Fakes, Counterfeits and Warranties

Fakes, Counterfeits and Warranties

When Craig and I started The Gadget Guys we imported some Bluetooth phone car kits.  The law had just changed to make using handheld phones illegal while driving.  We made a fatal blunder – we underestimated just how far Kiwis would go to save $5.50.  Kiwis will use a rubber band to hold the phone to their ears to save the cost of a Bluetooth kit!

At the Gadget Guys we sometimes have customers who ask about the cost of RAM mounts.  Often our response is “Why would you risk that $1500 phone you just bought to a $20 mount?”

So the same argument would be – why would you buy a fake RAM part to save $2 ?

RAM is manufactured in the USA.  They now say “assembled” as some minor subcomponents are manufactured offshore.  All of the RAM parts are finished in Seattle, Washington, USA.  Now the one thing that everyone agrees about our American friends is that they do not like to be sued.  That tends to lead to over-engineering rather than skimping when it comes to manufacturing. 

RAM is backed with a lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects.  In 8 years of selling RAM parts we have seen a handful of warranty issues.  All of these have been apparent when the parts have been installed and some of them have been user error.   Using a power-drill with a high torque setting to over-tighten bolts on RAM composite cradles is not a sensible move. 

On the other hand we’ve had huge amounts of positive feedback on RAM’s products – see our feedback on Trademe (https://www.trademe.co.nz/stores/the-gadget-guys)

I remember one customer who sent us some pictures of his bike smeared liberally along a roadside bank – literally 50 metres of plastic metal and a phone sitting safely in its RAM X-Grip cradle. 

We have recently found a few fake / knock-off / replica RAM parts out there on the market – particularly on Trademe who don’t seem particularly interested in doing anything about IP infringement.  Buying a fake RAM part to save a couple of bucks (and sometimes not even that) just doesn’t make sense.  They will not be manufactured as carefully, they won’t be tested and when your new iPhone is now an undersized and ineffective speedbump on the Southern Motorway you will have some post-purchase-dissonance.

So how do you know if it’s a “fugazi” (a fake if you haven’t ever seen the movie “Donnie Brasco”) here are a few tips …

Buy from us – we don’t do fake

RAM-B-272U v cnot a RAM-B-272U

Does it look different?  Nice colour – hmmm?  Check either our site or the www.rammount.com and see if there are some new coloured parts available – it’s unlikely that some dodgy drop-shipper on Trademe is RAM’s exclusive outlet for a new range of parts.  Hint – RAM doesn’t do coloured parts – apart from the chrome versions of some motorcycle mounts.

Check the moulding.  You’ll see in these are a completely smooth finish as against the real component.

Notice that “RAM” is usually on the real part – counterfeiters don’t tend to do this.

Bolts used in RAM parts like the RAM-B-367U are high tensile steel – fake parts are not even close and who knows what strength they, have or lack.

So after all the aphorism “buy in haste, repent at leisure” still holds true.

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