GEORGE TOWN, Feb 19 – The Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) today urged smartphone users who plan to buy a new power bank to be more careful as many power bank was filled with sand. CAP discovered that cheap batteries were used for power storage and also sand-filled battery casings to make up for the weight of the power bank, said CAP President S.M. Mohamed Idris.
“We bought a few (power banks) after consumers claimed that the power banks drained out very quickly compared to the size of the units. Opening up to look at the inside, we discovered that there were cheap batteries for power storage and also sand-filled battery casings to make up the weight of the power bank,” he told reporters here today.
In general, the heavier the power bank, the more power storage capacity it is supposed to have, which is how consumers choose. Mohamed claimed that these power banks are usually sold as low as RM20 and are sold openly and widely at flea markets, night markets and shopping malls and based on their survey, these power banks are mostly imported from China.
“There are some imported ones labelled in a foreign language and not in Bahasa Malaysia. We are questioning the safety, quality and reliability of such items. Due to its low price, consumers tend to consider such cheap items but this may lead to further wastage as these items do not last long and are not reliable. Usually, the good are also not returnable with no warranty,” he said.
CAP is also very concerned that this fraudulent act also affecting other cheap products especially electrical items that are not regulated. Under the Consumer’s Consumer Protection Act 1999 Section 32(1) and 32(2)(a), goods supplied to a consumer must be of acceptable quality, free from minor defects, safe and durable.
He said CAP strongly urged the Ministry of Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism to enforce the Consumer Protection Act and take immediate action in order to curb such items from being sold. People responsible for this fraud should be prosecuted and not merely ‘advised’, he added.
In additional, Mohamed CAP also humbly calls the Chinese ambassador to Malaysia to look into this matter and raise it in theor country to ensure the quality and reliability of their products. He also added that CAP believes such action should be taken to ensure the loyalty of Malaysia consumers towards goods from China.