Waging War Against Service Abuse

Intelligence tied to protection

The key to any successful protection program is reliable intelligence. Only when the intelligence identifies the threats can investigation and correction can take place.

Fundamentally, different tools and approaches may be employed to identify, investigate, and neutralize each threat, but without solid intelligence the program may identify the wrong targets.

The best practices in prevention of warranty and service fraud are the opposites of the control weaknesses that enable this fraud:
1. Business culture that allows service abuse, or discounts its impact
2. Contracts that do not clearly define controls, compliance and terms
3. Inadequate monitoring, including linkage to service systems resulting in failure to differentiate active versus expired service contracts
4. Poor product data management (e.g. serial number tracking)
5. Poor service entitlement/request monitoring and serialization of service contracts with access to valid serial number listings by outside parties
6. Poor controls governing the receipt of returned merchandise and scrapped product serial numbers
7. Lack of service history tracking at the serial number level
8. Lack of system controls to prevent the download of unauthorized software
9. Lack of software controls to require the registration of a piece of software before it is activated for use
10. Lack of certification processes and monitoring of third party service providers

Business that relentlessly counter threats can generate enormous savings and create additional and enduring value for their business and customers.

The Alliance for Gray Market and Counterfeit Abatement (AGMA) (www.agmaglobal.org) is a non-profit organization comprised of influential companies in the technology sector, whose mission is to address gray market fraud, parallel imports, counterfeiting, software piracy, and service abuse of technology products around the globe. The organization’s goals are to protect intellectual property and authorized distribution channels, improve customer satisfaction and preserve brand integrity.

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