When it comes to harmless things like USB cables, phone chargers, and surge protectors, the general trend is to go cheap. And when a well-known brand name like Amazon is attached, that̵
CNN took an in-depth look at AmazonBasic’s product reviews and found more than 1,700 reviews on 70 articles mentioning fire, explosions, melting, or other safety risks. In many cases, customers did nothing wrong, such as when a microwave caught fire when an eight-year-old tried to heat macaroni and cheese.
In an even more terrifying story, a burned man was hospitalized after an AmazonBasics USB cable caught fire while it was hanging over a chair. The stories continue from there and many involve damage to homes and property.
Worse, even though some of these items are no longer for sale, CNN has found many instances where you can still purchase products despite reports of dangers.
In the more than 1,500 reviews, many consumers have expressly identified items as potentially dangerous – using terms such as “danger” or “fire” or the statement that the product should be recalled. Around 30 items with three or more reviews like this one are still for sale on Amazon.com today. At the time of publication, at least 11 other products that met these criteria were no longer for sale. Some were no longer available after CNN started reporting, and at least four product pages were completely removed from the retailer’s website, leaving dead URLs that employees refer to as “dog pages.” Amazon confirmed that at least eight of these products had been screened, but said the company found that all of them met its safety standards.
According to CNN, Amazon has only officially recalled two AmazonBasics products so far. Beyond these recalls, Amazon has not publicly recognized any dangers in its products. When CNN submitted its investigation results to Amazon, the company confirmed that eight of the CNN products mentioned had been investigated, but ultimately met safety standards.
You can still purchase many of the products that have been featured by CNN and reported to Amazon. So before you hit the “Buy” button on any Amazon’s Choice item, be sure to read some reviews. You can see the full (and in-depth) report from CNN on its website.