My family recently added a new Weber grill to our stable of cooking instruments. I found the manual lying on the counter the other day, and was surprised to discover its back cover taken up by a mammoth “product registration” card.
“This card registers your product and helps us get to know our customers,” it read. “However, failure to complete and return this card does not diminish your warranty rights.” Good, because though the first 10 questions entail whether I’d owned a grill before, if I enjoy grilling, if I’d like to receive Grill Out® Times, etc., (that would be no, no, and no) the ways Weber wants to “get to know” me turn swiftly more intrusive, including:
- My gender
- My marital status
- Date of my birth
- Including myself, how many people live in my household
- Date of birth of children in my household 18 years of age and younger
- Whether I own or rent
- My highest level of educational attainment
- My household income, as it falls in 16 ranges from “Under $15,000″ to “$300,000+”
- What I/we buy through the mail, over the Internet, or from television among 15 groups from “Books/Magazines” to “Other”
- Which credit cards I/we have
- Which of 40 activities, from “Astrology” to “Worship/Bible”, at least one person in my home enjoys
So, after buying something to make hot dogs, the company would like one to specify what you’ve studied, what you make, what you buy, what you enjoy, and whether you’ve married. They’ll then respond by sharing this information with anyone they can get to pay for it, while your compensation is the continuation of warranty rights you’d have even if you don’t send in the card.
All of which leads me to ask: does anybody ever fill these out? Why?