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HP’s UAE customers still falling victim to counterfeit products

September 7, 2017

While searching for the cheapest print cartridges and toners, many people are being duped into purchasing fake print supplies.

The global counterfeit market is vast and multi-faceted, dealing in everything from DVDs and fake designer handbags through to pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and various electronics.

Printer cartridges in particular are regularly produced by counterfeiters, due to the high demand from both individual consumers and businesses. In the UAE the prevalence of fake cartridges and toners is very high, with millions being seized over the last few years by law enforcement agencies.

The OEM HP has an unfortunate history of being plagued by the sales of counterfeit products in the country, with The Recycler reporting back in May 2012 that HP had been forced to conduct anti-counterfeit raids in collaboration with the country’s law enforcement agencies.

However, despite the OEM’s best efforts and a stringent law enforcement campaign, the Khaleej Times reported in August 2017 that many UAE consumers were still being duped into purchasing fake products. An article penned by Mathew Thomas, HP’s Managing Director for the Middle East, Turkey and East Africa, examined the ramifications of purchasing fake print supplies for your machine.

In the piece, Thomas pondered why people tend to take a blasé attitude toward purchasing their cartridges and toner, particularly when the effects can be so damaging. The knock-on effects of using counterfeits can be very severe, ranging from expensive re-prints, poor colour quality, toner splatter and leaking cartridges all the way through to contaminated key parts and even irreparable damage to consumer’s printer which renders its warranty void.

So why do people purchase these counterfeits, and where do they find them? As Thomas reports, many counterfeits are dispensed by “dubious online sales sites and unapproved stores” and their allure arises through their cheaper price. They can also be very difficult to spot, with many products closely resembling the genuine item, even down to specific details of packaging.

Adding to the problem, the money which duped consumers spend on these counterfeit printing supplies is funnelled directly back into illegal activities and the world of organised crime, creating a vicious cycle.

With counterfeit cartridges and toner being produced in such quantities, HP and the region’s law enforcement agencies have elected to take a hard line, working in close collaboration to both investigate and confiscate these fake products in a series of raids and seizures.

The Recycler cited an article from The Gulf News in June 2012 in which HP warned that counterfeit manufacturers could expect “relentless” action, and there is no sign of the OEM’s campaign against their stream of fake products letting up anytime soon.  

 

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