If you purchased a Plantronics CS540 headset online in the North American market and a Plantronics C054A headset shows up, initiate a return ASAP or you'll run the risk of problems.
Plantronics C054 vs C054A: How to spot the difference
On the surface you would have no idea the difference between a Plantronics C054 and C054A, until you turn the charging base upside down and see one has an "A" and the other doesn't. The C054A model is made for the European market and causes problems when used in Northern America because although it uses DECT technology, it operates on a different frequency range. You can see in the images below how to spot the difference and what DECT frequency standard there are for different markets.
4 common scenarios that happen
- You get the headset and it works fine for 6+ months, until one day you move the headset to a different phone, unplug the power or out of nowhere the headset stops working. It could fully stop working or give you sound quality issues that are not fixable.
- The day you get it, it doesn't work no matter what you do.
- You plug it in and it works but doesn't work as intended. Bad sound quality, speaker sounds fine but microphone is extremely quiet or with a huge echo for the caller on the other end and much more.
- Not realizing, you have a mixture of C054 and C054A headsets in the office and you're finding some sync together and others don't. Since the two versions operate on different frequencies, they are not cross compatible which can be extremely frustrating.
Why is this happening?
A couple of cases why this is happening.
- An unauthorized reseller acquired stock somehow of C054A headsets they list online under a CS540 listing at sources like Amazon, Ebay, Newegg, Walmart etc... and don't realize the C054A isn't the same as a CS540 (C054).
- Unauthorized resellers are knowingly buying C054A headsets from European sources at highly discounted prices (which is why the pricing is less than the rest), then listing on third party sources like mentioned above. This is highly shady and unethical because it's a bait and switch, resulting in a bunch of issues down the road. And, if you contact the manufacturer and they find your order was not from an Authorized reseller, your warranty coverage won't exist.
Note: If you want to be part of the fix, report the seller on the platform you ordered from.
Always purchase from a local authorized reseller, and it will protect you from cases like this. When you see everyone online selling a Plantronics CS540 online for $170 for example and a few are selling that same product for $100, high chances you will be receiving a Plantronics C054A, open box or used product sold as new. Many of you have heard the phrase "when it looks to good to be true, it's to good to be true." Don't let it be you!