Friday, December 1, 2023

Profeco intervenes to suspend the blocking of smartphones purchased on the gray market in Mexico

The blocking of smartphones purchased on the gray market that Samsung, Motorola and ZTE have undertaken, has become an issue of enormous relevance in Mexico. The situation made so much noise that Profeco (Federal Consumer Prosecutor’s Office) and the IFT (Federal Telecommunications Institute) are already aware of what happened and, fortunately, they did not take long to take action. measures to protect consumers. Those affected, of course, are not few.

Through a statement issued jointly, Profeco and IFT call on the companies involved to immediately suspend the blocking of equipment that was purchased through the gray market. Therefore, Samsung, Motorola and ZTE will have to reverse their actions.

“PROFECO and the IFT, in accordance with and observance of their regulatory frameworks, call on companies that have implemented blocking measures to suspend such actions immediately. The above is in order to avoid impacts on consumers and users until as long as the appropriate measures and actions are analyzed that contribute to addressing the regulatory, commercial and legal challenges that the “gray market” brings with it.

An important point of the message is that Profeco and the IFT recognize that there are risks around smartphones purchased on the gray market in Mexico. Of course, they make it clear that the practices of Samsung, Motorola and ZTE are not adequate to address the issue.

“Recognizing that imports from the so-called “gray market” can affect the quality of the service provided, as well as the possibility of validating the guarantee with the manufacturer, the Federal Consumer Protection Agency (PROFECO) and the Federal Telecommunications Institute ( IFT) have implemented awareness campaigns so that consumers and users take precautions due to the risks involved in their use.

However, the absolute blocking of terminal equipment in the manner in which it is being carried out affects the rights of consumers and end users.”

Profeco recognizes the risks of gray market smartphones

After ordering the suspension of the blockade, the next step of government agencies is form a “working group” with manufacturers to address the matter appropriately.

“Manufacturers are invited to form part of a working group in which the different actors involved participate, in order to identify measures and implement actions to address the challenges posed by the gray market, safeguarding at all times the rights of users and consumers.”

Although the intervention of Profeco and the IFT was necessary, it must be understood that Your statement only directly defends the consumer, not the gray market. It is evident that these institutions do not agree with the marketing of mobile devices in this way either.

In fact, Samsung, in its message justifying the blockade, commented that the gray market violates multiple regulations of Profeco itself, since the products are not certified to operate in Mexico. They highlighted the absence of warranty and technical specifications that may not be compatible with the country’s networks.

Of course, the indication of the Profeco and the IFT will be seen as a measure of warning to Xiaomi, which had already begun sending messages to owners of terminals purchased on the gray market. If the Chinese manufacturer wanted to follow in the footsteps of its competitors and block smartphones, it will have to forget about it, at least for now…

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