According to a PCMag article, 260K AmazonBasics Power Banks Were Recalled Due to Fire Risk sold between December 2014 and July 2017 and may overheat. It will be a logistical nightmare cleaning up this mess, but we’re pretty confident the online behemoth has it covered. We just hope they provide AmazonBasics medical supplies to customers impacted! “So far, 53 reports of overheating have been logged, including one incident of chemical burns due to contact with battery acid, and four reports of property damage through smoke and/or fire.”
We’re not here to point and laugh at the misfortune of others or to generally engage in schadenfreude. This is a serious situation and we hope all of those impacted are OK, which they seem to be. From our perspective, this is one of those famed teachable moments. This passage in particular really drives things home “AmazonBasics is not only very lucrative for Amazon, it’s become a trusted brand shoppers turn to when they want a reliable accessory. However, that brand has been tarnished a little today on news that some AmazonBasics power banks are a fire hazard, and Amazon sold these faulty accessories for nearly three years.”
We can’t speak for Amazon or other competitors in the space, but VoiceComm prides ourselves on partnering with the biggest brands and leading manufacturers in the industry. A who’s who of mobile accessory leaders. Why do we do it? Because brands, reputation and quality matter. Brand and reputation is an easy to understand concept, and there’s typically a correlation with a brand’s positive image and the quality of its products. But we try to leave nothing to chance. A common question we ask when evaluating a new power line is “where are your batteries sourced?” There are a multitude of reasons for this and other questions along those lines, and it comes down to quality and reliability. What happened with AmazonBasics power banks is the nightmare scenario and is admittedly uncommon, even though this particular instance is widespread. What seems more common in the battle of quality vs. quantity is that consumers go cheap and purchase a seemingly wonderful power accessory at first, until its ability to hold a charge dwindles after three weeks. It’s a terrible experience for the consumer and doesn’t do you any favors either. It’s a waste of time and money, and will surely impact any business who builds a reputation on selling cheap, low-quality products. Making a sale in the short-term is great, but you may end up losing a loyal customer who would purchase from you again and again for life to the store up the road. Selling more expensive products can be tough, but worthwhile in the long run.
It remains to be seen where this leaves the AmazonBasics power brand in the eyes of consumers. From a consumer’s perspective, and we’re all consumers on our off-time, why take the risk with so many other options out there? That line of thinking is the biggest threat to Amazon right now, and it’s up to them to fix their image like Samsung did with great success in the aftermath of the Note 7 debacle. Samsung was big enough and strong enough to come back, but there were serious hurdles to overcome. Thankfully for Amazon, if a comeback ended in failure it wouldn’t wound them nearly as seriously as Samsung. Amazon will go on with or without power banks.
In the meantime, use this unfortunate episode to your advantage. We’re very confident in the power accessories we offer, and your customers will undoubtedly be happy with whatever you offer. As acknowledged, it is harder to sell higher dollar items, especially with so many cheaper options out there. Seize on your customer’s psychological state in the wake of this incident. People can get hurt when these power banks malfunction, people are inconvenienced when they fail to hold a charge, so go with brands that offer the best products and reliability. In other words, go with our power offer from our industry-leading partners. Trust us, you won’t get burned!