Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the lights on at MakeUseOf. Read more.
No one likes paying full price for things. Especially if these things are ridiculously overpriced in the first place. Unfortunately, when it comes to Apple chargers there really is no alternative to buying the real thing. Buying a fake charger just isn’t worth the risk.
The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) recently conducted an investigation into the safety of fake Apple chargers. The organization purchased “400 counterfeit Apple chargers from suppliers around the world” only to find that 397 of the 400 failed even the most basic safety test.
— IPO.GOV.UK (@The_IPO) December 2, 2016
The 397 failed “an electrical strength test in which high voltages are applied to the units to see how much voltage will flow between the input and output. If the current is above the threshold the unit is determined to have insufficient isolation with potential for electric shock”.
At the risk of stating the bleeding obvious, this means that 99 percent of the fake Apple chargers the CTSI bought online were potentially dangerous. Which is a shocking result.
Apple Cracks Down on Counterfeits
This investigation by CTSI follows on from a previous investigation conducted by Apple itself. Apple purchased 100 chargers from a company claiming to sell the real deal on Amazon, only to find that 90 percent of the chargers were counterfeits.
According to Patently Apple, Apple sued the company responsible, Mobile Star LLC, and in the lawsuit stated that these counterfeits “have the potential to overheat, catch fire, and deliver a deadly electric shock to consumers while in normal use”. Which puts the few dollars you save in perspective.
Charging for a Lack of Common Sense
This all adds up to consumers needing to be more cautious when purchasing Apple chargers. The risk of buying a fake which could potentially overheat, catch fire, or shock you surely outweighs any potential saving you could make in terms of cold, hard cash.
Toby Harris, chair of National Trading Standards, said:
“Criminals across the globe are using online platforms to lure you in with cheap deals for fake items, many of which are dangerous and have been known to overheat and cause house fires.”
“We urge consumers to be vigilant when buying electrical products online: be wary of deals that look too good to be true and search for reviews of the seller before making your purchase.”
While I’m personally loathe to recommend anyone pay the exorbitant prices Apple charges for accessories, on this occasion that appears to be the only sensible option. And once you’re in possession of a real Apple charger, please take good care of it.
Have you ever bought an Apple charger from someone other than Apple? How confident are you that it’s the real deal? Do you care that it might be counterfeit? What made you buy a charger from a source other than Apple? Please let us know in the comments below!
Image Credit: Clare McBride via Flickr