Consumer watchdog targets dodgy phone chargers

The NSW consumer watchdog is targeting dangerous products in discount stores as part of a new safety campaign, including dodgy phone chargers.

Minister for Better Regulation, Matthew Kean, said NSW Fair Trading has already visited more than 750 small traders across the state to ensure their products meet strict Australian safety standards.

“Too many discount stores and pop-up shops are selling banned products like cheap phone chargers,” Mr Kean said.

“I want to make sure consumers are being put first. When you walk into a discount store, you absolutely have the right to expect the products are safe and compliant.”

To save money, some traders import products from overseas or via the internet, instead of sourcing them through reputable Australian suppliers.

Mr Kean said that if local traders do this, they must obtain verified test reports demonstrating that the products are safe.

“Our aim is to educate small traders before these products hit the market, rather than prosecuting them when things go wrong,” he said.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, and we want to make sure they have every opportunity to thrive; however, I will not tolerate seeing dangerous goods on the shelves that risk consumer safety.”

In the last four years, more than 150 traders in NSW were caught selling unsafe goods, including children’s toys. Of those traders, 21 were prosecuted, totalling more than $120,000 in fines.

Recently a Paddy’s Markets store holder was prosecuted by NSW Fair Trading for selling dangerous toys, and ordered to pay $24,000 in fines by the Parramatta Local Court.

Trusted phone charger brands

When you can buy a phone charger for as little as $2, you should be wary of the quality and safety of its internal components. The general advice is to stick to a reputable brand. But you don’t necessarily have to buy an Apple or Samsung phone charger as there are a number of other brands that are compatible to a variety of phones including:

  • Alogic
  • Belkin
  • Chillidog
  • Comsol
  • Cygnett
  • Moshi
  • SanDisk
  • Soniq
  • The Coop Idea
  • Twelve South

It’s important to also ensure you purchase these chargers from trusted retailers instead of through extremely cheap vendors. To compare smartphones, our customer satisfaction reviews offer some guidance on which brands Aussie consumers prefer.

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