Only about half of the 650 or so products that are recalled for safety reasons every year in Australia get sent back to the sellers. Check our list of popular retailers to see if you have a recalled item in your house:
Does Choice have any ideas of how the level could be increased?
One obvious one would be for retailers to record all customer’s details and products purchased…so that can contact consumers directly in the event of a recall. I suppose that precedence has been set by the car industry as they often do this for new cars…and the customer loyalty cards…but…one has to accept that the retailers are capturing all this information.
If it became a mandated practice, there could be significant privacy concerns.
That’s a good idea. Ultimately, we’re aiming to convince the government to introduce much stronger mandatory product safety laws, which would have an effect both before and after products are sold.
This pre-check of safety is the one I think has the best chance if it is properly practiced. This would put an impost on retailers as they would need to pay for the inspection, certification or whatever mix of checks had to be put in place. This would have some flow on to consumers but it shouldn’t add a huge amount as an example they get a new garment, before selling it some of them need to be sent to a facility that tests the sample garments to ensure they are not unsafe. Once found to be compliant they can be sold. If an alteration is made to the design then it must be retested.
As the old saying goes “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.