Portland woman's ordeal after fake £5 iPhone charger explodes

DAMAGE: Marie Knight with the iPhone charger that exploded, damaging the socket

BURNT: The damaged socket

First published in News by

A WOMAN fears someone could be blinded by fake electrical appliances after a phone charger she bought on line exploded.

Marie Knight, from Portland, wants to warn others about the dangers of buying off the internet.

Ms Knight, 36, bought what she believed to be a genuine Apple iPhone charger for £5 from online auction site eBay but when she plugged the charger in she said it exploded, creating black smoke and damaging the plug socket so badly someone had to be called out to fix it.

The force of the explosion was so strong that it split the charging unit open and tripped the fuse switch in her house.

She said: “I bought it to replace a previous charger that was getting a bit dodgy. The box says ‘genuine Apple product, designed in California’ and it has all the CE marks.”

“I want to warn others so they can be wary, I don’t want them to be blinded by something like this.

“I just plugged in my phone and it exploded straight away, imagine if there was no problem at first and it had been left to charge overnight, it could have done serious damage.

“If it had been one of the kids who had plugged it in then who knows what could have happened.”

Robert Chantry-Price, lead officer for product safety at the Trading Standards Institute, said: “This is very serious and the product is clearly dangerous.

“If Marie calls her nearest Apple store, they should be able to determine whether the goods are genuine by detecting missing or incorrect markings. People run a risk when buying from third-party sellers as these products are easily forged.

“Our advice would be only trade with recognised sellers even when purchasing cheaper alternatives online.”

A spokesperson for eBay said: “eBay is fully committed to providing a safe, secure online shopping experience to millions of people globally.

“We listen closely to our community of consumers for reports of harmful products.

“In conjunction with our policy, we review reports on a case-by-case basis and we carefully consider all the details before deciding to remove products or take action against a merchant.”

Details on how to detect genuine Apple chargers can be found on apple.com/uk/power-adapters/

Comments (18)

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5:45am Fri 20 Jun 14

Be_Happy says...

We have been warned about this for quite some time, but peoples mentality of buying cheap 'cos its the internet must prove some sort of Darwinian theory.
Sorry, but you pay for what you get.
Now Mrs Knight, when was the last time you had a gas safety check on your home, or a fixed wiring electrical inspection? Or have you decided not to to save a little more money.
Both of these can save lives as well you know.
We have been warned about this for quite some time, but peoples mentality of buying cheap 'cos its the internet must prove some sort of Darwinian theory. Sorry, but you pay for what you get. Now Mrs Knight, when was the last time you had a gas safety check on your home, or a fixed wiring electrical inspection? Or have you decided not to to save a little more money. Both of these can save lives as well you know. Be_Happy
  • Score: 0

9:05am Fri 20 Jun 14

angrydorseter says...

Could have also been caused by her purple / unofficial cable - although the charger should cope with a short.
Could have also been caused by her purple / unofficial cable - although the charger should cope with a short. angrydorseter
  • Score: 7

9:07am Fri 20 Jun 14

annotater says...

The clue is "Built for California". 110Volt not 240Volt UK power!!!
The clue is "Built for California". 110Volt not 240Volt UK power!!! annotater
  • Score: -9

9:19am Fri 20 Jun 14

marabout says...

I wouldn't have electrical sockets at the back of a cooking hob. I think guidance is that electrical sockets should be at least 300 mm apart.


Nice pyjamas though.
I wouldn't have electrical sockets at the back of a cooking hob. I think guidance is that electrical sockets should be at least 300 mm apart. Nice pyjamas though. marabout
  • Score: 8

9:44am Fri 20 Jun 14

DanWey says...

Buy cheap, buy twice.
Buy cheap, buy twice. DanWey
  • Score: 7

10:20am Fri 20 Jun 14

scubadude says...

annotater wrote:
The clue is "Built for California". 110Volt not 240Volt UK power!!!
The genuine Apple kit still has "Designed in California" labels, but its designed to be used in UK mains outlets. If you read the article and look at the picture you'll see she bought a fake Apple UK charger. A more important question is why would you risk plugging a £700+ phone into a cheapo £5 charger, at least this way she only needs a cheap socket cover not down at the Carphone Warehouse crying that the warranty doesn't cover being cheap...
[quote][p][bold]annotater[/bold] wrote: The clue is "Built for California". 110Volt not 240Volt UK power!!![/p][/quote]The genuine Apple kit still has "Designed in California" labels, but its designed to be used in UK mains outlets. If you read the article and look at the picture you'll see she bought a fake Apple UK charger. A more important question is why would you risk plugging a £700+ phone into a cheapo £5 charger, at least this way she only needs a cheap socket cover not down at the Carphone Warehouse crying that the warranty doesn't cover being cheap... scubadude
  • Score: 8

11:56am Fri 20 Jun 14

angrydorseter says...

And I reckon with a scrub that socket would be as good as new. Speaking of scrubbing..
And I reckon with a scrub that socket would be as good as new. Speaking of scrubbing.. angrydorseter
  • Score: 7

3:03pm Fri 20 Jun 14

elloello1980 says...

marabout wrote:
I wouldn't have electrical sockets at the back of a cooking hob. I think guidance is that electrical sockets should be at least 300 mm apart.


