Serial Number Legibility

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  • Updated 4 months ago
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Greatly improving the customer product registration experience. Please, please print the serial numbers with black ink and a larger type size.
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Peter Wachter

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Posted 8 months ago

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William E Hanson

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Second that motion; it's nearly impossible to read the minute print in a light color ink in an awkward location. I pull out my trusty LED-lighted magnifier and pretty much guess what I'm reading and hope the registration confirms it's a good number.
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Blue Angel, Champion

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Agreed, on some tools it’s very hard to read!
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Ken, Champion

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Agreed. I find myself taking a picture of the serial number label with my cellphone so I can zoom in on it when it comes time to upload it to the website. This was especially true for the serial number on the snow blower, which is next to impossible to read otherwise because of its location.
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SCDC, Champion

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a resounding YES.  I have to use my magnifying glass app on my phone to see the things.
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Peter Wachter

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Well, gotta love the techies that use the vision enhancement capabilities of the smartphone. I employed analog aids: an Agfa film loupe and LED hand torch. 
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Bryan

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EGO was testing out an app that allowed you to scan your serial number via a phone camera for warranty registration. Not sure what the status of that app is.
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William E Hanson

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Manufacturers all place the burden upon the consumer to certify your purchase for warranty knowing many are too disorganized or lazy to follow through. Bet they get out of lots of claims based on this. Real customer service would be automated registration at the point-of-sale by the cashier scanning a barcode and your credit card; takes a second and all pertinent information is there. Technology has been available for years and we're still playing dinosaur.
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William E Hanson

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Ken, with agreements between organizations, a skilled programmer could have it integrated within days because the majority of the technology is already in place; just adding a few sub programs to include information necessary for registration.
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Ken, Champion

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The conglomerate you retired from has impressive manufacturing and distribution automation, but it still doesn't really deal directly with consumer retail sales.

I guess we can agree that systems exist that may make this sort of thing possible, I'm just not aware of any manufacturer or retailer anywhere doing anything like this. I don't recall anything like automatic registration being offered for any purchases where warranty was a concern --- household appliances, home electronics, camera equipment. Maybe motor vehicles, where the purchase is being made from a manufacturer affiliated dealership.

You mention scanning a credit card. Not everyone makes their purchases with credit cards, so you'd have to figure out a way to deal with cash purchases, gift cards and so forth. Of course you'd also have to protect the credit card information, because data breaches are an ongoing concern. There are also likely privacy concerns. There are some paranoid people out there who don't like the idea of this kind of data sharing, so there would have to be an opt-out option.

In the end, I don't think "management ineptness" has anything to do with it.
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William E Hanson

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Ken, computers doesn't know/care if you're retail, wholesale, distribution or manufacturing. Information is stored in databases where the owner can grant access to any or all parts of the data stored. Such technology doesn't need access to confidential data, just the information required for registration. It requires cooperation among several parties; credit card issuer organizations, retailer and manufacturer to be registered at. Understand the hesitation because of their lack of knowledge and the bad publicity of data breaches in the news. True, no one is going it, but I'm one of a few who can do it. Technical abilities are limited by management's ability of comprehensive or trust their people. It's an uphill battle for folks like me not being allowed to do so much more. For those not using credit cards, they could be given the option to manually enter their registration information, but things such as model and serial numbers would automatically populated by scanning the bar code on the box. Remember the Wright Bros. were told they would never fly? We"re limited by lack of knowledge and trust. I spent my entire career in automation and it's frustrating to be paid for a Rolls Royce when all they allowed you to deliver was a Kia. Businesses fail everyday because of management; not the abilities of the front line.
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szwoopp, Champion

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Can be done does not always equal should be done.

It is a great idea of how things could work and make a mundane task easier. I have also seen Rolls Royce budgets spent on non functioning technology, so the problems go both ways.  I have spent my career in running businesses and have see over promised technology solutions fail time and again.

This is nothing personal William - not a question of your competence or ability to deliver.  Just a summary of the view from the other side of this apparent divide.

Again a great idea, but perhaps more reasons behind it not being currently in use than we may know of.
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William E Hanson

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Szwoopp, agree in principle.
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Peter Wachter

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Measured gains: Black ink, a larger typeface, even shorter serial numbers.

It's clear that EGO is employing some heuristic in their S/Ns so I hesitate asking them to shorten the number, but 5 letters "ABCDE" would give them 9,765,625 possibilities. I eliminated "O" as it is often confused with zero.

Plenty of computer and electronics manufactures print the S/N right on the package near the UPC bar code. I tape the receipt right next to all this labeling so that one photo in my computer or in the Cloud captures all essential data. In the future perhaps, such photos will be used for product registration when OCR/Machine Learning gets smart enough.

I think what bugs us here that hasn't been articulated is that EGO, among many others, makes a big deal about "registering your product" yet they politely miss the challenge to the end user. A label properly executed is every bit as valuable as the satisfying click of the battery docking and the refined ergonomics of a handle. It's just plain user-unfriendly when people have to ask where the label is or have to use some kind of magnifier.

I don't mind a label that is "in my face" (but is protected from bleaching by UV exposure). On a $600 machine the serial number should be a badge of honor reflecting accomplishment and pride. Dang, put the customer service phone number and email address/website right there too. Hey labeling department, what do you think? Marketing and sales? Industrial designers, UX, UI....

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Peter Wachter

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BTW - I hope that EGO vastly exceeds 9.7 million serial numbers.
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William E Hanson

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Peter, I would have loved having you as a peer.
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James

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I agree. I am so tired of taking a magnifying glass to figure out if the 0 is an O or 6 is an 8 or etc.  Why cant they print out the serial/model numbers and paste it on the operators manual as well as the embossed strip on the unit. It cant be that hard as I have seen several manufacturers do that
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William E Hanson

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James, better yet to automatically register at checkout; scan a barcode on the box, use credit card's personal data to transfer from bank to registration and you're done. For those paying with archaic forms, they can enter necessary personal data on the keypad at checkout. This can easily be integrated into any point-of-sale device.