Q. My OEM equipment salesperson is telling me that buying your batteries (GTS Batteries) will void my equipment warranty. Can they do that?
A. In recent years we have seen sales people from numerous OEM equipment manufacturers make the claim that use of any battery but the OEM's will result in the OEM voiding the warranty on the equipment. Not only is this illegal under both US and European law, but in many instances is directly in opposition to the OEM's own policy. For instance, Motorola / Symbol Technologies specifically addressed this issue in their Product Marketing Bulletin #1114 where they explicitly state:
“It is critical that you understand that a customer's warranty is not automatically voided simply because that customer purchased a third party battery. We may not say or imply that. Also, you may not state that a third party product will damage the unit, impair performance or cause safety concerns unless you have been advised by Symbol Legal that there is testing to validate the claim. False claims regarding the quality, safety or performance of a competitive product can expose the Company to liability.”
The basic objective of the U.S. antitrust laws is to preserve and promote competition and the free enterprise system. These laws were passed on the fundamental belief that private enterprise and free competition are the most efficient ways to allocate resources, to produce goods at the lowest possible price and to assure the production of high quality products. Illegal tying is one of the most common antitrust claims. Simply put, a tying arrangement is an agreement by a party to sell or provide one product or service--the warranty service--but only on the condition that the buyer also purchases a different product—the battery-- (often known as a positive tie), or at least agrees that he will not purchase that product from any other supplier (often known as a negative tie).
In the most basic sense, the seller has tied two products together, as if in a knot. The only way the buyer can get the one product is to also purchase another product that he or she may or may not want. In antitrust law, there are some arrangements or restrictions that have such a damaging effect on competition that courts have ruled them per se or automatically illegal.
This is one of the few practices that the United States Supreme Court has determined to be illegal per se under the Sherman Act, S 1. (The Sherman Act is a Criminal Statute with felony consequences. It also has civil remedies.)
An Unfair Trade Practice means a trade practice which, for the purpose of promoting the sale, use or supply of any goods or services, adopts any unfair method or unfair or deceptive practice. Under the state and federal laws the injured party can recover economic losses and attorneys' fees.
Private individuals and corporations that are injured by violations of the U.S. antitrust laws, including the Sherman Act, Clayton Act or the Robinson-Patman Act, may sue for injunctive relief, three times their actual damages, and their attorneys' fees (15 U.S.C. §15).
Q. What if something goes wrong with the battery?
A. Some OEM's have taken the position that the customer MUST use only OEM batteries, and defend this position by claiming that only their batteries were specifically designed or tested for use in their equipment.
This is the equivalent of Ford claiming you cannot use a Die Hard battery in one of their vehicles. Some OEM's attempt to create fear by implying the device may be damaged by use of GTS Batteries. In the past 10 years, GTS has supplied batteries to Fortune 100 companies, the US Government and First Responders throughout the US as well as countless other customers, and we have never had an incident of a piece of equipment being damaged by one of our batteries.
GTS Batteries' warranty is the strongest in the industry. As you will see, it covers the battery itself for up to two years. Additionally, although it is extremely unlikely that any kind of damage could ever be caused by a battery pack, our warranty provides you with the peace of mind that we will repair or replace, at no charge to you, any device that is damaged in any way as a result of using GTS Batteries.
Q. Do my batteries need to be certified or listed by Underwriters Laboratories (UL)?
A. Recently, some OEM's have begun using the claim that batteries must be certified by UL as an artificial barrier to protect their battery sales.
There is no requirement to have UL Listings on battery packs and most OEMs do not do it. It is not because they are unconcerned with safety. Rather, it is unnecessary, costly, and time consuming.
For instance, although Motorola has UL listings for some of their recent mobile computer batteries, virtually all of Motorola's respected two-way radio devices do not have UL listings. For an OEM to suggest that their UL listings would be voided or that non-UL accessories are unsafe is simply untrue. In addition, our insurance carrier has stated that this is a myth and they have never seen this in the industry. (see warranty myth section of our website)
Q. Some of your batteries (GTS Batteries) are UL listed - why haven't they listed all of them?
A. They chose to have select batteries listed by UL to demonstrate that their batteries meet or exceed the standards imposed by UL. There is no requirement for UL listing of batteries, and there are other standards including United Nations DOT Testing and NEMA specifications that are more relevant to batteries.
Q. Can I have the OEM certify that it is O.K. to use GTS Batteries?
A. GTS Batteries has made many efforts at the request of customers to have different OEM's approve their batteries for use by their customers in their devices. They have been unsuccessful in this endeavor. Batteries have become a lucrative profit center for many OEM's who are reluctant to jeopardise their profits by authorising a competitor.
Q. Are there any issues with the National Electric Code?
A. Some OEM's have suggested that customer needs to comply with the NEC and the NFPA ("association") codes. This is another artificial and anticompetitive barrier. GTS has confirmed with the association and building inspectors that the electric code in the U.S. and also on a state basis covers "everything back from the wall plug." The standard for Information Technology Equipment is Article 645 of the NEC. These regulations do not even include batteries or battery powered mobile computers/scanners.
Q. My OEM sales person has warned me that I will have all sorts of problems if I use GTS Batteries including Safety, Union and Insurance issues.
A. We are amazed at the ridiculousness of some threats our customers have received. They range from baseless claims that only the OEM product is safe to the assertion that customers may have labor relations problems with their unions or that insurance companies might withhold coverage. These again are intimidation tactics, without any substance or basis.
Q. Does GTS use cheaper cells to lower their costs?
A. GTS only uses the highest quality battery cells and material. The quality starts from the inside. Only the finest name brand Japanese cells available from manufacturers such as Panasonic, Sanyo, Sony and Toshiba are used, hence the reason our batteries have higher capacity and cell performance.
Q. Do Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) provide longer warranty periods?
A. No, GTS' batteries are designed and manufactured to meet or exceed the OEM specification for form fit, and function. Each battery is guaranteed to be free from defects in materials and workmanship, and will maintain a minimum of 80% of its rated capacity for 12-18 months from date of shipment under normal use.
Q. Are GTS Batteries price competitive?
A. Our pricing reflects a 20%-30% saving against the OEM prices; our prices are lower as we buy direct from the manufacturer - GTS Batteries, and we don’t carry the overhead of a larger OEM corporation. Also take into account our higher capacity cells. Longer lasting, higher productivity at a lower cost.