Nice pyjamas though.
You can have power outlets behind appliances, but you require an easy to reach secondary switch (forget the name of them).

Yes, you get what you pay for. but let's not forget the fact eBay is allowing fake goods to be sold as genuine via their site.

Times are hard, I sympathise with anyone trying to save money. but someone's the lesson learnt can be expensive. thankfully no one is hurt, and I back any story that further raises awareness. not everyone is as smart as us echo readers... ;)
[quote][p][bold]marabout[/bold] wrote: I wouldn't have electrical sockets at the back of a cooking hob. I think guidance is that electrical sockets should be at least 300 mm apart. Nice pyjamas though.[/p][/quote]You can have power outlets behind appliances, but you require an easy to reach secondary switch (forget the name of them). Yes, you get what you pay for. but let's not forget the fact eBay is allowing fake goods to be sold as genuine via their site. Times are hard, I sympathise with anyone trying to save money. but someone's the lesson learnt can be expensive. thankfully no one is hurt, and I back any story that further raises awareness. not everyone is as smart as us echo readers... ;) elloello1980
  • Score: -3

3:04pm Fri 20 Jun 14

elloello1980 says...

elloello1980 wrote:
marabout wrote:
I wouldn't have electrical sockets at the back of a cooking hob. I think guidance is that electrical sockets should be at least 300 mm apart.


Nice pyjamas though.
You can have power outlets behind appliances, but you require an easy to reach secondary switch (forget the name of them).

Yes, you get what you pay for. but let's not forget the fact eBay is allowing fake goods to be sold as genuine via their site.

Times are hard, I sympathise with anyone trying to save money. but someone's the lesson learnt can be expensive. thankfully no one is hurt, and I back any story that further raises awareness. not everyone is as smart as us echo readers... ;)
*sometimes
[quote][p][bold]elloello1980[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]marabout[/bold] wrote: I wouldn't have electrical sockets at the back of a cooking hob. I think guidance is that electrical sockets should be at least 300 mm apart. Nice pyjamas though.[/p][/quote]You can have power outlets behind appliances, but you require an easy to reach secondary switch (forget the name of them). Yes, you get what you pay for. but let's not forget the fact eBay is allowing fake goods to be sold as genuine via their site. Times are hard, I sympathise with anyone trying to save money. but someone's the lesson learnt can be expensive. thankfully no one is hurt, and I back any story that further raises awareness. not everyone is as smart as us echo readers... ;)[/p][/quote]*sometimes elloello1980
  • Score: -4

5:35pm Fri 20 Jun 14

are you for real says...

elloello1980 wrote:
elloello1980 wrote:
marabout wrote:
I wouldn't have electrical sockets at the back of a cooking hob. I think guidance is that electrical sockets should be at least 300 mm apart.


Nice pyjamas though.
You can have power outlets behind appliances, but you require an easy to reach secondary switch (forget the name of them).

Yes, you get what you pay for. but let's not forget the fact eBay is allowing fake goods to be sold as genuine via their site.

Times are hard, I sympathise with anyone trying to save money. but someone's the lesson learnt can be expensive. thankfully no one is hurt, and I back any story that further raises awareness. not everyone is as smart as us echo readers... ;)
*sometimes
Are you an electrician? Thought not.
[quote][p][bold]elloello1980[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]elloello1980[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]marabout[/bold] wrote: I wouldn't have electrical sockets at the back of a cooking hob. I think guidance is that electrical sockets should be at least 300 mm apart. Nice pyjamas though.[/p][/quote]You can have power outlets behind appliances, but you require an easy to reach secondary switch (forget the name of them). Yes, you get what you pay for. but let's not forget the fact eBay is allowing fake goods to be sold as genuine via their site. Times are hard, I sympathise with anyone trying to save money. but someone's the lesson learnt can be expensive. thankfully no one is hurt, and I back any story that further raises awareness. not everyone is as smart as us echo readers... ;)[/p][/quote]*sometimes[/p][/quote]Are you an electrician? Thought not. are you for real
  • Score: 4

7:08pm Fri 20 Jun 14

westbaywonder says...

SNAD.
SNAD. westbaywonder
  • Score: -3

9:02pm Fri 20 Jun 14

voiceof says...

This happens all the time, cheap imports from the far east on sale on eBay. Laptop and phone chargers should be bought from a UK seller, look for the word "genuine" and be suspicious of very low prices and sellers without high eBay ratings. Cheap chargers are dangerous and generally fail very quickly so it is a false economy at best. Beware.
This happens all the time, cheap imports from the far east on sale on eBay. Laptop and phone chargers should be bought from a UK seller, look for the word "genuine" and be suspicious of very low prices and sellers without high eBay ratings. Cheap chargers are dangerous and generally fail very quickly so it is a false economy at best. Beware. voiceof
  • Score: 4

12:34pm Sat 21 Jun 14

radiator says...

marabout wrote:
I wouldn't have electrical sockets at the back of a cooking hob. I think guidance is that electrical sockets should be at least 300 mm apart.


