Should I send in warranty cards?
February 1, 2005 10:04 AM   Subscribe

WarranteeCard Filter: I'm on the fence about warrantee cards. I know there's a good chance of future pestering if I fill them out and send them in. But does sending them in have any bearing on the fulfillment of the warrantee?
posted by ObscureReferenceMan to Shopping (5 answers total)
Depends on where you live.

A good lawyer will point out that in the USA no, returning them is not necessary. There's a law somewhere that says this.

Outside the USA it depends. I am pretty sure the PIPEDA act in Canada has obsoleted warranty cards, since it is illegal to require someone to give any personal information to complete basic good transactions (like, for example, selling a satellite receiver... I'm wondering when Bell ExpressVu will be sued...) The fines can be pretty heavy, 5+ digits.

You can protect yourself from warranty card fraud by making your name or middle initial the manufacturer's name. For example, if you own a Sony TV, your name could be "John Sony Smith". When you see crap with that middle name come to your house, boom, you can phone up Sony and give them some serious hell.

posted by shepd at 10:11 AM on February 1, 2005

does sending them in have any bearing on the fulfillment of the warrantee?

The "warrantee," i.e. the person to whom the warranty is given, is you. So whether you will obtain more fulfillment by sending in the cards depends entirely on you. Myself, I don't obtain much personal fulfillment by sending in the cards.

However, you are likely to obtain a heap more junk mail, and it won't affect your warranty coverage one iota.
posted by kindall at 10:45 AM on February 1, 2005

Yes, not to go all Fark on you but
guess what it is
posted by Capn at 11:37 AM on February 1, 2005

If the thing under warranty ever gets recalled by the manufacturer, your address on the card is how they contact you. Just another data point.
posted by Daddio at 12:47 PM on February 1, 2005

King County (in Washington state), trying to cut down on junk mail, says: Also consider not returning the warranty card for a new product - it's usually not required. [That text seems to be standard - it's here for the State of Indiana].

The Washington State Attorney General thinks that sending in warranty cards might lead to identity theft.

As to whether sending them in has any bearing on the fulfillment of the warranty, I suggest that you look at the warranty card itself. My experience is that no where does the card actually say "failure to send this in will result in a loss of your warranty" or anything similar. And I think that language is missing precisely because (as noted above) legally a warranty comes with your purchase.

So - if you (a) really think that the item might be subject to a recall, and (b) you don't move very often, and (c) you don't think you'd find out about the recall otherwise, then unless (d) you really detest junk mail, go ahead and send the card in, with the minimal amount of information. But if (a), (b), and (c), together, aren't true, then don't bother.
posted by WestCoaster at 2:10 PM on February 1, 2005

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