So this is very unpleasant news: after being alerted by a reader, the German c’t magazine has reported that many smartphone batteries sold on Amazon (supposedly original) are fake. The reader had ordered four Samsung batteries; all four were fake. The German magazine wanted to get to the bottom of this, so they decided to order 12 Samsung batteries. Four units came directly from Amazon, while the rest were ordered from other sellers. Again, all were advertised as original, from Samsung
Surprise, surprise. It turns out all 12 were fakes! When comparing these batteries to the originals, you can find minimal differences. At times they weigh 1 less gram, and sometimes the logos or fonts are a little different. But since this is not solid proof of forgery, they sent the batteries straight to Samsung. The Koreans confirmed that, in fact, none of these batteries were made by them.
We find it very shocking, as some of these come directly from Amazon. One may wonder about the other sellers, but one would assume a company like Amazon would be more selective about its suppliers. In addition, the experiment didn’t involve saving a couple bucks. These batteries costed 15-18 Euros each, similar prices to those of the originals.
We suppose the problem here is not that there are counterfeit batteries out there, the issue is that they are selling and advertising them as official products. This is annoying, because you get something other than what you ordered, and it could even be dangerous. We have all heard the horror stories of fake batteries blowing up, and it’s especially dangerous if you pair it with an unofficial charger.
As it goes with these types of things, most counterfeit batteries come from China. We recently went to Shenzhen, where they falsify batteries right in front of customers’ eyes. Nicole walked in with a smartphone camera (as to not draw too much attention). One can easily see how “new” batteries are made by simply putting a Samsung label on it. In addition, they sell older batteries that were refurbished and put out in the shelves without much testing.
On her way around the Yuanwang Digital Mall, Nicole could see how sellers even have stacks of logos, holograms and other stickers to make fake batteries seem official. And this is what makes it so hard to see if a battery is real or fake. Have you purchased a battery from someone who isn’t the official manufacturer or a large retailer? Chances are you have pretty much been ripped off into buying a counterfeit.
This Shenzhen mall is teeming with both real and counterfeit products, so not even being there can you tell the difference. In fact, we often found that not even the sellers knew which were fake or real. And this is probably why a company like Amazon had a hard time choosing the right supplier – it’s hard to tell which battery is which. Just take a look at the video below to see how the world of fake batteries really is. We can only hope Amazon chooses better suppliers from now on.
Samsung has stepped forward on the matter, though. They are not exactly solving the problem just yet, but they are educating us more on the matter, from their point of view. Here’s what Sammy had to say:
How does Samsung deal with fake Samsung battery sellers?
There is a central concern to offer Samsung users the best possible product experience. Therefore, Samsung pays attention to the highest possible product quality. For products that do not come from Samsung, but are illegally sold under the brand name, Samsung can not test the quality of each product before sending to market. In order to prevent inferior products affecting the user experience, Samsung is taking the necessary legal steps against any Samsung Trademarks infringement and any misuse of the brand name and logo.
What is the cooperation with authorities in this field?
Samsung is working closely with authorities to assist them in the investigation of offenses.
How is collaboration with trading platforms in this area?
In counterfeiting, which may affect the experience of users, Samsung has a zero-tolerance policy. This includes all trading platforms. All alleged violations are audited by Samsung carefully, and if a violation has occurred, the appropriate legal action will be taken.
How can customers distinguish fake and genuine batteries?
Customers can reduce the risk of acquiring counterfeit products by following these tips. You should only buy from reputable sources. In addition, consumers should only accept merchandise in the original packaging of Samsung. Another clue is the label of the package. Important commercial information such as the EAN (European Article Number) should be legible. An inferior quality of packaging, such as a fuzzy label or deviating from the original Samsung logo is also a negative indicator.