Nice pyjamas though.
Section 5.2 Building Regs electricians guide as far as I can remember is that no sockets to be fitted above a gas or electric hob nor 300 ml from the edge of a hob at worktop height. This is to stop people leaning over and burning themselves.
[quote][p][bold]marabout[/bold] wrote: I wouldn't have electrical sockets at the back of a cooking hob. I think guidance is that electrical sockets should be at least 300 mm apart. Nice pyjamas though.[/p][/quote]Section 5.2 Building Regs electricians guide as far as I can remember is that no sockets to be fitted above a gas or electric hob nor 300 ml from the edge of a hob at worktop height. This is to stop people leaning over and burning themselves. [Oh by the way marabout I think I have put the full stop in this time] radiator
  • Score: 2

1:47am Sun 22 Jun 14

GMax says...

Ms Knight, 36, bought what she believed to be a genuine Apple iPhone charger for £5 from online auction site eBay.
.
Right, as we all are aware now, that was a fake charger.
It's a cheap import from China and they can be lethal.
As ms Knight bought the charger of ebay she now needs to contact ebay, PayPal and the seller, ebay will be restricting the seller, PayPal can get her the money back, but more importantly, the seller (if it's a UK based seller) is responsible for all the damage suffered.
Another thing I would advise is that ms Knight also contacts trading standards (again, providing the seller is UK based) as they will be interested in this and the seller can get in serious trouble over this.
.
GMax.
Ms Knight, 36, bought what she believed to be a genuine Apple iPhone charger for £5 from online auction site eBay. . Right, as we all are aware now, that was a fake charger. It's a cheap import from China and they can be lethal. As ms Knight bought the charger of ebay she now needs to contact ebay, PayPal and the seller, ebay will be restricting the seller, PayPal can get her the money back, but more importantly, the seller (if it's a UK based seller) is responsible for all the damage suffered. Another thing I would advise is that ms Knight also contacts trading standards (again, providing the seller is UK based) as they will be interested in this and the seller can get in serious trouble over this. . GMax. GMax
  • Score: 3

1:56am Sun 22 Jun 14

GMax says...

angrydorseter wrote:
Could have also been caused by her purple / unofficial cable - although the charger should cope with a short.
The charger cable has nothing to do with the charger exploding.
Cheap rubbish from China that is made to look like the real thing is the problem here, and yes, I do know what I'm talking about.
.
GMax.
[quote][p][bold]angrydorseter[/bold] wrote: Could have also been caused by her purple / unofficial cable - although the charger should cope with a short.[/p][/quote]The charger cable has nothing to do with the charger exploding. Cheap rubbish from China that is made to look like the real thing is the problem here, and yes, I do know what I'm talking about. . GMax. GMax
  • Score: -4

7:50pm Sun 22 Jun 14

cj07589 says...

GMax wrote:
angrydorseter wrote:
Could have also been caused by her purple / unofficial cable - although the charger should cope with a short.
The charger cable has nothing to do with the charger exploding.
Cheap rubbish from China that is made to look like the real thing is the problem here, and yes, I do know what I'm talking about.
.
GMax.
I think you'll find most genuine Apple products are still manafactured in China. Also as a FYI recent genuine Apple cables for iPads and iPhones are now hardware chip coded so if they are not genuine they won't work properly. Do trust me as I know this from experience, basically buy cheap pay twice applies.
[quote][p][bold]GMax[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]angrydorseter[/bold] wrote: Could have also been caused by her purple / unofficial cable - although the charger should cope with a short.[/p][/quote]The charger cable has nothing to do with the charger exploding. Cheap rubbish from China that is made to look like the real thing is the problem here, and yes, I do know what I'm talking about. . GMax.[/p][/quote]I think you'll find most genuine Apple products are still manafactured in China. Also as a FYI recent genuine Apple cables for iPads and iPhones are now hardware chip coded so if they are not genuine they won't work properly. Do trust me as I know this from experience, basically buy cheap pay twice applies. cj07589
  • Score: 3

4:55pm Tue 24 Jun 14

Dorset stuff says...

Ebay is rammed full of cheap junk that is not certified to comply with anything. It does require some degree of common sense and brain power to filter out the junk and buy something credible. If you see a genuine brand new apple charger for £5, chances are its a load of rubbish, and it was. Some people need the obvious explaining to them, Darwins law at work again.
Ebay is rammed full of cheap junk that is not certified to comply with anything. It does require some degree of common sense and brain power to filter out the junk and buy something credible. If you see a genuine brand new apple charger for £5, chances are its a load of rubbish, and it was. Some people need the obvious explaining to them, Darwins law at work again. Dorset stuff
  • Score: 2

4:00pm Wed 25 Jun 14

Goldman says...

If you wont pay good money for the genuine product then you deserve to be pray for the fake goods market.
If you wont pay good money for the genuine product then you deserve to be pray for the fake goods market. Goldman
  • Score: 2

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