Zambian consumers warned over unlicensed smartphone importers

The launch of new products usually comes with the risk of Zambian consumers purchasing devices from unlicensed distributors who do not offer warranty on purchases. This has been on the increase with parallel importers bringing in products that once purchased, Samsung cannot offer back-up services due to sellers not offering guarantee or guiding customers on how they can protect their purchases against damage.

Samsung Electronics Zambia country manager James Chona says customers sometimes assume that a cheaper price tag means they can save money by purchasing from individual sellers as well as unlicensed distributors.

“Phones without a warranty or imitation devices will cost more in the long run because they constantly have to be repaired or replaced. There’s always an excitement to be first in line when a new product launches and Zambian consumers are bound to incur costs in the long run because they purchased products that are not going to be serviced by Samsung should they get damaged.”

Chona added that parallel importers do not offer guarantee against damage due to shipping and handling and usually the burden of these costs is passed on to customers.

“Accidental Damage Handling will also cover screen and liquid damage repairs to the new Samsung S5 devices that are damaged within the 24 month warranty period. Estimates indicate that the S5 will be priced in nearly the same range by licensed suppliers as they are with individuals but the benefit of buying genuine products is also to protect consumers from the risk of purchasing phones with a defective history,” he adds.

Chona adds that consumers purchasing a genuine Samsung device enjoy the benefits of comprehensive device protection as registered devices are covered by a 24 month warranty. The Galaxy S5 which gives additional cover such as Accidental Damage from Handling (ADH). He advised consumers to ensure they are buying a genuine Samsung phone by registering for E. Warranty immediately they put a SIM card in their handsets.

Meanwhile, Samsung has partnered with Airtel to provide customers an opportunity to pre-order the latest Galaxy S5 smartphone in Zambia. The Galaxy S5, Samsung’s newest flagship smartphone, combines an advanced camera, the fastest network connectivity, dedicated fitness tools and enhanced device protection features to deliver the ultimate mobile experience to the market today.The device was announced at on February 24, and will be available in Zambia on April 12, 2013.

Chona noted that customers can pre-order the device and avoid the uncertainty that comes with buying devices online or on the black market at overly inflated prices. He added that authorised distributors offer value for money with each purchase and customers could always return faulty devices or get them serviced at no additional cost.

Samsung has also announced three new additions to the smartwatch Gear series: The Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo, and Gear Fit.


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