But we can name BuyMobile.com.au that is offering nearly 400 phones online. Genuine Australian stock is few and far between.
Digging deeper we find the terms of business (paraphrased)
ABCD generally sells brand new, top quality, unlocked, original mobile phones, sourced from Australia and around the world. Most handsets are sourced internationally unless otherwise stated.
International stock is shipped directly from Hong Kong. This may come with an adapter for the original power supply instead of a local power supply.
Stock may be tested to ensure to reduce the risk of Dead on Arrival products. This may involve the phone being taken out of its box, the battery installed, and the handset turned on. Our technician may then test various phone functions to ensure that the handset or device is in working order. After testing, the device is wiped, cleaned, shrink-wrapped again and presented as the quality assured, brand new item that it is. It is not uncommon for the sometimes present, “do not break” seal to be broken with our stock due to this fact.
You can drive a truck through that explanation. Its a thin cover for fake smartphones!
We spoke to Danny Adamopoulos, Motorola Product Manager for ANZ about the issue. “We do not supply the MVNO or Buymobile.com.au.”
“Yes, the grey market is rife here. It can offer lower cost phones as it is all online. Try getting a warranty from them. When someone rings us about Motorola support we try to help, but we can’t do anything if we did not sell it.”
“The dead give away is a cheap power adaptor and broken box seals. Some use non-genuine parts like screens and batteries. Whack it in a new looking case (chassis), shrink wrap it, and you have a new looking phone. Most will not work on all of Telstra’s unique LTE bands”.”
“You are taking a massive risk. There are so many genuine phones here from $100 upwards that you don’t need to do that. It’s the greedy ones that want a late model iPhone or Android flagship that are most at risk.”
GadgetGuy’s take – if it is too good to be true! Fake smartphones are rife
One little thing that genuinely certified phones can do is call 000 emergency without a sim. No grey/parallel/remanufactured or fake phone can do that. They dial 911 or something else.
Some phones are downright dangerous here. Dodgy chargers can cause fires. Dodgy phones can give false signalling on carrier networks that can result in incorrect overbilling billing and dropouts. This has led to a raft of complaints via the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman with the Optus network. It is not Optus’s fault that some of these handsets can cause issues.
We can’t name and shame everyone because of the potential for litigation. But before you buy a cheap smartphone search for the supplier’s name and the word ‘complaints’. And don’t believe the reviews on websites either – BuyMobile has dozens of them!
The ACCC has a warning here.
Header image courtesy WhichUK – a good read about fake iPhone X.