Woolworths service and Crest brand USB cables

In Jan this year (2024) I bought a 1.5m USB C to USB A cable, Crest brand, from my local Woolworths to charge my phone. $22.00. The packaging states “1.5m Ultra Durable Cable”, “ULTRA DURABLE REINFORCED CABLE” and “Features ultra reinforced cable for extra tuff, ultra durability to tackle heavy everyday use”.
It’s been plugged in at a desk and set up so that it was not bent (gently curved instead), couldn’t fall onto the floor etc. It was cared for, as are the rest of my cables and possessions. I use 2 other cables daily in the house, similarly set up and much older, and another in the car without any problems.
Not only was it hit or miss as to whether I had to turn the USB C bit over for this cable to charge but, yesterday, it started crackling after I had my phone connected to it for about 15 mins, not moving. (I immediately unplugged it and the phone seems to be OK.)
When I went to the same store with the cable and my scanned receipt and scans of the packaging, the staff member told me that I’d had the cable “for some time” so HE didn’t believe that I was due a refund. He asked me whether I’d had my phone checked and whether I had the packaging. I explained about the other cables. Didn’t care. Finally another staff member intervened, asked whether I had a receipt, and told the first staff member to process the refund. I have since read Woolworths’ returns policy and my faulty cable was definitely covered by it.
This is the second Crest brand cable that’s become faulty in under 12 months.
Stay away from that brand.
Buy a brand that has a specific warranty and ensure you scan the receipt and packaging in case you need it.
I have sent the above info to Woolworths via their website and have posted it on FB.


USB-c is designed to be used either way it is plugged into a socket. Unlike the original USB which has only one orientation.
‘Hit and miss’ and crackling sound (arcing) seems to be symptomatic of a loose connection between the Crest cable plug, and the socket on whatever device the cable is plugged into.
That could be the plug, or the socket, or indeed just not seating the connection properly.

I suspect the first store employee you spoke to thought the return was a change of mind one, rather than a faulty product return. The store conditions are quite different. Such as original packaging required for a change of mind. And also a 30 day time limit for COM. And Woolies do not refund, only exchange.

The second employee realised different, and handled it as faulty product return and refund, which strictly speaking the store did not have to do. Could have instead given a replacement.

So I think you have done well getting a refund for a cable that could have well had nothing wrong with it, in my view.

A lot of major stores sell these Crest products, so it is not like they are dodgy things bought cheap over the Internet.

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Your opinion on whether the cable is faulty or not is specious and without foundation and totally unwarranted on this circumstance. I don’t know what your technical qualifications are but I was a senior tech officer electronics and communications for a large part of my life and I would never make such a comment without being able to inspect the object.
I have had cables faulty out of the box.
Greg Black

If at least 2 other cables are doing the job without the noticed issues, then it is likely that the cable is faulty rather than the device the cable is plugged into. Their feelings about the brand are their opinion and others are not obliged to agree with it.

Inspection of the cable by a professional would be much more costly than simply replacing it or giving a refund as the Woolworths store decided to do.

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My apologies @GregB but I was just giving my view on the how the business handled @sandy.rigby‘s issue. I think they did what they should have, and provided a remedy. They were within their rights to test the cable themselves, or just give a replacement, but decided to refund.

Maybe presumptive of me to give the impression that I doubted the determination that the cable was faulty. It is just in my nature to query and test things to do fault analysis.

Since you asked, I have spent almost my entire working life dealing with computers and doing technical support in hardware and systems software. That includes a number of years as a network technician cabling up computer equipment, and building and testing all sorts cables. In my experience, cables were rarely the fault. It was something else mostly. Hence my comment.


This reply is to both Gregr and GregBlack.
“Specious, unwarranted and without foundation”?! Greg B, thank you for sharing your technical background. FYI I have an IT and semi-technical background in telecoms for a large part of my life too. Would my words have borne more weight if I were obviously male?

To reiterate and add detail:

  1. I made it clear from the start that there was a problem. This was not a change of mind. It was not dead out of the box. I had had the cable for 4 months and stated that at the outset.
  2. I am well aware that USB C is designed so that it should not matter which way up the plug goes, hence my comment about it being finicky.
  3. I have 2 other USB A to USB C cables “permanently” connected and used (to/by the same phone) in other areas of the house, and another that connects to my car’s head unit, as well as a USB C to USB C cable that I use when travelling. All are used for the same phone and are older than the cable that I just returned. I have not had any problems with any of them. I had used both the other cables in the house, plus the one in the car in the previous 24hrs without any problems and that continues to be the case.
  4. I have NEVER experienced crackling noises with any other USB cable ever. I would be really interested in learning why the crackling occurred when the cable and phone had been stationary and untouched for at least 15 minutes prior and the phone was charging. If it was due to a loose connection, I would have thought that some movement/disturbance would be needed at the time of the crackling. Or is my reasoning incorrect? Please explain. I’m always interested in learning. But why just that cable and no others?
  5. If the staff member had offered a credit instead of a refund, I would have accepted.
  6. The first staff member appeared to not have any experience with faults/returns and policies. They were someone who responded to a call for assistance as no-one was stationed at the front desk. The staff member who intervened (I hadn’t even noticed her approach from outside my line of sight) appeared to be experienced and I got the impression of her having management experience. It took her about 30secs to grasp the situation.
  7. Fair enough about Crest branded cables being sold at many outlets. I did not realise that at the time. However, I am less than impressed with their USB cables - that is my opinion and not a technical evaluation.
  8. I have since bought another cable that has a stated warranty period. I have scanned the receipt and the packaging and the warranty information just in case. This cable is plugged in in exactly the same way and place as the “problem” one and is working perfectly as I type this.

I doubt that I will ever engage with the Choice “Community” again.


I have a few lightning cables as most of my iPhones are pre USB-C. Even though all are what are labelled as Apple or Apple approved, there are some that have been problematic and have been returned for exchanges. I think it is just a smattering that fail for the majority of users, but that doesn’t make it acceptable for a business to refuse to honour your ACL rights. Initially it seems the representative was dismissive of the claim you were making, and only after another employee got involved, were your ACL rights considered. That was poor performance by the initial employee. It is good to get feedback about what businesses are doing as it helps the CHOICE organisation understand what is going on.

As to the Crest cables, I have used a few and not found any issue with those I have. I am sure however that there would be faults with some of them, but my experience and my opinion is that for me they are a reliable choice of product…though not always the cheapest choice and I have bought cheaper cables that also perform very adequately. Your opinion is based on your experience and so I do not dismiss it. It helps when users of products inform others as it may be a larger problem that some so far have experienced by sheer luck of the draw.

So thank you for supplying your feedback, it honestly is valued by many users when people provide their experiences here. An indication of that appreciation is the 6 likes you received for your post, many posts do not receive that level of attention ever or even so quickly after being posted.

The crackling you heard could very well be some dust that was present, this may have been already in the USB-C cable either after manufacture storage or just as a result of dust present during manufacture, it may have also been dust that was inserted when putting the cable into the phone, or it may have been dust in the phone port… When it was inserted, and charging was occurring it may have caused some discharge crackle. it may also have been a pin that was faulty (not enough close connectivity or slightly offset to the matching pin). More concerning was that the cable needed rotating to get connectivity, this indicates that the pins did not correctly match or were not making adequate contact. When rotation was required, I, as you did, would have returned the cable as it was not fit for purpose.