Preventing Online Two-Way Radio and Battery Fraud

Eric O'Connor

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Genuine Motorola Products…dirt cheap?

Have you ever gotten the feeling that something you have been reading is almost too good to be true? Well, I hate to burst your bubble but. . . it usually is. This is especially true when it comes to genuine Motorola products.

It’s no surprise that Motorola is one of the most counterfeited manufacturers. Their name is synonymous with quality, as they offer top of the line two-way radios for every type of business and organization. In most cases, their radios are more expensive than their competitors. The increased price is also heavily justified and Motorola is not afraid to present you with all the facts and figures you would need in order to evaluate their quality.

Motorola markets its products on quality, not price.

As a result, they are a prime counterfeit target. There are some that attempt to cash in on Motorola’s name by taking a cheaply manufactured radio or battery and marketing them as a Motorola Original. An unsuspecting buyer shopping online sees a ridiculously low price and decides to act on it. They have just become another counterfeit victim.

This is dangerous to not only your wallet, but to your safety.

A fairly recent incident, reported in PCWorld, occurred in Ogden, Utah. There, a dispatcher for the Utah Police had just arrived at work to start her dispatch shift. She felt a burning sensation in her pocket. She stood up, only to realize that her Motorola V300 cell phone was burning a hole through her pocket. The phone fell to the floor, somewhat exploding on impact. The dispatcher suffered minor burns and is okay, but her battery was not.

The phone she was using was genuine. The battery, on the other hand, was a counterfeit. In this instance, buying a knock-off wasn’t only tacky, it was dangerous. For this reason, Motorola vigorously works with authorities around the world to find and eliminate fake products. Batteries are the most commonly counterfeited item, both for two-way radios and cell phones.

How to help counter the counterfeiting.

Our first tip is to be weary of price. Every Motorola dealer will offer different prices on their products and accessories. This is a major way Motorola Dealers compete and differentiate themselves. As a result, there are plenty of places to find discount Motorola gear.

There will also be a difference in price between those companies whose only purpose is to serve online customers and those who have a website and brick and mortar store. Strictly online stores typically offer the lowest prices, since they don’t pay for dedicated sales people and technicians who can act as a consultant and a service rep. That’s not to say that online only stores are bad. Just like anything else, they have their place and they are there for the people who prefer to use them.

While internet only sites offer low prices, they are not ridiculously low. They are still within reason and most brick and mortar stores could still compete with them on price, given a situation. However, sometimes there are prices so low that not even an internet only site can compete with them. These are the places you want to steer clear from.

The next thing you want to do is ensure that you’re doing business with an authorized Motorola dealer. This means that they work very closely with Motorola, have access to key Motorola personnel, and can help set you up with genuine Motorola equipment.

Most sites, including our own, will clearly say they are an authorized dealer. However, you know better than to just believe that. The best advice I can give you is to go here: This is from the official Motorola website.

Type in your zip code, then choose between an out of the box solution or a specified solution. You will then be given a list of authorized dealers in your area. By doing this, you can reduce the chances of purchasing a counterfeit, and by counterfeit I mean worthless, item.

Tricky Tactics

Counterfeiters are very sneaky. Just as we are good at we do, they are good at what they do. Recently, while at a Motorola event, I spoke with personnel from Motorola about counterfeit items. They shared with me one particularly tricky tactic. Apparently, a few individuals temporarily figured out a loophole in the counterfeit laws.

Customers thought they were getting a great deal on a Motorola Original Battery. When the battery they ordered arrived, it came with a sticker. The sticker had a depiction of Motorola’s logo and was to be placed on the battery. By doing this, the customer became the counterfeiter as they had placed the Motorola logo on the battery themselves. Luckily, the factory was recently raided and hundreds of thousands of dollars of counterfeit batteries were taken off the streets.

Shop safe, get the best price…but not too cheap.

As you can see, counterfeiters are trouble. Not only do they cause Motorola headaches, but consumers as well. Their often defective products have been known to cause harm to individuals. Stick with a trusted dealer or, if you’re in the market for a new one, use Motorola’s dealer locator. Thanks for readin’.

Bonus information

Business Radio Licensing

A few of our customers have received faxes concerning the usage of their frequencies. They are being informed that:

“The FCC has stated that they will institute the termination of those licenses that fail to meet construction or coverage requirements. This is an automated feature within the FCC Universal Licensing system and will take effect on Feb. 1 2006. Our review of the FCC database shows that you have not yet filed your construction/notification and therefore call sign (insert your call sign here) and frequencies associated with that sign may be terminated. ”

The fax also requests that you send a check for $96 for filing. If you receive this fax, it is true that the FCC is sending out Construction/Coverage notifications. However, you are simply required to reply back and confirm that you are still using your currently frequency. There is no charge associated with this procedure.

Aside from the $96 charge, there is another way to determine of a letter should be discarded. If the FCC sends you a fax, the return address will be from Gettysburg, PA. If it’s not, take a long hard look at the fax before you take any action.

Eric O. is a communications specialist and the webmaster for Delmarva Communications. If you have any questions or comments concerning two way radios, contact him at e. or visit Delmarva Communications on the web at: . Hope to hear from you soon!


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