Thursday, December 14, 2017

Product Recalls

Product recalls seem to happen more often than before or perhaps I was not paying attention, as statistics might disapprove my assumption (see the article The World Is Not Falling Apart with the subtitle 'Never mind the headlines. We’ve never lived in such peaceful times').

In my case first it was the Tanaka airbag and the fire extinguishers Kidde. The car dealer sent me a letter, but anyway I would have found about the recall due to the scale of it.

However it is a different story with the fire extinguishers. I happened to be at home and heard on the radio about the recall, and I don’t listen to the radio very often. What if I had not been listening to the radio? I would still have the defective extinguishers.

I have also learnt about the ‘Kidde Recalls Talking Combination Smoke and CO Alarms’, a recall from November 10, 2016 that I did not know of, but I do not have this model.

Another case in point is the Samsung top loader washer recall, that only recently did I learn about it as I was "researching" the subject of product recalls (the recall was in November 2016, 'Samsung recalls washing machines over injury reports from malfunctioning units'). I have a Samsung washer, but a front loader.

Also, I went once to a walk-in clinic and there a notice said:
The BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) is warning consumers that Hepatitis A virus has been detected in a sample of Western Family brand fresh pineapple chunks sold in ready-to-go cups.

It was first time I had learned about this food recall so I got curios about the food recalls and Save-on-Foods' Products Alerts is “scary”. I wonder how many people, who shop at Save-on-Foods, check the report (24 pages) - I don't - or even know about it.

And true scary:
Food contaminated with Clostridium botulinum toxin may not look or smell spoiled but can still make you sick.
Symptoms can include facial paralysis or loss of facial expression, unreactive or fixed pupils, difficulty swallowing, drooping eyelids, blurred or double vision, difficulty speaking or slurred speech, and a change in sound of voice, including hoarseness.

My suggestion: Consumer Card

The customer would have their card scanned every time they purchase something (like a reward card) - of course if they want to - and what they have purchased will be sent and stored on ... government servers, consumer organization, FDA? This is to be determined as it will be a very sensitive topic.
The stored data will only be used in case of product recalls by automatically sending emails/SMS to the registered consumers.
This way people will not miss any product recalls. 

 In Canada, and something similar must exist in the U.S. also, you can register to receive a notice on the day that the recall is posted. I registered but after a while I un-registered, as there were too many emails, for example(not to mention I have not  purchased any of those products):  
  • Village des Magi-Prix (9237-7415 Quebec Inc) recalls plastic squeeze toys Screams of Animal kingdom and Angry Birds
  • Northern Souvenirs recalls Kids' Full Zip Hooded Jacket with drawstring at the hood 
  • Novelty Imports Inc. recalls Fish Shaped Bath Toys
  • NETGEAR, Inc. recalls Power Adapter for Arlo Pro Outdoor Cameras
  • Ravin® Crossbows Recalls Nocks Used with Ravin® Crossbows
  • Metabo USA recalls Rat Tail Angle Grinders
  • Jackfield - Distribution Eugène Gagnon Inc. recalls Jackfield work boots
  • International Specialty Services, Inc. recalls Evercraft and NAPA 800 pound low profile transmission jacks

Earny is a very interesting app. It syncs with your inbox and identifies receipts (I hope it does not save/use anything else that is not related to receipts). It then keeps track of price changes and follows through to get your money back in case of a price drop within a certain period that varies from seller to seller.
I wrote to them suggesting they use the system for product recalls as well.

The replaced fire extinguishers (left the old ones, right the new ones):

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