3/6/2009 10:35:00 AM
Samsung drops distributor 20:20 Mobile in fake chargers row
Samsung has terminated 20:20 Mobile as an accessories distributor after an alleged discovery of counterfeit Samsung chargers, Mobiletoday can exclusively reveal.
The discovery is believed to have been made in recent weeks and resulted in the immediate removal of 20:20’s official accessories distributor status.
The chargers involved are understood to be compatible to recent handsets, such as the G600 up to the most recent Samsung products.
Concerns are mounting about the possibility of non-original chargers being distributed into 20:20’s customers, which include Tesco, Morrisons, Orange, O2 and Phones 4u.
20:20 Mobile, for its part, is robustly denying any knowing involvement in distributing fake chargers, and tense discussions are believed to have been underway between the two companies and lawyers.
20:20 is vowing to continue to buy and sell Samsung products through other distributors and wholesalers.
The distributor sent a letter to its retail customers asserting that the counterfeit batch of chargers involved was part of ‘a returns loop’, and not something it distributed.
A spokesman for 20:20 said: ‘We are surprised and disappointed by Samsung’s actions and we are in discussion with them to resolve the matter.
‘Notwithstanding this decision, we will continue to offer our customers Samsung products in accordance with European law.’
The fall-out comes after Samsung terminated 20:20 as a handset distributor exactly one year ago, after Samsung found 20:20 selling handsets obtained through the grey market via Samsung’s online store.
Dextra, the previously separate accessories arm of 20:20, was awarded a Samsung accessories contract in November 2008 along with Kondor and Brightstar.
It is the second time the company has been involved in a high profile scandal around fake accessories.
Dextra was also terminated by Nokia prior to the sale of the company by John Caudwell, after the discovery of fake accessories in its warehouse in April 2006. It had its Nokia accessories contract reinstated in October later that year.
Samsung declined to comment.