Gadgets for humans

Amazon bans low quality USB-C cables after Google engineer slammed shitty cables


Over the last few months, Google engineer Benson Leung took to Amazon to review hundreds of shoddy USB-C cables that were available for purchase but not up to specification.

Today Amazon quietly made a change to its terms and conditions to prohibit USB-C cables that aren’t compliant with the official standard. A new line says:

Any USB-C™ (or USB Type-C™) cable or adapter product that is not compliant with standard specifications issued by “USB Implementers Forum Inc.”

Leung started reviewing the cables when he found that many of them that were widely available could cause issues or even make a laptop stop working entirely.

It’s great that Amazon’s changed the rules, though it’s unclear how strictly it’ll be enforced, since the company is unlikely to review them on its own.

Leung points out on Google+ that it’s “really great news” but “we all have to continue to be vigilant and call out any bad products.” It’s not just Amazon and stores that have had the problem, with even some smartphone makers like Oppo shipping bad cables.

The problem, for most of us, is that it’s incredibly difficult to tell if a USB-C cable is legitimate.

If you’re comfortable with a command line there are some ways to test cables on Chrome OS machines – otherwise it’s easiest just to follow Leung’s reviews on Amazon.

Published March 30, 2016 — 08:27 UTC