Yep, another rant!

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  #1  
Old 01-25-16, 03:34 AM
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Angry Yep, another rant!

I decide to "register" my new welder. The card included does not have pre-paid postage so I decide to do it on-line.

The FIRST thing they want me to do is to "open an account" complete with my email address and a password. WHY? The purpose of registering a warranty is so the company can contact me if they discover some problem with my item. There is no reason why I should have to "have an account" with them.

So I attempt to use the "Contact Us" form. I fill it all out, including the information they need to register my warranty and then send it. Nope, it spits back the following.

MySQL Error: 1064 (You have an error in your SQL syntax; check the manual that corresponds to your MariaDB server version for the right syntax to use *** (personal info deleted by me)
Session halted.
Now what the he double hockey sticks does THAT mean? Am I supposed to de-bug their lousy computer form?

I'll call their customer service 800 number later to voice my displeasure.

And yes, I'm off my meds.
 
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  #2  
Old 01-25-16, 03:39 AM
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Joel, I tried to register something awhile back and it kept spitting it back saying the last name I typed in wasn't acceptable and I needed to fill it out with a proper last name, I tried again a day or two later and then my name was ok
 
  #3  
Old 01-25-16, 04:37 AM
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They really don't care about registering your purchase, just collecting your contact information to spam you. If you send in the card, minus what information they don't need, and keep a dated copy of what you sent that would probably be sufficient. If you only give them your snail address, not everyone has an email, then you avoid most of the spam.

Just a guess, but requiring you to open an account qualifies you as a customer and allows them to send spam without breaking any rules.

Bud
 
  #4  
Old 01-25-16, 05:11 AM
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Registration is not required in order to receive warranty service.
Keeping your receipt shows date/proof of purchase. Never filled one out except for extended warranties.
 
  #5  
Old 01-25-16, 05:27 AM
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Good points, Bud. I remember hearing/reading that the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act does not require a customer to even register their warranty, it is just so the company can notify the customer in case their is a defect they find. I looked at a summary of the Act but couldn't find anything about actually registering the product or if the manufacturer was responsible for the cost (postage) of sending in a card.

Amazingly, this registration card is not like those of most consumer products in that it does NOT ask about age, occupation, number of household members, hobbies and all the other non-essential info. What they do ask is strictly pertaining to welding and any other welding equipment owned.

I may send in the card, I'm pretty cheap and don't want to waste the stamp but I might have a stamped envelope around here someplace. On the other hand, I will probably void the warranty by installing the contactor and plugs/jacks for the foot switch and welding leads so it could be a moot point.


I just thoroughly dislike the all consuming plethora of data bases that mine absolutely everything about anyone. Data that IS sold and can be hacked by those not willing to pay the fee to get it more or less legally. Ask yourself, is your health and medical data REALLY more secure under HIPAA than it was when only one copy existed in a locked filing cabinet in the doctor's office?
 
  #6  
Old 01-25-16, 05:29 AM
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Use a "spam" e-mail address. Problem solved. You get to register the product (which is not necessary for any type of warranty or recall) and they get to waste their time and effort to spam you. Everybody wins.
 
  #7  
Old 01-25-16, 06:59 AM
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As others have already said, registration isn't needed. Actually, it's a blessing in disguise that the registration failed. I wouldn't want my info in a MySql database even with a fake email address. It's not secure.
 
  #8  
Old 01-25-16, 08:53 AM
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And pray tell what info will you be releasing that they or others don't already have. You walk into a Target or Walmart and you're being tracked in every possible way. Your license, address and what not is available through public record. The mear fact that you have credit cards already has given most merchants all you information in terms of consumerism and that includes your financial position as a consumer.

I think many of us go a bit overboard trying to stay anonymous in the market place when there is no real need. (In fact I want the merchants to know exactly what my circumstances are and tailor their product accordingly.)

I'm not saying that you should give away all your info including SS# and banking info. What I'm saying is the info you provide the companies on product registration does in fact help them target markets for product and price and in so doing actually provide a service to you as a consumer. I see no harm in providing them the info if I'm in the mood. I won't provide ethnicity or income or religious info (and sometime age group). But by providing my opinion on how or why I choose their product or how I feel about the ordering process is a good thing.

Case in point. I'm ordering a dishwasher part from online. I'm getting the part at about one third the cost as opposed from getting it locally. Since local distributors do not have the part in stock and must order and I must go to their location to pick it up I refuse to buy from them. I see no value added at their higher cost. Now when I ordered the part from an on-line source I was more than willing to take their survey in this case. Among the question asked was the cost of shipping. I told them I thought the cost of shipping was highly inflated and included handling charges though not stated as such. However, in spite of the high shipping cost their price was better by a significant amount and I get to the door delivery. My feedback may or may not mean anything but no harm done.

And as far as using an "spam" e-mail? Nothing could be simpler. I never look at my spam e-mail. It most likely has thousands of e-mails for product.

If a person does not want to fill out product info cards, so be. But don't complain about the choice of not doing it.
 
  #9  
Old 01-25-16, 09:24 AM
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And pray tell what info will you be releasing that they or others don't already have.
That's a question that one would ask when thinking inside the box. However, someone who might use your info for profit, would think outside the box. In that case, the question could be: How can I use his basic info to obtain more info about him? The answers are endless.

You mentioned Target which is a good name because they were targeted twice & sued for millions by credit card companies, for not protecting the customers information.

I see no harm in providing them the info if I'm in the mood.
That's fine if they can protect your info but I saw some red flags with that MySQL error.
 
  #10  
Old 01-25-16, 10:22 AM
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A credit card breach is a lot different than gathering marketing info about a person. The info gathered and saved via credit card info is illegal (only the last 4 digits may be recorded via the cash register). Processing a credit via look up of the last 4 digits is external to the store and is controlled via the credit and/or banking institution.

Marketing information gathered by voluntarily requesting demographics is not. Market surveys are actually good for the consumer, albeit a PITA to conduct and take. Registration info is strictly voluntary and will give the manufacturer a better chance of contacting you when and if a recall for safety or performance is in question. You can't very well buy a car without providing lots of specifics about yourself. And when a recall is made usually a letter is sent direct to your house advising of such. Very practical.
 
  #11  
Old 01-25-16, 10:36 AM
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I don't work at being anonymous but neither do I lie down and put my legs in the air. When I get those warranty cards that do ask a lot of lifestyle questions I always leave those portions blank. I know there is a huge amount of information about me floating around in cyberspace but for the most part I don't worry about it because, truth be told, I'm a pretty boring person.

But there ARE things about my personal life that I prefer to keep to myself and my closest friends. To that end I refuse to answer several kinds of questions that are routinely asked on all kinds of forms, especially medical questions that are not the least bit pertinent to whatever reason I was asked to fill out the form in the first place.


At any rate, I have decided not to fill in any form or otherwise "register" my new welder. I will test it thoroughly before I start making any modifications and if the initial tests goes okay I seriously doubt that any problem with the machine will arise down the road that would require warranty work.
 
  #12  
Old 01-25-16, 01:45 PM
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A credit card breach is a lot different than gathering marketing info about a person. The info gathered and saved via credit card info is illegal (only the last 4 digits may be recorded via the cash register).
That's another example of where the book answer is not always the same as the real life answer. I don't depend on laws or law enforcement to protect me from identity theft or fraud. Some people do.

The first case of identity theft that I remember was long before PCs & the internet (1969). There was rock group called Vanilla Fudge. Someone stole the drummer's ID, Carmine Appice. When the perp was finally arrested, he even signed the fingerprints Carmine Appice.
 
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