Bitzer UK warns on grey imports
UK: Bitzer UK has warned installers and end users about the risks of sourcing Bitzer products through unofficial grey import channels.
The UK subsidiary of the German refrigeration and air conditioning compressor manufacturer has highlighted concerns over the danger of counterfeit equipment and the lack of local technical support for products not bought through an authorised local supplier.
“Everyone is familiar with internet shopping today, however trying to source equipment via so-called “grey” import channels, in the hope of getting a good deal, can be fraught with risks,” said Bitzer UK MD Kevin Glass.
“Products sourced in this way may not be the genuine article. And where equipment is authentic, the all-important technical and after-sales back-up simply isn’t there. In the event of an issue, people can find themselves with a major problem.”
Bitzer UK says neither it nor its official UK suppliers are able to provide technical or warranty support for products supplied via unauthorised channels.
The warning comes after the company witnessed a recent increase in the volume of grey imports, partly due to the growth in online promotion. It is also aware of a number of examples where equipment supplied to UK companies via grey channels has been non-compliant or failed, resulting in costly problems for the customer and the collapse of major projects.
Bitzer UK cites the example of a UK business that purchased a large piece of equipment via a grey channel, for a significant price, only to discover upon delivery that it did not comply with a number of UK regulations. This left the customer with a major problem, with no way of cost-effectively converting it to ensure compliance in order to use it.
“What looks like a good deal at first sight may prove to be a very expensive mistake and cause a lot of heartache. In the event of a problem, the buyer is left holding the baby,” Glass added.
As a safeguard against counterfeit products, Bitzer marks all compressors and genuine spare parts with a QR code. Customers can verify authenticity using the Bitzer Spot app, available as a free download: https://www.bitzer.de/us/us/tools-archive/apps/
The company also recently announced the creation of the Bitzer Authorised Network of Distributors (BAND), to help strengthen protection for customers. BAND members receive regular training and updates on products and are qualified to advise customers on product selection and application, and provide after-sales and warranty support.
In the UK and Ireland, official BITZER BAND members are Dean and Wood, Thermofrost Cryo and RSL.
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