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Local Company Raises Concerns Over Counterfeit Baby Products on Amazon

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    Concerns Over Counterfeit Baby Products on Amazon

    A Denton-based company says consumers have received poorly made and potentially dangerous Baby Shushers purchased on Amazon.com. The device is used to help babies fall asleep. The company says Amazon isn't doing enough to keep counterfeit Baby Shushers off the site. (Published Monday, June 18, 2018)

    Just when you thought your baby would never sleep through the night, a device with a simple concepts is said to get the job done.

    The Baby Shusher started as an app developed by an Austin couple who, like many parents, struggled to get their baby to sleep.

    pNeo, a company out of Denton, was so impressed with the app that they teamed up with the couple to take their concept a step further.

    "We are a licensed FDA medical manufacturer," said Charlotte Wenham, brand evangelist for pNeo. "We have sold hundreds of thousands of Baby Shushers, not only here but internationally as well."

    But about two months ago, Wenham and her team said they started getting dozens of complaints from consumers about defective Baby Shushers purchased on Amazon.

    "They have been failing when people get them out of the box," Wenham said. "They’re just not working. Other people are saying that they have been coming with corroded batteries and that they are coming with protruding wire, which for us is a huge concern."

    After looking over the Amazon orders, Wenham said they discovered unauthorized sellers had been putting bogus products on the market to make money off their brand name.

    "We did a couple test purchases and found that the Baby Shusher had been counterfeited," said Wenham.

    The outside looks nearly identical to the real Baby Shusher, but she said the inside is completely different.

    "The internal circuitry is completely off. What are people putting into these products? They’re putting babies lives are risk; they’re putting consumers at risk," she said.

    Wenham said they’ve identified nearly a dozen fake sellers on amazon who’ve sold a number of counterfeit Baby Shushers online.

    "I don’t believe amazon is doing enough to protect consumers," she said.

    Wenham told us that her company signed up for Amazon Brand Registry, a feature that “uses information that you provide about your brand to implement additional predictive protections that attempt to identify and remove potentially bad listings.”

    Wenham said the company has used this platform to report unauthorized sellers and counterfeit products, but she doesn’t think it’s working.

    "There was one seller in particular that we did over 30 reports on through the Amazon channels and they still were not taking down this counterfeit seller," Wenham explained.

    Amazon told us they’re on Wenham and her company’s side.

    "We believe pNeo is referring to one seller against whom they sent multiple (but not 30+) notices over a few days (but not months)," an Amazon spokesman said.

    "Our global team is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to respond to and take action on reported violations and notices of potential infringement. Amazon investigated and took action on 95% of all notices of potential infringement received from brand registry within eight hours. In this case, the notice submitted required additional investigation which resulted in action being taken a few days later," said Amazon.

    Amazon said counterfeit is an age-old problem, but one they will continue to fight and innovate on to protect customers, brands and sellers.

    But Wenham wants consumers to look closely at their orders to make sure they don’t end up with a bad Baby Shusher.

    "My biggest fear is that someone inadvertently purchases a counterfeited product and they get hurt because of it," she said.

    pNeo said there are only four authorized sellers for the Baby Shusher on amazon: “Sproutley, Healthcare Zoo, Cloud Ladder and Healthcheck Systems Inc,."

    Since we reached out to Amazon, pNeo said they have not spotted any unauthorized sellers on the site.

    Before you buy any product on Amazon, check the sellers history and reviews.  When in doubt, contact Amazon at 1-888-280-4331.


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