Asia’s counterfeit trade watchdog has warned consumers against buying fake Epson printer ink bottles, advising buyers to stick to genuine printer ink.
Lawyer Jonathan Selvasegaram, head of React Southeast Asia, warned that counterfeit Epson printer ink bottles are now being peddled online in the Philippines and around the world. “The counterfeit problem is a challenge that is not unique to the Philippines,” he said. “It is happening globally.”
To help combat the problem of fake printer ink here in the country, Epson Philippines has posted a list of authorized dealers on its webpage at https://www.epson.com.ph/. “Consumers can contact these stores and buy from them so they can be sure that they’re getting genuine printer ink as well as other Epson products,” Selvasegaram said.
The trade in counterfeit products has also become a big problem in neighboring Indonesia. In fact, in April last year, the West Jakarta District Court convicted a producer and distributor of fake Epson ink bottles and sentenced him to a prison term of one-and-a-half years. He was also asked to pay a fine of 500 million rupiah (₱1.82 million).
React, a global non-profit organization, has been tracking and fighting the counterfeit trade for more than 30 years. “The selling of counterfeit products, such as fake Epson ink bottles, has been going on for years,” Selvasegaram pointed out. “But this malpractice has sharply increased – both in occurrence and magnitude – since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic when most consumers began making their purchases online.”
The rise of counterfeit goods and other phony products sold on the Internet has become such an extensive global problem that Wirecutter, a product review website that is now part of the New York Times Group, has labeled the current period as “The Era of Fake Products.”
According to Selvasegaram, a key problem with counterfeit Epson printer ink is the risk it poses on the printer. “These fake ink bottles and cartridges are manufactured without quality control which can lead to a high chance of damaging the printers, if used,” he explained.
“And since the use of fake ink bottles or cartridges will void most printer warranties, the continued performance of the printers based on specifications could no longer be guaranteed,” he pointed out. “In the case of Epson, the use of counterfeit ink voids the company’s warranty for an Epson printer even if the printer is damaged. That can be a big problem for consumers and businesses.”
To fight the trade in counterfeit products, Epson has also been coordinating with various institutions globally, he added. “The company is working closely with organizations in the anti-counterfeiting network, including R
eact, law firms as well as e-commerce platform operators to continuously explore effective collaboration and methods to minimize, if not totally eliminate, counterfeit activities,” he disclosed.
“Such counterfeiting crime threatens to increase the costs of doing business, erode consumer confidence, inhibit business growth and result in lost productivity,” he said.