Any business that manufactures consumer products recently received some great news. The Federal Trade Commission finally released final rules implementing the E-Warranty Act of 2015, which essentially eliminates the longstanding requirement that product warranties be printed and included inside of a product's packaging.
The primary benefit to businesses is obvious: a significant reduction in the costs associated with printing and product packaging. Less printing also means less environmental waste, and of course, less paper junk consumers are forced to deal with!
As the name of the E-Warranty Act implies, this is all accomplished by allowing manufacturers to post their product warranties online rather than printing a copy for inclusion in product packaging. Of course it's not quite that simple (compliance with any set of laws and rules is never simple), but navigating the requirements of the new rules is no more difficult than navigating the prior requirements for printed product warranties under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, which the E-Warranty Act amends. We'll cover some tips for complying with the new rules in another blog post.
The benefits of the E-Warranty Act will obviously vary from business to business, but there is little doubt that this is a huge opportunity for consumer product companies to get serious about the benefits of engaging their customers in a more digital manner.
Here are 5 ways businesses can take advantage of the E-Warranty Act:
1. Less warranty printing = less money spent on warranty printing.
This is the obvious one...and should be a no brainer for any business. Once you have established a plan for presenting your warranties electronically on the web, the cost associated with that will be infinitesimal compared to the cost of printing millions of little paper pamphlets. Such an obvious and significant cost savings is going to make someone in your packaging/printing department look like a hero!
2. No more re-prints anytime a warranty changes!
Changes to product warranties happen, and when they do, it means printing out all new paper warranties pamphlets. With e-warranties published to an online warranty center, updates can be made quickly and with essentially no additional associated costs.
3. Save the environment!
Less printing means less waste and less waste means less environmental impact. Sounds like a PR bonanza for manufacturers striving to be more green!
4. Consumers don't want the extra paper!
No consumer ever opened the box for their new gadget looking forward to reading through the little paper warranty pamphlet. They generally just get in the way and end up in the garbage. Apple and other companies have made packaging a part of the customer experience. Excluding paper warranties from the equation will only enhance that experience.
5. Data, data, data
Your business has no way of knowing if anyone even looks at the front page of your product warranties, let alone reads the entire thing. Publishing your product warranties to an e-warranty center will give you data and valuable insight into how important your warranties really are to your customers.