Should You Really Fill Out That Warranty Registration Card?

Many Americans woke up to find new small appliances or electronics under the Christmas tree yesterday…or they picked one out for themselves in the before- or after-holiday sales. Gadgets, appliances, and toys come with warranty registration cards. You might think that filling these out and sending them back is necessary in order to use your warranty if needed…but that’s not necessarily the case.

Our colleagues down the hall at Consumer Reports tell us that while companies certainly would like for you to send them your information, it’s not always necessary. What most likely will happen when you fill out the card, especially if you provide information about your income, habits, and hobbies, is that you’ll get marketing mail. Maybe you think catalogs and junk mail are fun, and you’re cool with that. If you don’t read the warranty information carefully.

Of course, if the item is defective or otherwise problematic and gets recalled, you probably want to know about that. This is especially true in the case of children’s toys. The easiest way to track down customers in the case of a recall is using the warranty registration information on file.

There can be other benefits, too: I asked for and got an electric toothbrush for Christmas, because I’m old and boring. The company offers an incentive to register it: six extra months of warranty protection. I’m probably going to send that card back.

What you’re more likely to need when you use a warranty is the receipt: make sure to file those away, if you have them, in order to prove your purchase date.

Should you register that new product? [Consumer Reports]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.