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Thread: Companies asking for personal details.

  1. #1
    CaLoonie Buddyboy546's Avatar
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    I thought I would relate a recent experience on this site to raise awareness of something I see as an issue and to hear others' points of view on it.

    On several occasions I have bought a product and registered it online with the manufacturer. Some of them ask quite inappropriate questions about personal details as part of the registering process but, usually, I am able to leave answers off. On the odd occasion though, the personal information they ask for is "required" in order to complete the registration. On this occasion I was looking to purchase a replacement Sunbeam electric kettle, a product I really like. However, likely because of Covid, I was unable to find the kettle I wanted and ended up buying a brand I had never even heard of - Kalorik.

    I found it to be a really nice kettle, seemingly good quality and I was pleased with the purchase. When I registered the warranty online though, they required that I provide my date of birth. Not only that, they also required that I send them a scan of my receipt of purchase. I think that's the first time I have been asked for that just to register a product, but I can accept that as just being thorough. The demand for my date of birth is another matter entirely. Below is the sequence of emails between them and me which are self explanatory.


    Contact Reason:
    Product Registration

    Just a comment. Your product registration is inappropriately intrusive. It requires that I provide my date of birth, one of my most closely guarded pieces of information in order to prevent identity theft. Somebody there is not thinking. While I have so far developed a high regard for the product, the company name is now sullied. Please advise why you ask for such personal information, after all, you have a scan of my receipt, again something not normally required at this stage, more when making a claim.

    Kaloric Customer Service Team.

    Hello,

    Thank you for contacting us. We will be happy to help you with your question. We ask for all this information for your safety. Either way, this information is stored in our system, but it is not public to your account, so we do not have access to that information. If you are still unsure about this, you can put in a relative's date of birth, just don't forget the date.

    Your security is very important to us. If you have any questions, feel free to get in contact with us again. We look forward to assisting you.
    Thank you for choosing Kalorik!
    Have a really nice day!
    Av

    My response to Kalorik:

    Please note, you have in no way explained why your having my date of birth is needed for my safety. In fact, your not having my date of birth is needed for my safety. Again, I urge you to reconsider this. If you are unable to clearly explain the need for this it is obviously wrong. Giving a false date of birth is dishonest and that you advise customers to do this further demonstrates the depth of this wrong practise.

    I will add any further response I get. Has anybody else experienced this poor practise? Has anyone else taken the company to task? In my view, companies that engage in such disrespectful practises need to wear it publicly.
    This thread is currently associated with: N/A
    Last edited by Buddyboy546; Sun, Jun 6th, 2021 at 08:02 AM.
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  2. #2
    Smart Canuck
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    While I understand your concern and wholly appreciate the right to privacy surrounding your birthdate, having been on the other end of that system, I believe that THEY believe that a birthdate is a more mundane piece of info that you won't ever forget. It would then be used as a qualifier question to validate your identity should the need arise. So using a fictitious date is permitted because they don't really care what it is, as long as you can regurgitate it when asked for it in the future.

    They most definitely could have a different (better?) validation system than that, sure, but they dont see the need for it, and dont see the birthdate as being intrusive, however their compromise is to allow you to fake it.

    The fact they responded to you at all, however, is impressive... and that they weren't adamant that it be accurate, just repeatable. So I give them credit for that.

    Honestly, I have three "birthdays". My real one I use on anything seriously official (government forms, banking and financial, etc) ... the second is one like warranties, product requests, online promos, etc. ... the third is one for one-time use gimmicks to get me past a hurdle that requires it, but on a system or scheme that I wholly don't trust, nor suspect I'll continue beyond the one-time event. That way, if it is a scam, then your fear of it being compromised isn't ever realized. I know what all three dates are because each date has a meaning to me.
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  3. #3
    Misanthrope GoJays's Avatar
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    Whatever made you think that you had to give them your REAL birthdate?
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  4. #4
    CaToonie
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    Hi, I usually only provide birthdate for birthdays freebies in addition for more serious stuff, like govt forms etc.

