Canadians: Be Aware Of Illegal And Unlicensed Signal Boosters On Amazon

Updated: May 24

Summary of Canadians: Be Aware Of Illegal And Unlicensed Signal Boosters On Amazon:


1. How Do I Tell The Difference Between Certified and Uncertified Boosters?

2. Doesn’t Amazon Have Its Own Regulations To Combat Stuff Like This?

3. What’s So Unsafe About Noncompliant Signal Boosters?

4. Is There A List Of These Brands So I Know Who To Avoid?

5. What’s The Best Course Of Action When Purchasing A Signal Booster?


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There are lots of companies out there selling cell phone signal boosters. And like any other industry, some players are trustworthy and others are not. Being careless when purchasing signal boosters online can lead to trouble.


Don’t get us wrong. We love all of the conveniences that exist because of Amazon’s presence in the world economy. But that doesn’t mean that shopping on Amazon comes without risks. And cell signal boosters are no exception.


To give credit where credit is due, the e-commerce giant cares very much about eliminating untrustworthy sellers on their site. They are constantly taking steps to provide their users with better protection on this front. But shady operators exist in every industry and this will probably never change.


The Signal Booster Industry Is Regulated


Before we get into the ins and outs of avoiding illegal and unlicensed boosters on Amazon, remember this: the technology behind the design and manufacturing of signal boosters is extremely precise. And when we say precise, we mean that there are governmental regulations that specify how these devices must be built. In America, for example, the FCC (Federal Communications Committee) began regulating the signal boosters industry about 7 years ago. Canada has similar regulations through the IC (Industry Canada). All booster manufacturers are required by law to adhere to strict standards when designing and selling their products.


Amplifying cellular frequencies is a serious undertaking. Why? Because a misconfigured (unauthorized) cell signal booster has the potential to disrupt local networks. Unfortunately, some manufacturers choose not to adhere to regulations. And there is no easier way to accidentally get a non-compliant device than on the internet.

Fushion Professional Booster
SureCall Fusion 5s

1. How Do I Tell The Difference Between Certified and Uncertified Boosters?


Cell phone signal boosters run anywhere from $400 to over $2,000 depending on the device. So it’s no surprise that when you see signal boosters on Amazon for half that price, you assume you’ve made a great discovery. But before getting too excited - and certainly before you buy anything - you need to make sure of one important thing:


Make absolutely sure that the booster is certified by the IC (in Canada) or the FCC (in America) before buying it.


Not IC-Approved


A booster that is IC-approved gives you more than the satisfaction that it works the way it’s supposed to. It also means the device is safe. Safe to you, to the people who live near you, and to the cell towers in your area.


Despite Amazon’s laudable efforts, unauthorized boosters still make their way onto the site. How can you spot them? There are few surface-level red flags to look out for. One is the price. If you see a signal booster on Amazon with a price that’s significantly lower than a comparable model from SureCall or other reputable company, be wary. What’s more, some of these uncertified devices are even top sellers or labeled “Amazon’s Choice”.


We’ve received feedback from customers who’ve mistakenly purchased unauthorized signal boosters. One thing that’s come up multiple times involves paperwork found inside the box. Some of these unsafe devices will come with documents that declare “certification”. But looking closer, you see that the certification is either for a totally different product or not from the IC at all.


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The Importance Of Registering Your Device


Many cell phone signal booster companies require buyers to register their devices after purchase. There’s a number of reasons for this. One of the main reasons is that it gives carriers (Bell, Telus, etc) an opportunity to catch uncertified devices.


Let’s say you buy a signal booster and are unaware that it isn’t certified. You call (or go online) to register the device as instructed by your carrier. Then you get results (immediately or through the mail) saying the booster is not authorized by the IC. Your carrier is also notified, and carriers do not allow people to use unauthorized boosters on their networks. Why? As previously stated, it isn’t safe. Misconfigured and poorly designed boosters can cause all sorts of problems for the local network it’s using. Forgoing the registration process is not recommended. It poses risks to you and to those around you.


Fake Reviews


We’ve scoured the review sections of many signal boosters sold on Amazon that we know are unauthorized. There are some very suspicious patterns. Many of the reviews for these products are what’s called appropriated. That means the author of the review didn’t actually write it for the product you’re viewing. It’s been copied and pasted from the page of a completely different product. In other words, the review is fake. Devious people appropriate reviews to try and dupe Amazon into thinking a product is popular.


