HP India recently announced the results of its Anti-Counterfeiting and Fraud (ACF) Program, which is aimed at creating awareness on the scale and severity of the fraudulent printing supplies market in India. The HP ACF program helps combat the production, distribution, and sale of counterfeit ink and toner printing supplies in the region. With the global pandemic resulting in a lockdown, counterfeiters had moved focus to online platforms. During this period, the HP ACF team kept vigil on ePurchases and this online surveillance resulted in the identification of websites dealing in counterfeit goods. The HP ACF program shared the details with relevant authorities, and as a result more than 10,000 online websites selling counterfeits were identified and de-listed.
HP regularly conducts audits and cooperates with law enforcement agencies to conduct raids to reduce counterfeits in the supply chain to protect customers and businesses. As a result of this co-operation, counterfeit goods worth USD 6 million (~INR 45 cr) were seized by the respective authorities between November 2019 and July 2020. Of note was a single raid on a syndicate in Mumbai, where seizures in excess of USD 3 million (~INR 22.5 cr) were made. The authorities also made a total of 78 raids during this period, which resulted in 68 arrests.
The HP ACF program also works closely with eCommerce platforms such as Amazon, Flipkart, Paytm, and Shopclues to only allow authorized partners to sell genuine products. This process helps reduce the risk of customers and partners unintentionally purchasing counterfeit ink and toner supplies as they work, learn, and earn from home and remote locations.
Counterfeit ink and toner print supplies pose a serious threat to consumers and businesses alike. The use of unlawful counterfeit supplies can result in printer damage, malfunctions, and printer hardware warranties becoming void. More importantly, it can result in lost revenue and unnecessary downtime for consumers and businesses that many cannot afford. Apart from assisting the authorities in seizing the non-genuine goods, HP also invests heavily on security features for its ink and toner supplies on its cartridge packaging to indicate if the contents are legitimate. It delivers added value to consumers, business customers and partners to ensure security, reputation protection and seamless operations.
Aside from enforcement and raids, large and medium-sized HP customers can request a Customer Delivery Inspection (CDI), a unique protection service if they suspect the presence of counterfeit products in their delivery. Consumers can also report the incident of counterfeiting online on the HP website. HP proactively protects channel partners and customers from unauthorized printing supplies through the Channel Partner Protection Audits (CPPA). Customers who source their supplies from CPPA certified partners are assured about the authenticity of their ink and toner print supplies.
Through the ACF program, HP aims to protect businesses from the problems that can result
from counterfeit supplies. Some simple guidelines to follow to help ensure the purchase of Original HP Supplies with confidence are to be wary of dubious sales methods such as bulk sales on online auction sites and dramatically reduced prices; buying only from authorized HP sales partners to avoid falling victim to counterfeiting and explicitly asking for Original HP products when purchasing or tendering.