Computer and network problems can be related to counterfeit components. The cosmetic differences between an authentic product and a counterfeit one can be subtle. There are also performance differentiators between authentic products and counterfeits. Many manufacturers have teams that are staffed with engineers well-versed in these differentiators.
Counterfeit products pose network as well as personal health and safety risks. The trafficking of counterfeit computer and networking equipment is a crime that carries serious penalties. In 2008, a former owner of a computer company was sentenced to 30 months in prison and ordered to pay a large sum in restitution as a result of his conviction for trafficking in counterfeit computer components. This type of case serves as an important reminder to customers about the risk of purchasing outside the manufacturer’s authorized sales and distribution channels.
To help ensure that you are getting authentic products, consider these points when placing orders or requesting quotes:
- Always purchase your equipment directly from authorized channels.
- Confirm that the equipment is a new, authentic product and not previously owned.
- Be suspicious when prices seem to good to be true.
- The product is offered at a much higher discount than authentic products. These discounts could be as high as 70 to 90 percent off.
- Check that the equipment comes with a valid software license.
- Check that the equipment has a full warranty enclosed.
- Ask whether the equipment includes service support.
- The product appears to have proper labeling, logos, and trademarks, but the performance or appearance is substandard as compared to authentic products.
- Be suspicious of packaging that appears to be substandard, not original, tampered with, or previously used.
Do not do business with any supplier who insists that you:
- Order immediately to beat a price increase.
- Take advantage of a special offer that is about to expire.
- Reserve the last few remaining products in stock.
- Purchase OEM specials.
- Take advantage of Internet, email, or telemarketing offers that send representatives to pick up your payment in person or demand cash on delivery.