The Brand Integrity Coalition exists to educate consumers about the importance and benefits of buying only Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts for their appliances. There are many significant reasons why this should be important to all consumers and we feel that it is our duty to bring these reasons to light.
WHAT IS AN ORIGINAL EQUIPMENT MANUFACTURER (OEM)?
An Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) is the company that originally built the appliance and the parts within the appliance. Example: Whirlpool, Electrolux, General Electric, etc. These companies have strict regulations and requirements on engineering and parts performance, ensuring that they are the best option when a replacement part is needed.
WHAT IS A GENERIC PARTS MANUFACTURER?
A generic parts manufacturer is an independent company that manufactures or sources parts that will fit and operate in place of a part that was manufactured by the OEM. The regulations and requirements on engineering and parts performance are often significantly lower than that of an OEM, with a focus being on manufacturing parts quickly and as cheaply as possible. This often results in early and catastrophic part failures.
Generic replacement parts aren't held to the same standards as Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts and this often leads to part failures which can be catastrophic. A failed thermostat in a dryer can lead to a house fire or a failed washing machine water valve could cause a flood that destroys an entire room. Even worse is that an insurance claim through an OEM will always be handled immediately and properly. When submitting a claim with a generic replacement parts manufacturer, there is often no recourse.
One of the biggest safety concerns? Water filters. When a generic water filter is purchased, it almost never filters as you expect it to. Filters are found to be stuffed with cotton, cardboard, or even empty which means that you are drinking water that is full of chemicals and pollutants that you expected your filter to take out. For more information on the water filter concerns, please visit www.filteritout.org.
LENGTH OF LIFE OF PARTS
Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts typically come with a 90 day or 1 year warranty and far outlast that period of time.
Generic replacement parts typically come with no warranty or a 30 day warranty at the most and almost always fail faster than an OEM part.
COUNTERFEIT AND MISREPRESENTED PARTS
There are a lot of parts on the internet that are advertised as being an OEM part but are actually counterfeit or generic parts being misrepresented as OEM parts. If a part is purchased from a non-Brand Integrity Coalition member, there is a risk that you are not actually receiving the OEM part that you expected and you may never even realize it, until there is a catastrophic failure.
FACT: At a gathering of industry experts, there was only a 50% success rate in identifying the difference between an OEM part and a generic part. It is that difficult to determine if a part is genuine OEM part or not, which is why it is important to always order OEM parts from a Brand Integrity Coalition member.
One of the most heavily targeted markets for counterfeit parts is water filters, which is a major health and safety concern and makes it all the more important to purchase your parts from a Brand Integrity Coalition member. For more information on the water filter concerns, please visit www.filteritout.org.
Excerpt from www.filteritout.org:
Results of counterfeit filter testing: Full Report
“Online sales of counterfeit refrigerator water filters are a rapidly growing problem. These counterfeit water filters are sold with misleading and fraudulent labeling, often including the illegal use of brand names, logos and product labels. Although marketers of these counterfeit filters say they meet recognized standards for effectiveness, in reality they are untested and fail to remove toxic substances from water as the label claims.” Nationally recognized testing laboratories tested filters for the Filter It Out campaign – you can read the astonishing results here.
When you purchase a part from an Brand Integrity Coalition member, you are buying a part from someone who has been authorized and supported by OEMs for decades. With OEM trust for that many years, you know the company you are purchasing your part from is legitimate and will get you the genuine, quality part that you are expecting to receive.
You also get a personal touch, when purchasing from a Brand Integrity Coalition member, that you simply cannot get online. All members are fully staffed with industry experts who can help you with anything from finding the correct part number that you need, ensuring quick delivery of the part, and also making sure that you are getting what you expect. If there is ever a problem with an order, you will have someone to call back and get help from. That is something that you cannot get when dealing with internet companies who typically try to avoid customer contact at all costs.
Wherever you buy your parts from, be it a physical store or a website, always make sure to look for the Brand Integrity Coalition logo. Behind the logo is a team of people who will support you and ensure that you will get the OEM part that you expect.
What Does OEM Packaging Look Like?
Now that you know why to buy OEM, how can you make sure what you receive is what you expect it to be? Below is a handy guide showing common characteristics of OEM packaging. Please note, these are not the only OEM packages but these are the most commonly used ones.