(NEW YORK) — What happens when you mail a product registration card for that Christmas gift you just received? Apparently not much, and in fact companies may be making money by selling your information to marketers.
When you buy electronics, like a television, you’ll typically find a form that you can mail back to the manufacturer, which asks for your personal information, like the product you bought, an address and phone number. While some companies frame the questionnaire as though it will validate your warranty, a sales receipt should usually suffice if you need to file a warranty claim, Consumer Reports finds.
One advantage of registering is that a manufacturer can notify you if a product has been recalled. Children’s products must have registration cards for that reason, Consumer Product Safety Commission spokesman Scott Wolfson tells Consumer Reports.
Some companies may offer individualized benefits, but they should state those incentives explicitly. Consumerist reports that one electronic toothbrush product offers an extra six months under the warranty if you register with the manufacturer.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Madison Park, Keith Allen and Andreas Preuss, CNN