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Amazon to bad cable slingers: USB-C yourself out

JeffyPoooh Silver badge
Pint

Next: Non-Apple (actually) Approved Lightning Cables

Waste of $3 when the next iOS update makes the iGadget reject them.

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Re: Next: Non-Apple (actually) Approved Lightning Cables

Better idea: ban the sale of devices which claim to accept a standard cable but don't. e.g. Apple products.

Also worth noting, Google based the USB-C standard on the PCIe standard, which Lightning is also an implementation of.

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Re: Next: Non-Apple (actually) Approved Lightning Cables

hang on a sec, is the macbook unable to use standard usb-c cables?

DougS Silver badge

What do you mean "Google based the USB-C standard on"?

Google did not create the USB-C standard, the USB Implementers forum did, just like they created all the past USB standards.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Next: Non-Apple (actually) Approved Lightning Cables

If you want a non-Apple Lightning cable guaranteed to work, get one with the MFi label - which pretty much all the ones for sale nowadays have.

The "bad USB-C cables broke my Pixel" thing is the main reason Apple checks for "real" Lightning cables. Well, unless you are dumb enough to believe that there is big money is selling cables and Apple does it to cash in.

The fault isn't entirely on the cable makers. They didn't follow the standard, but Google left a fuse out of the Pixel C which is why it was killed when the bad cable was plugged into it, so they have to shoulder a little bit of the blame themselves.

Bob Dole (tm)

Re: Next: Non-Apple (actually) Approved Lightning Cables

I think they ought to add non-MFI approved cables to the list of banned items. The number of people screwed by those is outrageous. I know I was buying a new cable each month until I found a really high quality MFI approved (not Apple) cable. That was 6 months ago and it is not showing any signs of wear.

CAPS LOCK

Got a huge pile of dodgy cables Amazon can't bring itself to let you sell?...

... No such problem at Caveat Emptor Bay.

David 132 Silver badge
Happy

Fortunately...

...HDCP removal devices are still available :)

graeme leggett Silver badge

a question

Unless Amazon/middlemen are going to audit the suppliers, the only way to find out the cable is not up to spec is after it's cooked your device.

So what happens if a seller buys in a bunch of cables and sells them on and cooks a couple of expensive items?

ratfox Silver badge

Re: a question

Happened already to Benson Leung:

Google engineer fries Pixel testing USB Type-C cable

I doubt he even got a refund for the cable. Though being a Google employee, he probably just received a new laptop from his employer.

Stevie Silver badge

Bah!

Amazon customers! If you don't want to have a usb-connected device explode, don't hook it up to a suspiciously cheap power supply via a really unbelievably cheap cable.

Souce your electronic support infrastructure with you brain switched on.

dervheid

Re: Bah!

The 'TGTBT' principle.

Applicable everywhere.

Andy E

And in the UK?

Will this be rolled out from head office to the regions?

I'd like to think they are going to curb dodgy vendors on amazon.co.uk.

Wishful thinking.....

Credas Silver badge

Re: And in the UK?

Since the Marketplace is awash with vendors flogging counterfeit items of all kinds, I doubt this will make any difference.Someone who isn't bothered about slapping a legitimate manufacturer's name and logo, and a CE mark, on the side of some generic Shenzen tat is hardly going to worry too much about being told they really, really must have cable configurations that strictly conform to a spec.

druck
Thumb Down

Re: And in the UK?

An when a trader is found to be selling a dodgy cable what are Amazon going to do? The same as when I pulled them up for selling equipment with potentially lethal poor quality fuseless UK style plugs - FUCK ALL.

They tried to totally avoid responsibility by saying they are just a market place - wrong - it is Amazon who take my money and the product comes from their warehouse, that makes them the seller, and the other company their supplier.

They said they would stop selling the item, but I checked and they had not, the pictures of all the fake plugs were just changed to real ones. They admitted to me that the were still selling existing stock, despite being notified how dangerous they were, after that they stopped replying to me.

I then passed it on to Trading Standards, who were not interested whatsoever. So much for consumer safety.

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Re: And in the UK?

@druck; "I then passed it on to Trading Standards, who were not interested whatsoever."

Might be interesting to see if the BBC's "Watchdog" show is interested in it. While I'm not claiming they're entirely flawless themselves, the threat of bad publicity for Amazon *and* Trading Standards might give some interesting results as well as making a good story for them.

Or it might not, but it'd be worth a try.

Da Weezil

As a mechanic friend of mine says - "buy cheap - buy twice". To illustrate he showed me an "ebay sourced" new clutch someone had fitted where the centre of the driven plate had torn out within 5 days under normal driving, the customer didn't get him to do the job originally because he quoted for a decent quality clutch, an expensive lesson for the Owner.

I've found Anker kit is usually good, I have the chargers and lightning cables at home and the cables in the car too. Im not precious about having manufacturers kit, as long as the "pattern" part is of decent quality.

Chris Evans

Why the explicit exception?

I would have thought that they'd have a catch all "All products should comply with the appropriate standards", there going to have a very long list otherwise and if something isn't on the list enforcing a catch all becomes more difficult.

I recall one site (I think it might be Amazon) that says you can't list anything illegal! Which seems a very stupid condition to me, it's as if their T's&C's override the law

Jeffrey Nonken Silver badge

Re: Why the explicit exception?

More likely that it gives them more legal options to protect themselves.

I remember pointing out to a mallcop friend that people constantly ignored the"no sneakers" sign on the escalator. Including me. He replied that it was only there to minimize litigation in case of accident.

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Its not just amazon thats awash with non spec usb c cables, try and find a proper spec one on ebay, watch over the next year as more type c fast charge devices are made and people use a non spec cable and then wonder why their laptop/charger either broke or released magic smoke.

@Da Weezil, actually i have an ebay clutch, although i got a name brand (and 1/3rd cost any garage would have charged me for it, although i fitted it myself) ... in the case of the clutch that wore out after a few days of driving i would question if a proper alignment tool was used. So the cheap clutch may not be to blame i would question if it was installed properly. Also with cars that have hydraulic clutches and the line was disconnected to install the clutch failing to bleed the air out could also cause improper clutch action/slipping and hence quickly wearing out the plate.

Dawson001

The work from Benson Leung shows that ~ 30% of USB-C cables that fail his standards testing. His work has also encouraged a lot of other individuals to do testing. There are quite a few websites popping up in response to this such as: usbccompliant.co.uk (UK/EU) & usbccompliant.com (US).The sites have already been listing the "compliant" cables on Amazon - but It is good to see Amazon taking accountability themselves.

Tempest
Happy

Economic USB Cable Testers

I was in ShangHai last month and I picked up a USB-C cable test set.

It comprises a SD chip for the software and a loop-around terminator, with LEDs, and a battery powered terminator.

The LED and battery units, as a pair, can verify there are no shorts between pins/cables. The Battery terminator is removed, the software is loaded/run and the screen shows the illuminated LED response to be expected. USD$5.50.

The decent quality USB-C cables, depending on termination types are USD$4.90-5.30.

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