23 March 2010

Canon, easy darling!

I buy a lens and retail asks me to register the product online for warranty.
I go to the Canon Singapore site, and immediately a 4Q experience survey pops up. I agree to participate, although I had hardly started the registration.
I look to find the link to register. I’m wondering if I should look under Support or Customer Care, but I find the link easily. Click on it and it takes me to the registration page. All good so far.
I go to the registration landing page and it asks me to log in. As I don’t have an account yet  I need to register, before I register my lens. I bring up the form, and pleasantly surprised one gets 3 months extra warranty to register online. Things are getting better.
I start on the form and surprised at the information they need to set up an account. And the excuses they provide to collect key Personal Identifiable Information. (PII) makes me crack up :)!

1.       NRIC or FIN numbers. Click on why do I need this information and you get. 

2.       If you need a unique identifier, why ask for a phone number /email address (captured later in the Contact Number & Email address)? Why not use of these data data fields as your UI?

3.       They then want my full mailing address with pin code, and it’s mandatory. For what?
Now some smart consultant could have told them, “Boss every registrant is potential opportunity. Let’s collect PII, Permission & Multiple modes of Contact. We know their age and if they are M/F from their IC# to segment and plan Up-sell/X Sell. And we can use the mailing address to narrow down communications by postal codes. Make it mandatory, so we have all the information on the first go”.
Noble intention, but it ignores the first rule of good data collection. Collect only what you need at the moment.
Needless to say, I decided to risk the lens without the warranty. Now if only they had sent me a follow up mail, following basic registration, with the extended warranty in exchange for additional PII, we would have had the beginnings of a conversation. Not too late, but is anyone at Canon listening?

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