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Cheap and Dangerous: Avoid Risky Tech Purchases by Press Release
Review by Charles Mohapel, News  ISBN/ITEM#: CM161204BATTERY
Date: 04 December 2016

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These days the terms Caveat Emptor and Let The Buyer Beware should be on the minds and tongues of everyone buying consumer electronic products, ESPECIALLY those manufactured in China. Sometimes unscrupulous Chinese factory owners produce extra units of proucts they have been licensed to manufacture, but include inferior components in the extra units. Other times, they defective components and units that were supposed to be destroyed and sell them as "grey market" and "black market" products, especially online or through companies like Amazon (see our previous article linked to this article).

Inexpensive charging cords, power banks can lead to device fires, ruined batteries

Every cord and power bank designed to charge a smartphone, tablet, or laptop is not created equal.  All too often people grab a cheap USB cable for their smartphone at the checkout counter or purchase an off-label power bank from the clearance rack believing they are getting a deal.  But, in reality they could be putting the battery inside their pricey device at risk.  Copycat chargers from the discount bin are often made with faulty electronic designs that can fry batteries and even start fires.  With so many choices available online and in stores, consumers need to educate themselves on what key factors they should look for when making a purchasing decision.  Following these tips from myCharge can help ensure a quality product is being bought that will not cause damage.

  • Check for the UL label.  Cables and chargers that have been submitted for UL testing and approved for meeting certain safety and quality standards will have a UL logo printed on the box or product.  If you do not see this logo, steer clear.
  • Do not be fooled by images.  Just because an online retailer has a photo of a legitimate Apple, Android, or other branded product on their product page does not mean that photo is of the product you are buying.  Read the fine print and make sure you are getting what you think you are paying for.
  • Check for logos.  Do not buy products made for Apple without the made for Apple logo or that come from unknown brands.  Many of these products use bootleg Apple Lightning tips that can result in damaging your Apple device.  Also avoid purchasing low cost power banks from online unknown brands.  Many of these power banks contain unsafe, low cost recycled batteries that do not implement the necessary safety measures to ensure secure operation.
  • Read the product details.  Check to make sure the cable or charger you are purchasing is the right one for your device.  And this means more than checking that you are buying for the right brand.  Research how much power your device needs and double check that the charging accessory will not over deliver or under deliver on these specific needs.  Look to see if the accessory you are buying offers protection against over-charge, under-charge, over-current, over-temperature, and short circuit.
  • Check for compatibility.  In addition to making sure your charging accessory delivers the right amount of power, also check to ensure device compatibility eliminating those annoying "not compatible" messages as seen from many chargers in the low-price category.
  • Choose the right charging environment.  If you are unsure about the provenance of your current charging cable or power bank do not use it risky situations.  Charge your devices away from your body.  Do not charge your device with it sitting in your lap, in your purse or pocket.  Avoid placing your device on paper, your bed, or other highly flammable surfaces, just in case.

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