At US Mobile, we believe that US consumers should have access to cheap cell phone plans and all of the most popular devices available around the world. Yesterday we launched our web shop, a curated marketplace to bring value to our customers.
Of course, when you think about devices that offer value, manufacturers such as Xiaomi, OnePlus, and Meizu come to mind. Our goal is to give our valued customers access to amazing devices. Together with our third-party distributors, we partnered to make it happen.
To share the news, I reached out to a very accomplished journalist to cover the exciting launch of our marketplace and more specifically, the fact that we would be making these devices available in the US.
This is nothing new. Amazon, Ebay and other US marketplaces offer Xiaomi, Meizu and countless other brands. The challenge with such marketplaces, however, is that you don’t always know whom you’re dealing with. The concern is that if something goes wrong with your phone or if you have any service related questions, you are stuck without a warranty to back the device.
Here’s where we created a better experience for our customers. By partnering with third-party distributors who sell and ship the devices, US Mobile is able to offer our customers warranty and support on the devices locally in the US. Very simply, customers can call US Mobile’s 24/7 Customer Support team with any service related issue or send the phone back to US Mobile for repairs.
Neither US Mobile nor PCMag claims that US Mobile is an official distributor. We were clear in our mentioning that US Mobile will continue to work with Xiaomi and Meizu distributors. Product listings on our webshop specifically noted that such devices are “sold and fulfilled” by our third party partners. Several outlets did include this, such as this article on Cnet.
US businesses are protected by safe harbor rulings to sell imports directly or through their marketplaces very much like Amazon and Ebay do.
Why did we decide to pull some listings off our webshop?
All of the phones sold on US Mobile are carrier and in most cases region agnostic. We don’t force our customers to buy US Mobile service plans with our phones, so customers can technically buy a phone from US Mobile and use it on any carrier they choose.
US Mobile is first and foremost a wireless carrier and as such our enabling carriers can make the devices go through rigorous testing and certification if they wish to do so. If US Mobile were purely a contract free phone seller, the phones would still be in our catalog.
We will continue to work with our enabling carriers to try to certify these phones on their network. There is a process that we will have to make these phones go through. If we are successful, we promise to enable our distributors to offer these phones on our marketplace again.