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Several years ago a wantok was boasting about how he just scored the deal of the decade – he had just bought himself an iPhone5 for PGK500. Can you believe that – an iPhone5 for K500 bux? I knew he’d just been duped coz if it’s too good to be true it’s often too good to be true!
He boasted about his deal and would occasionally send us those “PLEASE CALL ME” messages just to rub it all in. But after a few weeks, we noticed that those “PLEASE CALL ME” text messages came to a halt. From then on, we knew that the iPhone5 had finally been laid to “rest in pieces”!
Our wantok wanted to apologise for all the boasting he did and those PLEASE CALL ME text message changed to PLEASE FORGIVE ME voice message – obviously from another phone (probably from one of those ancient brands like Nokia or Motorola).
But on a more serious note, I wanted to talk about counterfeits today because quite frankly the market here in PNG is starting to get littered with so many fake products, I’m not ‘faking’ lying.
One of the problems I see here in the country is that because the standard of living is so high where income doesn’t keep up with the rise in costs, unscrupulous importers are taking advantage of consumer vulnerability and providing the market with low quality products plastered with names of big brands. It’s not just happening here in PNG but it’s becoming an all too frequent occurrence in PNG and it’s a serious concern. Something needs to be done about it.
The problem with the influx of fake or counterfeit products is that PNG does not have a quality control agency. If there is, it’s doing very little or nothing to stop this dangerous trend.
Consumers need to be more aware of counterfeits.
Obviously, you get what you pay for but consumers deserve a better deal. The practice of selling counterfeits is unethical and it’s misleading us buyers. We need to be more careful in our decision making. If we know we’re buying fake products, then let’s not be surprised if the product doesn’t last.
The least consumers can do is to not buy the products and tell friends and family about it. If those in power aren’t going to do much about counterfeits, then consumers should take the initiative to raise awareness either in general or on a specific product based on their experience.
For businesses and in particular those who supply genuine products, this practice of importing counterfeit products remains a concern. It’s highly unlikely that the practice will completely stop but minimizing the trend and raising awareness of it is vitally important.
Businesses lose so much sales every year due to the importing and selling of counterfeit products. As a consumer, you probably won’t give a flying ‘fake’ how much their losses are and that’s understandable. But having counterfeit products on the market is unethical. You as a consumer will be misled into buying a low quality product and spending much more than what it’s actually worth. Counterfeit products is a concern for all.
I recall some time back there was an article in the news about counterfeit tablets. No not those technology devices but tablets as in pills, panadols… Yeah you got the drift. Now, that was a very concerning article not just because it was counterfeit, but swallowing counterfeit medicine is so risky it could lead to death. That news was, well, ‘a tough pill to swallow’ but such is the nature of counterfeits sellers just want to make a profit and have little regard to the welfare of consumers.
And then there was the news about fake PNG Hunters jerseys. That news was well publicized as the police conduct a raid on a particular property to cease all counterfeit jerseys and merchandise. As supporters of the Hunters, you should ensure that you buy genuine products to support the team.
PNG consumers deserve genuine products in the market place. And if consumers can take action when spotting counterfeits, importers will soon realize that Papua New Guineans aren’t going to buy any of their fake products.
Say no to counterfeits.