Breville: Why do you need my date of birth?

May 14, 2015

I bought a new slow cooker the other day. I usually register such products, either via the little card they provide in the packaging, or, more recently, via their online registration form as the little card seems to have gone the way of the dodo.

And so it was with Breville. I started their online registration process and was stunned to find that they wanted my date of birth. Now, why would an appliance company want my date of birth? I can understand them wanting an age range (e.g. 35 to 50), or even perhaps a year of birth for ‘marketing purposes’, but the full date? What’s up with that? And it was a mandatory field too. If I remember correctly, manufacturers don’t ask for date of birth on registration cards, so why ask it online? So I gave them an incorrect date.

Even more surprising, though, was the drop-down selection list of birth years. Instead of placing the focus in the middle of the list, or at the most recent year, they had it at the beginning of the list, which started at 1900!!! Breville_age There are probably only about 10 people in the entire world still alive today who were born in 1900, and none of them live in Australia (Australia’s oldest resident is 112), let alone are out buying a new Breville appliance and registering it online. Yet here was Breville Australia listing years of birth from 1900 onwards. As you can imagine, it took a lot of scrolling to get to my fake year of birth ;-)

As far as user experience went, this was a fail in two ways, Breville:

  • requiring my full date of birth to register a product (I immediately suspect identity theft when a company that has no need for this information requires it)
  • starting the selection list for year of birth at a date (1900) that predates the year of birth for almost 7 billion people on this planet.

One comment

  1. Yes, I’ve often wondered why these organisations want your date of birth. You know, I’ve filled that box in countless times, but none of them have EVER sent me a card!

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