Over the past year, ACE has been contacted by a growing number of customers around the world who have either bought or been proposed untested window security film with the promise that it is “just like ACE” or been sold counterfeit ACE security laminates®.
Regrettably, counterfeiting, passing-off and bait-and-switch web sites continue to proliferate. We at ACE hope that the information below will help you protect yourself from being a victim to these practices.
Every year, an estimated $700 Billion in counterfeit goods are sold around the world. According to the International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition, up to 7% of all goods sold around the world are counterfeits. From automotive parts in your local garage to building materials on a construction site, this is a major problem for consumers and it goes mostly un-noticed.
a thin, clear piece of plastic will look like any other…
Unethical distributors and contractors know that to the typical purchaser a thin, clear piece of plastic will look like any other. This makes window security laminate particularly susceptible to bait-and-switch practices. One of the best ways you can protect yourself is by being aware of this practice.
Here’s what you should know:
- Product substitution and counterfeiting is an international problem. It is a particular problem with window films and laminates which will tend to look the same to the lay-person.
- Counterfeits can be difficult to identify.
- Ask the company you are dealing with about counterfeiting. Many companies are leading efforts to protect the public by providing tools, tips and information regarding this international problem.
- If you are working with a dealer or a distributor of laminate or film and have suspicions, call the manufacturer. Find out if the distributor you are using is registered with the supplier.
Verifying claims of performance
such as bullet-resistance and bomb-resistance
A growing number of companies on the internet are making claims about the ballistic and blast-resistant performance of their windows films. Almost without exception, these companies are buying and repackaging generic, untested films from manufacturers who have not designed their products for these applications and do not endorse their use for advanced security threats. This raises questions of product effectiveness, support and ultimately, liability.
Unless backed by verifiable third-party test documents, these claims should be considered highly suspect. As a critical part of your due-diligence, you will want to investigate and confirm claims of performance. Ten questions you want to ask are:
|Question: #1||Do you have product testing?|
|Question: #2||Was it done by an independent laboratory?|
|Question: #3||Is the laboratory arms-length to the company? In other words, the company should not own the laboratory doing the testing. Many major corporations have their own in-house laboratories.|
|Question: #4||Does the test have an individual test report number which can be verified by the lab?|
|Question: #5||Can I get a copy of your test reports?|
|Question: #6||Can I visit your facility?|
|Question: #7||Can I see a demonstration of your product?|
|Question: #8||If you are being supplied by another manufacturer, have they designed the product for this use, do they endorse it for use against ballistic and bomb blast threats and do they have test documentation verifying its efficacy? Can I speak with their engineers?|
|Question: #9||How long have you been in business? It takes years and millions of dollars to undertake ballistic and specifically bomb blast testing. Has the company been in business long enough to actually do what they claim to have done?|
|Question: #10||Can I speak with your engineers?|
A reputable supplier, especially for a security product, will have third party product testing. This testing should be done by an independent, reputable laboratory and it should be to a recognized standard established by an authority such as Underwriters Laboratory, American Society for Testing and Materials and others. For ballistic testing, standards such as those from the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) and UL are mostly referenced in North America. For bomb blasts, the test standard most often referenced in North America is the General Services Administration (GSA) standard.
Ask for these test reports.
ACE has found over 200 websites, companies, distributors and individuals around the world making deceptive and misleading claims about window security laminates. If you wish to speak to an authorized agent of ACE or confirm the authenticity of a supplier, call us at 1 888 607 0000 during North American business hours or email us at info@USace.com
Thank you and sincerely
Chief operating Officer
Advanced Coatings Engineering