By Kymberly Martin

LG, Samsung, Smeg, Miele, Whirlpool on board.

Set up by The Retail Ombudsman, ‘UK Recall’ is a free scheme that covers a wide range of electrical goods including domestic appliances, entertainment systems and computer devices. Consumers who register their appliance on the recall website will be automatically alerted when a manufacturer issues a safety notice or recall. Major brands such as LG, Samsung, Miele, Whirlpool and Smeg are understood to have already signed up to the register.

The scheme was set up to help resolve disputes between retailers and consumers and claimed it is now the dominant alternative dispute resolution scheme in the retail sector. There has been a spate of incidents in the UK recently involving electrical appliances which are said to be one of the most common causes of house fires.

UK Recall

Commenting on the UK initiative, CHOICE, policy & campaigns advisor, Sarah Agar, said the Australian organisation supports efforts to increase transparency around recalls, and to encourage businesses to proactively communicate recalls using all relevant channels.

“We called for improvements to Australia’s product recall system in our recent submission to the Australian Consumer Law Review Issues Paper. Our research found that 47 per cent of consumers expect to hear about a recall through television ads, but businesses often resort to the bare minimum – an ad in the newspaper. Australian consumers can already register for email alerts on recalls, using the Government’s product recall website. The website also lets consumers pick specific product categories to receive alerts on.”

However, she said the ways in which consumers are informed about recalls in Australia could definitely be improved, although the system in place here appears to be very similar to the new UK scheme.

“The bottom line is that businesses need to make sure they advertise recalls using channels that will actually reach consumers. Businesses spend huge amounts of money advertising their products for sale on television, and when something goes wrong they should be as willing to effectively advertise that,” Agar said.

LG general manager marketing, Angus Jones, said LG was always supportive of processes that facilitate interaction with customers, especially for any product-related issues. “In the unlikely event of an LG product recall, it is critical that we reach affected customers as quickly as possible. We encourage all customers to register their product with us, which can be done by following the links to product registration on our website. This enables us to get in direct contact with customers regarding any urgent product related information,” he told AR.