For example, there was one review we saw on the page of an uncertified signal booster that was for household blinds. Another review on the same page was for a suitcase. Whoever appropriated these reviews wasn’t even trying to cover their tracks.


Always check the reviews. Always, always, always.


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2. Doesn’t Amazon Have Its Own Regulations To Combat Stuff Like This?


Yes, they most certainly do. They do a very good job at not only removing shady products but preventing them from being sold on their site in the first place. But they can’t catch all of them. And sometimes it takes time to approve a product’s removal. This means that no matter what, we should always keep our eyes open when purchasing cellular devices on the internet.


A little over a year ago, the popular American site Wired dove deep into the realm of unregulated signal boosters being sold on Amazon. This effort was supported by some big signal booster names, including SureCall. They considered every signal booster manufacturer on Amazon and cross-referenced them all with the FCC’s database. There were many suspicious third-party vendors. Another interesting result of this study was learning that over 90% of the questionable signal boosters had trademarks linked to China.


Wired reached out to Amazon about their concerning findings, giving them the names of products and brands that were selling illegal boosters. This endeavor assisted Amazon in putting an even stronger clamp down on these nefarious sellers.


Now, let’s make one thing clear. There are many millions of independent merchants selling products on Amazon. Regulating this absolutely massive number of merchants would be unthinkable for most companies. But Amazon is doing an incredible job.


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3. What’s So Unsafe About Noncompliant Signal Boosters?


Canadian signal boosters without the stamp of approval from the IC present a lot of risks. They can interfere with mobile networks and disrupt service. There are many negative results from this happening, including the inability to make an emergency call.


We heard about a person in the US who did not know the signal booster he set up in his home was bootlegged. One day he heard knocking at his door. It was an AT&T representative informing him that they traced an unauthorized signal booster to his address. The booster was causing malfunctions in three cell towers in the area.


We’ve also heard of instances here in Canada where a rep from a cellular network made a house call to inform the person living there that if they didn’t turn in the uncertified booster right away, they would be contacted by the IC.


How Exactly Does This Interference Happen?


In simplest terms, this is what happens:


Uncertified cell phone signal boosters have a much higher probability of being configured improperly. This means that when you’re setting it up in your home, it’s going to be really hard to achieve the right distance between all the components. (Components include both the inside and outside antennas as well as the amplifier). Without this proper distance, you’re going to get oscillation. This is essentially a feedback loop that causes all sorts of malfunctions. It’s a bit like when a microphone is at an improper distance from a speaker and it causes both to malfunction.


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When a signal booster is oscillating, one of two things happen:


- (1) The tower can’t connect to the booster properly, or at all

- (2) A connection is made but it’s out of alignment which results in tower interference.


The Bad Guys Give The Good Guys A Bad Name


In addition to all the efforts made by Amazon, signal booster manufacturers also take measures to prevent the bad guys from having an influence. Companies like SureCall certainly have a vested interest in cleaning up what’s offered on Amazon. The more people who have bad experiences with signal boosters, the worse it reflects on the whole industry. Not only that, but it takes sales away from the professional and honest companies.


4. Is There A List Of Brands To Avoid?


Yes, there is. Here are the brands that we know of selling uncertified cell phone signal boosters on Amazon:


Sanqinoi

HJCINTL

Phonelex

Roomboost

Amazboost

ANYCALL

ANNTLENT

aclogue

WOKELINK

HaoFst

IOOkME-H

SIGNALBOX

VOLFERDA

EaSygnal

CIBoost

WUPYI

FUSTAR

Tonve

Lintratek

ATNJ

PROUTONE

Vee·Box

Asunflower

NexTrend


FYI, this list is a few years old. There are probably some new bad apples that could be added to this list.


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5. What’s The Best Course Of Action When Purchasing A Signal Booster?


When you’re thinking about buying a signal booster, it’s best to start on the websites of the actual manufacturers. There’s nothing wrong with eventually making the purchase on Amazon. But we recommend extending your search to Amazon after you look on surecallboosters.ca and similar sites. This is because you can see the official product pages of the devices you’re interested in. These pages show you precisely where you can purchase the specific device and will provide you with links, including Amazon links. That way, if you decide to purchase it from Amazon, you’ll know for sure that you’re on the right product page.


Canadians: Be Aware Of Illegal And Unlicensed Signal Boosters On Amazon - Conclusion


We hope the information here is helpful to you. We don’t want anyone to stumble onto the product page of an unlicensed and uncertified Canadian cell phone signal booster. Have more questions? Reach out to sales@surecallboosters.ca


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