INDIANAPOLIS, June 12, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Are product recalls really about protecting the consumer? Most consumers don't think so. In fact, more than 3 in 5 Americans (64 percent) agree with the statement that recalls are "less about protecting consumers and more about government regulations," according to a new consumer survey1 of over 1,500 Americans commissioned by Stericycle Expert Solutions.
"This finding documents a dangerous misconception that product recalls are primarily exercises in red tape," said Chris Harvey, Director of Recall Solutions, Stericycle Expert Solutions. "It helps explain the 'recall apathy' we are starting to see in so many consumers."
Of those surveyed, 70 percent of males and 58 percent of females somewhat or strongly agreed that government regulations are the major driver of product recalls. The study showed that millennials (age 18-24) were the most skeptical (69 percent) and baby boomers (age 55+) the most trusting at 53 percent. When asked why they did not respond to a recall, nearly 65 percent of respondents said they either forgot or simply did not have time to respond to a recall.
"Ultimately, recalls really are about protecting people from harm," said Harvey. "There is a long history of people ignoring recalls and living to regret it. This research demonstrates the importance of communicating the urgency of recalls clearly and consistently."
The survey did reveal some good news for manufacturers: Consumers are forgiving when it comes to hearing about product recalls directly from the affected brand. For well over half of the American consumers surveyed (59 percent), a product recall would not discourage them from purchasing that product again. Less than 10 percent said that a recall would make them a lot less likely to repurchase or cause them to never repurchase the product.
Timely notification of product recalls is critical for getting potentially dangerous products out of consumers' homes. Preferred communication methods include distributing product recall notifications via email or letter, with 43 percent preferring email and 29 preferring a letter. Texting is a distant third at 19 percent. Not surprisingly, texting was the number two choice for millennials (27 percent), while only 6 percent of baby boomers wanted to receive texts.
Consumers are also apathetic about product registrations which are essential for manufacturers to know how to reach consumers in the event of a product recall. Registrations are submitted some of the time, rarely, or never by 49 percent of respondents. Only 24 percent said they register their products all of the time.
An appealing option for reaching consumers may be the availability of an app for their mobile device or tablet. Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) said they would likely download and use a mobile app that enables them to monitor and manage recalls of products they may have purchased and personally use. Forty-two percent said they would be extremely or very likely to do so.
About Stericycle Expert Solutions™
Stericycle Inc. (NASDAQ: SRCL) is a NASDAQ-listed global business-to-business services company which provides highly specialized solutions to healthcare and commercial businesses of all sizes. Founded in 1989, Stericycle Inc. has grown to become a leader across a range of complex and highly regulated market sectors and operates in 550 locations. Stericycle Expert Solutions™ is the industry leader in managing automotive, consumer product, pharmaceutical, medical device, juvenile product, and food and beverage recalls. Expert Solutions streamlines the entire product recall process and manages Notification & Response, Processing & Tracking, and Compliance & Reporting for leading global companies. For more information, visit www.stericycleexpertsolutions.com.
1 The U.S. consumer survey was conducted by Stericycle Expert Solutions, May 17 – June 6 2018, using the national Toluna QuickSurvey panel, n=1,504 (results weighted to match U.S. Census data).
SOURCE Stericycle Expert Solutions