affected dryer especially and the owner says they were complex oblivious despite the monumental coverage in the media. Or, they didn’t think their’s was one so didn’t check it.

Then there’s those that “forgot”, “didn’t get round ot it” etc, etc. Even if they got a letter in the post, sometimes multiple times.

You can’t really combat that.

K.