    It's strange that they want a relative's birthdate but have the other information under your name. I would understand if they just want the year to ensure that you are of legal age to fill out forms etc.
    If the kettle is not too expensive, I would just forgo the warranty registration and buy a new one if it breaks.

    I don't usually look at the privacy policy of websites etc but I checked theirs just now and I don't see anywhere where they mention asking for birthdate or how they justify it (unless they consider it for marketing purposes?)

    maybe outright ask them again: Why do I need to provide a birthdate? Is this mentioned in the FAQs or privacy policy and where exactly? Is this information being collected and being sold?

    but personally, this would be a red flag for me and if it was me, i would provide the year of birth only or say over 18 yrs old, or forgo the registration if the kettle is not worth it...
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  5. #5
    CaLoonie Buddyboy546's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aquaria View Post
    maybe outright ask them again: Why do I need to provide a birthdate? Is this mentioned in the FAQs or privacy policy and where exactly? Is this information being collected and being sold?

    .
    I did ask them again as can be seen from my original posting. Here is their final response.

    "Thank you for contacting us. We will be happy to help you with your question. This information is stored in our system, but it is not public to your account, so we do not have access to that information. We are wanting to help you with the date, that is why we asked you to write a relative's date of birth. You do not have to worry about the date r your information because it is private. Customer's security is so important for us.

    If you have any questions, feel free to get in contact with us again. We look forward to assisting you.
    Thank you for choosing Kalorik!
    Have a really nice day!"
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  6. #6
    Sith Lady and Cool Kid Darth Penguin's Avatar
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    Given how cheap, relatively speaking, kettles are I wouldn't have bothered to fill in the warranty.
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    Short answer : no Long answer : NOOOOOOOOOOO!

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  7. #7
    Canadian Genius anisa's Avatar
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    create a fake persona for these types of forms.

    a fake nickname and shortened surname that you only use for filling out forms.
    a fake birthdate that you only use for forms.
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  8. #8
    Canadian Genius anisa's Avatar
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    I never fill out a warranty card or register a product.You're just providing them with marketing info.
    The chances of your products breaking down within the warranty period are slim. Hold on to the reciept, you only need it for 12 or 14 months most of the time.
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  9. #9
    CaLoonie Buddyboy546's Avatar
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    I appreciate the answers. I am afraid I am very much old school in that I expect companies to be up front and respectful to me, a customer, and I am always the same with them. The issue here is less how to manage such things, more that a seemingly reputable company thinks it all right to essentially abuse their customer's trust. If they do then they must be prepared to wear the label.

    As an aside, I am well aware warranties do not require registration of any kind and most of them are of little value anyway. Putting all that aside, my sense thus far is that most people are content for companies to behave this way.
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  10. #10
    MacGyvering the situation Ciel21's Avatar
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    You may wish to look up the privacy commissioner for your province to see if you may have grounds to lodge a complaint about the issue.
    It could be also worthwhile to see if Nova Scotia's consumer legislation addresses why manufacturers could request a birth date for warranty purposes. The logic, though not expressed by the company's replies to your concerns, might likely relate to adults as under the law, they are legal entities as consumers in a different way than minors are.

    I'm going to link the Dilbert comic that mocked loyalty programs as they often ask for so much info that customers simply just want to buy something, not go online and give info. https://dilbert.com/strip/2021-05-30


    I'll admit that I sent in the dryer registration card in my sibling's name (don't think there was a birth date requirement) as it was a high$ purchase and the manufacturer was also doing a (high value gift card) contest and entrants had to have purchased an appliance as well. It seemed to be a two birds one effort situation that I was not going to let pass. Saying this, I still don't know who won that gift card in 2018!
    ​2021-Formerly known as @Ciel. Hot weather requires watermelons!

  11. #11
    CaLoonie Buddyboy546's Avatar
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    Thanks Ciel21. I love Dilbert and that strip is very apropos. In this case the company is in the US so I doubt any legislation here in Nova Scotia or Canada will affect anything. However, as this type of intrusion occurs here also I will do as you suggest and seek out a legal answer here from the privacy people. I will post any resolution.
    Ciel21 likes this.

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