Chargers are expensive aren’t they?It’s a real nuisance if yours stops working and you need a replacement. And given how much we all depend on devices like our mobile phones you’ll probably need to get one quickly.For many of us, no mobile phone equals complete meltdown – our whole lives are on those things!
But a quick look on the manufacturer’s website reveals it’s going to cost a quite a bit to get another one. Maybe you’ll just shop around online and see if you can spot one that’s a bit cheaper…

Proceed with caution. First of all, let’s make clear we’re not here to tell you to buy the most expensive lead you find on the manufacturer’s site. We know there have been complaints about the fact they cost so much and whether that’s reasonable.But we do want to encourage you to think carefully about the alternatives. Millions of mobile phone chargers are bought online in the UK each year. Some chargers you find might be ok. But there’s been a big rise in the number of incidents reported relating to fake, cheap and unbranded chargers.


From the outside, these chargers may look the same as the official ones. But the cheap chargers usually have far worse construction, power quality and, most importantly, safety standards.Genuine chargers generally have upwards of 60 components. Cheaper chargers can have less than 30. And those components are poor quality. Poor quality components are an electrocution and fire risk.
Does it surprise you to learn unsafe devices can be made for as little as 3p?Genuine chargers use larger, higher-quality components which can have a big effect on power and safety. Sometimes these substandard chargers lack critical safety features - think about the dangers posed if a charger doesn’t have proper insulation (which many of them don’t).
Despite the fact that suppliers and retailers are legally obliged to ensure all electrical equipment they sell is safe, many chargers fail to meet UK safety regulations and can lead to electrical shock, injury and can cause fires.We’ve probably made it clear by now that it’s the least of your worries but cheap chargers are also pretty useless when it comes to charging up your phone too, taking up to twice as long and leading to weakened batteries.



Check there’s a distance of at least 9.5 mm between the edge of the pins and the edge of the charger (about the width of a ballpoint pen). If it’s any less there’s a risk of electric shock when plugging in or unplugging it.


To check this, plug the charger into a socket that isn’t switched on or connected to your phone.
If it doesn’t plug in easily the pins may be the wrong size or length or have the wrong distance between one other – any of which can pose a danger.


Look for the CE mark. But be a little wary. It should be the manufacturer’s guarantee of safety by declaring it meets European safety standards but unfortunately it can easily be forged. So also look for the manufacturer’s brand name or logo, model and the batch number. And make sure the voltage and current ratings marked on the charger are the same as your electrical device.


Yes, we realise you’ll have a pretty good idea of how to operate a charger. But when you buy it, you should also expect to receive some user instructions covering information on conditions and limitations of use, how to operate it safely and some basic electrical safety guidance. You should also be given details about how to dispose of it safely. If you don’t get any kind of information, be suspicious. We’ve talked about phone chargers but remember there are risks with every type of charger and a lot of the comments above apply to them too. We’d never encourage unnecessary spending but in this instance we reckon this is a purchase where you truly do get what you pay for.

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