Counterfeit copies of the popular Impact Sport earmuffs pose a risk to the health and safety of wearers
Over the past few months the number of counterfeit Howard Leight Impact Sport earmuffs being sold, including on the “official” store on Amazon, have seemingly been increasing leaving many customers with the risk of having malfunctioning electronic earmuffs, loss of hearing, and little to no recourse.
The counterfeit muffs do not meet the advertised noise reduction rating of NRR 22, and could potentially amplify the report of firearms through the internal speakers instead of cutting them out. This presents significant risk to the health of a wearer’s hearing, who would have no ability to seek compensation for any hearing loss as a result of the inadequate protection. Fortunately, there are some clear differences between the two that can aid customers in telling the bad from the good.
I, personally, fell victim to counterfeits being delivered instead of authentic ear muffs. After having purchased a pair from the authorized Howard Leight seller on Amazon.ca, I had my suspicions that what I had received wasn’t exactly genuine. Those suspicions were confirmed a few days later when I received an e-mail from Amazon that indicated a product I had recently purchased may not be what was advertised. Some time later I made another purchase, from the same official source, and I received yet another fake.
Honeywell responds to counterfeit claims
“Honeywell takes an aggressive stand against counterfeiters and we are working with Amazon to assist customers who purchased what they thought were authentic Howard Leight by Honeywell Impact Sport Green Earmuffs (R-01526) on Amazon from unauthorized third party sellers. These on-line purchases involved a number of different non-Amazon sellers,” wrote Mark Hamel, Communications Manager for Honeywell International, in an email to Canadian Firearms Blog.
“Honeywell did not manufacture or supply those items, nor are they subject to Honeywell’s warranty. Customers who bought these items have been strongly encouraged by Amazon to stop using the items immediately. In addition, Amazon is refunding their purchase price.”
“We are working with Amazon to offer those customers a discount for an authentic pair of Howard Leight by Honeywell Impact Sport Green Earmuffs,” continued Hamel.
“Amazon shoppers can be sure they are buying genuine Howard Leight by Honeywell products if the item listing on Amazon states that the item ‘Ships from and sold by Amazon.com’.”
However, when I pointed out that, like many others, I had received a counterfeit product after purchasing from the one and only Howard Leight seller on Amazon – where products are indeed “[shipped] from and sold by Amazon” – there was no further response.
Amazon refunds customers
Amazon has been refunding the cost of the purchase for all affected customers, and Honeywell ultimately offered an additional $5 off of the next purchase of genuine Impact Sport earmuffs from the Amazon store. Their offer was available only to the Amazon.com website (and not Amazon.ca), however Amazon Support did honour the coupon code after a short conversation through their online support chat system.
If you suspect you might have counterfeit Howard Light Impact Sport earmuffs, you can confirm so by checking for these common signs of a fake. If your earmuffs are counterfeit, we urge you to stop using them immediately and to contact the seller for a refund. To get $5 off the purchase of your next genuine pair from Amazon, try the coupon code “HONEYWELL5”. (This is not an endorsement nor was this article sponsored by Honeywell nor is it guaranteed to be valid still). If it doesn’t work, try contacting Amazon Support and ask if they can credit your account with the $5 promo.