Brand Protection at Schaeffler: Making a stand against product counterfeiting together
Everybody knows that counterfeit luxury products are not at all rare: Just think about watches, handbags and perfumes, and also counterfeit sports items. But what about rolling bearings or even automotive spare parts – i.e. typical Schaeffler products? Very few people think of products like these when it comes to counterfeiting. But unfortunately, this is a day-to-day reality. Since brand protection is a matter of great importance to us, we already established a central team in 2004 that focuses on combating counterfeiting: The Schaeffler Brand Protection Team.
How to identify and report a counterfeit
You can use the OriginCheck App in order to perform an initial assessment yourself or contact the Schaeffler Brand Protection Team directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please take action if something seems strange, such as:
- particularly short delivery times,
- delivery routes or
- simply the look of the products delivered.
Only together can we put a stop to the counterfeiters!
What exactly is the problem with product piracy?
Distinguishing between an original and a counterfeit is not at all easy at first glance. In the case of any suspicion, please contact the Brand Protection Team at email@example.com. You can also make a report directly in the OriginCheck app.
Counterfeit products often deceptively resemble the original. This means that detailed knowledge is required in order to safely and quickly distinguish between an original and a counterfeit. Some attentive installers also reported that a product “felt strange when touched”, “somewhat different” to the products they installed in the past.
This is exactly where the problem lies: The quality of plagiarism isn’t calculable. Even if the first delivery is of sufficient quality for the corresponding application, it’s hard to predict whether or not this will also be the case for future deliveries. Counterfeiters often brazenly abuse a brand product’s on-label indications of quality and origin in order to sell goods of inferior quality to credulous customers at high prices.
What might the consequences be? At the very least a reduced service life resulting in increased maintenance costs. When used in critical applications, the product may fail within a short time, causing extended downtimes. And in the worst case, a counterfeit product can even result in danger to life and limb.
How we combat product counterfeiting
The Schaeffler Brand Protection Team takes every report seriously and offers support. The common goal: Removing counterfeit goods from the market, for example by taking legal action in order to avoid risks for all market stakeholders.
The specialized department also conducts its own investigations – including online monitoring activities on B2B or B2C platforms, trade fair visits, Internet research or test purchases. Close cooperation within the entire sales network is also key.
Raising awareness about counterfeiting among all stakeholders is of particular importance to our experts. Our team will be happy to provide the necessary tools on request, including information materials and training opportunities. These tools can be used adequately in direct conversation with end customers.
The Schaeffler Brand Protection Team:
Protecting our brand and customers
Whenever the Schaeffler Brand Protection Team becomes aware of product counterfeiting, it submits an investigation report to the customer as required. This report can serve as a basis for the customer to take recourse against the dealer in order to request a refund of the purchase price or claim consequential damages, for example if the parts have already been installed. To eliminate the risk presented by counterfeit products, we contact the suppliers and trace the supply chain back to the source wherever possible.
Depending on the country and the legal situation, we take appropriate measures in order to remove counterfeit products from the market. At the customer’s request, we treat every report as confidential in order to allay any fears of negative impact on business relationships, reputational damage, etc.
We recommend that you only purchase Schaeffler products from our authorized sales partners. You can find a list of all authorized Schaeffler sales partners worldwide on our country-specific websites:
Further information & links
Information materials & Customer success stories
World Bearing Association
Founded by its umbrella associations in the United States, Europe and Japan, the WBA industry association represents the common interests of bearing manufacturers around the globe – with a focus on free and open markets, sustainable development, and the protection of all market players against counterfeit products.
Get in touch with our contact partners at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You suspect you may have purchased a counterfeit Schaeffler product? Then download the OriginCheck app for a first check.