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?