The warning comes from Herefordshire Council’s Trading Standards Service after a Hereford consumer paid over £70 online for a North Face jacket which turned out to be counterfeit and very poor quality. The website concerned was www.salesnorthfaceuk.co.uk and the business called The North Face UK Store.
Team manager for consumer protection and specialist investigations, Tim Thorne, said:
“Hundreds of these illegal websites have been closed down by the authorities, yet there are still many new ones popping up all the time conning people into thinking they are genuine UK based companies when in fact they are trading from China and selling worthless fake goods.
“There are at least two approved North Face suppliers in Hereford and I would urge consumers to support the local economy. So many counterfeit items are sold from dodgy websites and internet auction sites, that sticking to reputable retailers is the best way to shop for branded goods.”
Complainant Miss Emma Bowell, commented: “I was stunned to find out I had purchased a worthless fake. And then to top it all, when I emailed them demanding a refund, they said in order to get my money back I had to return the jacket direct to China which would cost £130!
“Trading Standards are helping me with a claim against my bank under the Visa chargeback scheme and I have now bought a genuine North Face jacket locally. I shall be far more careful in future when shopping on the internet.“