Belkin’s misleading and deceptive packaging

For some time, I have been trying to find a case for my iPhone which provides a degree of protection for the screen. I have been known to put the phone in the same pocket as keys or coins and would prefer not to crack or deeply scratch the display. But for some reason, almost all iPhone cases are only concerned with protecting the back of the phone, leaving the more delicate screen vulnerable.

I don’t get it.

But after a lengthy comparison of iPhone cases online and at a local retailer, I found one which seemed to fit the bill: the Belkin Light Protect Rock (or LightProtectRock), also known as the Shield Flex, for 40 bucks.

First off, let’s clarify why you might need to protect the iPhone screen.

Here’s the back of the iPhone. Note the shiny, white, hard plastic.

Next, let’s look at the front of the iPhone. While this is also relatively robust, note it is made out of softer, more bendy plastic.

Now let’s look at a variety of objects you might find in the average pocket or handbag. Note how they are quite hard and pointy.

OK, so we have a combination of hard, pointy objects and soft, bendy plastic. Note how combining the two seems like a fairly bad idea.

Thus the need for a case for the iPhone which offers some kind of protection to prevent the soft, bendy plastic screen coming into contact with hard, pointy objects in your pocket or bag.

Now observe the box of the LightProtectRockWhatever. Witness how it clearly says ‘screen protection’.

Would a reasonable person, seeing this, assume this product provided some form of screen protection? Something to prevent the soft, bendy plastic screen coming into contact with hard, pointy objects? I think so.

Now observe the Belkin LightProtectRockRipoff once removed from the box.

Ponder how such a device would, in fact, provide any form of screen protection. Now place the iPhone inside the device.

Note how the screen actually protrudes from the device by a couple of millimetres.

So there you have it: a product which promises to provide screen protection actually provides no screen protection whatsoever.

Australian law is pretty clear on this. A company is not allowed to make false claims about “the sponsorship, performance characteristics, accessories, benefits and uses of goods and services”.

Seems like an open and shut case.

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