3/9/2009 11:34:00 AM
20:20 responds to Samsung over fake chargers
20:20 Mobile has sent a formal letter to Samsung, as it looks to recover its distribution license and head off a potential legal case of ‘passing off’ of counterfeit goods.
Fake Samsung chargers are alleged to have been discovered in 20:20’s supply chain two weeks ago, and led to the immediate removal of 20:20’s Samsung accessories license.
20:20 maintains that it has not knowingly dealt in fake chargers, and that the distributor was caught up in ‘a returns loop’. It claims to have identified what it believes are the real culprits of ‘contaminating’ stock with non-genuine chargers.
The distributor could face a legal case of passing off counterfeit products as genuine – something the company has consistently and vigorously denied.
20:20 UK managing director James Browning said: ‘As the UK’s largest distributor of accessories we are committed to combat non-compliant product within the supply chain.
‘Given this commitment we will fully co-operate with Samsung in resolving the current allegations once these are clarified.’
The distributor is now believed to be presenting its evidence to Samsung to show that it acted in good faith and was inadvertently in possession of the counterfeit products.
Browning added: ‘We have not received any formal communication from Samsung about their concerns over product authenticity and our test lab can find no variance between products Samsung are happy with and those they have concerns over.
‘20:20 Mobile has strict procedures in place to ensure product sent to customers is authentic – this includes certification, batch tracking and testing.’
Samsung is understood to have discovered 10 non-genuine products after it sought an audit in 20:20’s warehouse.
The distributor's assertion is that the non-genuine products were mixed with genuine products by an outside party – a dealer or distributor who buys from 20:20 and then returned stock back to 20:20.
Separately, Browning questioned Samsung’s handling of the situation: ‘I am, however, deeply disappointed in the way Samsung have dealt with this issue. In particular I feel their communication to customers and the media before informing us and (by their own admission) concluding their investigations has been deeply unhelpful and prejudicial.‘
Browning added: ‘I am baffled by this approach as we have worked closely with Samsung since they raised concerns over product authenticity relating to items in our returns warehouse, which had been supplied to a customer by more than one distributor.
‘Throughout their investigations we have provided detailed stock analysis by batch number, free access to stock for inspection and a thorough testing of items in our laboratory. And this open and transparent approach will continue.
‘We have formally responded to Samsung and are awaiting further clarity from them.’
Samsung has declined to comment on the issue, rejecting Mobiletoday’s requests for an interview on the matter.