Amazon is tightening the rules on sellers who pass off poor quality USB Type-C cables as the real deal.
The cables represent a major improvement in computer cable technology as they are easier to use and more powerful than their predecessors. However using dodgy cables to charge your phone via your laptop can fry your computer.
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Amazon adds faulty USB Type-C cables to banned list
The USB Type-C cables are also used to connect printers to your PC. However poor quality cables that damage your USB ports are all too common, and now Amazon has decided it doesn’t want to be part of the problem.
E-commerce giant Amazon has tightened the regulations governing the sale of USB Type-C cables. Faulty USB Type-C cables have been added to a list of banned items which includes pirated DVDs and portable lasers.
If a seller is found to be trading in any of these items their account could be shut down by Amazon. The company also has the right to destroy any of their products which are being held in Amazon fulfillment centers.
Advanced cables could have major benefits
It’s music to the ears of Google engineer Bensong Leung, who has been testing a huge number of USB Type-C cables bought from Amazon. Leung is a huge fan of the cables, and has been posting the results of his tests online so that buyers can avoid dodgy sellers. However despite his tests, a bad USB Type-C cable killed his Pixel laptop.
Upon hearing the news Leung took to Google+. “What does this mean? It means that cable manufacturers who sell poorly made or intentionally deceptive USB TypeC cables and adapters are banned from Amazon, officially,” he wrote.
“Really great news, but we all have to continue to be vigilant and call out any bad products we find on Amazon and other stores (both online and brick and mortar) as we find them.”
The cables are becoming the new standard for providing data and power connections. USB Type-C cables are reversible and can carry a lot more power than previous versions, so they can be used to charge laptops as well as phones and tablets.
E-commerce giant steps in as quality control manager
The potential for the cables is huge, but it is being held back by safety concerns. As it stands buyers have to worry about whether the cable is safe or if it will fry their device.
Amazon is providing a service as a quality control agent for the cables, and helping users stay away from dodgy examples. The problems arise due to the fact that USB-C cables have a 56k ohm resistor which allows the device and the charging part to work out the correct level of power.
However some faulty cables only have a 10k ohm resistor which allows the device to draw more power, or the plug supply more power, than is safe for the device. Other examples have been found with incorrect wiring, which would destroy devices they are plugged into.
Over the course of the year a slew of devices supporting USB-C charging will come to market. The majority of smartphones and tablets are expected to use the port, but most will not be shipped with cables that allow charging with a standard USB port.
As a result third-party cables will be important in the growth of the technology, making their safety of paramount importance.