Forbes.com Reblog: This Yale Grad’s Startup Makes Following Consumer Product Recalls Easy
Most consumers would be shocked to learn that over 900 million products were recalled last year. Keeping up with that kind of volume can be overwhelming, which often means that recalled items go undetected or unremarked, which can be simply inconvenient or outright dangerous. According to the Center for Injury Research and Policy, 80% of recalled children’s products are still in use, a statistic that ought to provoke anxiety in even the most relaxed parent. A new consumer service called Bonnie a startup founded by Yale graduate and entrepreneur Chris LoPresti and his brother Matt LoPresti, is poised to provide an easy and smart solution.
How It Works
Bonnie is a free service that lets users automatically monitor the various items in their homes for recalls and other safety issues. The setup is simple. Users sign up by connecting their email — a process that takes about 10 seconds — and and giving the company permission to monitor their past and future purchases. The Bonnie Receipt Scanner then locates and analyzes emailed receipts for any recalled items. Users can also manually scan receipts from in-store cash purchases into the Bonnie system. Once a family is enrolled, Bonnie works in the background to continuously monitor for items that have been recalled or that have serious defects or safety issues. It then notifies the consumer whenever there’s a match. Instead of simply highlighting a problem, Bonnie also provides detailed, step-by-step instructions on how to resolve the issues.
Who Will Benefit
“Bonnie is a great service for anyone, though it’s particularly helpful for busy parents,” LoPresti notes. “There are plenty of reasons why the majority of recalled children’s products are not promptly removed from the home, but the primary issue is that it’s just hard to keep up. Parents have enough on their plates without having to constantly monitor the Internet or follow up on every item they have purchased for their homes. As a result, children across the country face dangers in their home environments unbeknownst to their parents.”
LoPresti adds, “With a service like Bonnie, parents enjoy peace of mind, knowing that even when they don’t have the time or resources to keep track of recalls, Bonnie is running around-the-clock to keep their families safe and out of harm’s way. What’s more, because Bonnie also instructs users on exactly how to resolve recall issues, the entire process is quick and painless.”
Automation is Key
Today, 80 million Americans are Amazon Prime members, and in-store receipts are becoming much less common. It makes sense that paper warranty postcards and printed recall notices — which seem like modern-day antiques — should be replaced with an automated e-based service.
“Product recalls aren’t just a hassle. In many cases, a defective product can result in serious injury or even death,” LoPresti explains. “These tragedies can be prevented with the right monitoring tool in place. Bonnie is designed to make the lives of parents easier and also potentially save the lives of thousands of children. Best of all, the service is completely free for the consumer. Anyone interested in signing up and protecting their family with this free service should click here.”
This article first appeared in Inc.com on September 14, 2017 and was written by Kate Harrison.