The vending industry could face some turmoil if the Public Database of Complaints which is set to launch March 11, 2011, is improperly utilized. Manufacturers are concerned that illegitimate claims can and will be made about products across the database, causing needless public alarm about a certain product. In a time of immediate, real-time news and updates, it is easy for the public to become outraged easily without all the facts. One vending franchise that could face the most scrutiny: toys. As one bulk supplier aptly put it, the toys in vending machines are certain to be scrutinized more closely. “The bulk vending industry [cannot] sustain another large recall.” It is important for vending franchisers to supply their consumers with the safest products out there, or they could possibly face public ridicule.

Congress passed the Consumer Safety Product Act of 2008 under President Bush, designed to protect consumers from harmful products. Manufacturers and vending merchants should be prepared for products to be tested more often and closer than ever, especially if they produce toys.

The Consumer Products Safety Commission’s job is to collect complaints of defects from a variety of sources, including healthcare providers. Prior to this new system, consumers could obtain reports about products, but it was necessary to file a public records request with the Consumer Products Safety Commission. In other words, it was much more difficult to file a complaint and this usually kept the spurious complaints to a minimum.

Now, complaints will be posted on the database within 15 days of being made for the country to see. While it will be easier for consumers to voice their opinions about certain products and manufacturers, it could be interesting for the businesses responsible for said products. How will the CPSC scrub these comments to make sure that they are not fraudulent? They assure that they have “built-in safeguards” to prevent this very situation, though vending franchises and manufacturers of products will not be sure of this until the Database goes live on March 11.

Information courtesy of VendingTimes.com

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