Case study: fake cable leaves customer $30,000 out of pocket

CCCA_cablingThe perils of buying cabling from dubious sources are revealed in a case study from the Communications Cable and Connectivity Association (CCCA).

The US trade body - which represents cabling manufacturers, distributors and material suppliers - has just published details of an incident in which a company purchased low-cost communications cabling to use on a project that failed to meet specifications.

The company behind the project had succumbed to the lure of buying cheap materials and ended up buying cabling with a legend that included an unauthorized counterfeit certification mark from a recognized testing agency, and was also of type that is non-compliant for use in communications, said the CCCA.

The issue was spotted by New York-based contractor BN Systems, whose vice president of operations - Mark Rewers - said: "Our crews showed up to do the prep work and realized that the cable the customer was supplying was not the well-known brand that had been specified for installation and warranty."

"We examined the box and had never heard of the brand before," continues Rewers. "We couldn’t find any specifications or verification of the UL number. After a little more research, we realised that the cable was constructed with copper clad aluminium conductors, which is actually banned in New York City for use as communications cable."

Unable to either use or sell on the cable, the customer eventually had to write off the costs associated with the purchase - to the tune of around $30,000.

"My word of warning to others is to not accept any substitutes unless you are 100 per cent sure it is UL listed," said Rewers. "And I personally will no longer let my customers buy their own cable."

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