I got this email from Miro Distributors today:
———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Miro distribution <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, Aug 28, 2008 at 6:08 PM
Subject: WHY TAKE THE RISK ? (note the caps)
DID YOU KNOW….
EVEN IF YOU BUY EXACTLY THE SAME PRODUCT SOMEWHERE ELSE – IT IS PROBABLY ILLEGAL TO USE IT IN SOUTH AFRICA?
Take the Ubiquity Nanostations and XR5 cards as an example – if you buy these products from Miro,you may legally use them in SA, however, if you buy the same productanywhere else, it is most probably illegal for use in SA and ICASA WILLconfiscate your equipment!
A few notes for Miro Distributors:
1. I didn’t know what an XR5 board was, until this email. You could perhaps have focused your message a bit more around this.
2. I did gather that the XR5 board is probably interesting enough to warrant getting Type Approval for it.
3. Because of your email, I gather I can get XR5 boards elsewhere for much less than what you are selling them for!
4. It’s probably not a good idea to threaten customers with ICASA removing my equipment. I get the impression that you are personally going to phone ICASA to rat on your customers if they buy elsewhere.
5. It’s probably an even worse idea to tell me about a product that I wasn’t going to buy, letting me know that I can get it cheaper elsewhere AND threatening me with legal action.
Miro could have been smart. They probably didn’t run this by an experienced PR person person. They could focused more on their products and highlighted the fact that they are ICASA type approved. They could have told customers why ICASA type approval is a good thing for their business. They could talk about how well their staff are trained and how they can help me solve wireless problems. They could offer their products at competitive prices.
Although they are indeed correct in that using non-type approved equipment is not legal, it came across as a thinly veiled threat.
p.s. They misspelled Ubiquiti. Your ICASA type approval is therefore probably not valid.