3 Replies Latest reply: Sep 27, 2011 7:28 AM by saturation RSS

Is UL a racket?

Latch

I have had to deal with UL quite frequently recently. I have even visited one of their locations.

 

With the absolute mess I saw at their "test" facility, I question the value of the UL label. The amount of money one has to pay to get the engineers at UL to do anything far outweighs what I saw them actually do.

 

Example: On one engineers desk, covered in papers and lunch wrappers, sat a product waiting for evaluation. The engineer said, "Oh here is that part," as he tossed it into a carboard box with other items. Unacceptable for having to pay $20,000 for a stamp.

 

I think the company has grown to the point where they can charge willy nilly for their slow service and low quality just because of their company's clout. I refuse to get a UL stamp on any product after seeing their facility.

 

What are some alternative certification companies? Cheap with a quick turn-around is what we all need.

  • 1. Re: Is UL a racket?
    DAB

    UL has been the standard for electronics approval in the US.  Have you contacted the head of UL and made your observations to someone who could independently verify your findings?  If they have a few unprofessional personnel working there, they may just need to reevaluate their staff.  If the problem is truly endemic, then I would agree that a full assessment of their testing techniques and findings is needed.

     

    You should contact both the head of UL and the National Institute of Standards and let them know of your findings and concerns.  If they fail to act, then you need to contact your congressman and ask them to investigate the agency.  If they have truly become slack, then lives are at stake.

    I hope that you will press forward with the normal channels to get a resolution to the potential problems.

    You also may want to contact Consumer Reports.  They independently test items for safety and quality.  If there is a problem with UL, they may be your best source to verify your findings.

     

    I hope this helps.

     

    DAB

  • 2. Re: Is UL a racket?
    Latch

    Their entire operation reeks of the same attitude.

     

    I also think their prices are too high, which is why I am looking for alternatives.

     

    Latch

  • 3. Re: Is UL a racket?
    saturation

    I don't think UL is a racket but like any organization that monopolizes something, they are rich with fat and slow with efficiency.

     

    OSHA recognized that years ago, and UL has competitors, any lab part of NRTL group can substitute for UL:

     

    http://www.osha.gov/dts/otpca/nrtl/