Counterfeit goods warning
Midlothian Council Trading Standards is warning residents to stay alert when making purchases this Christmas. Bogus and counterfeit goods tend to be more available at this time of year and these are likely to be of inferior quality and can be unsafe.
Costing the economy
Counterfeit goods cost the UK economy around £1.3 billion a year in lost profits and taxes.
Popular goods to fake
Popular counterfeit goods include fake clothes, toys, bags, accessories and perfumes that imitate recognised brands, as well as poor-quality pirated copies of DVDs, CDs and computer games. They can be sold at markets, in pubs or door to door. Counterfeit goods can also be sold at online auctions and web marketplaces, where there is no way of checking if the products are genuine until you have paid and had them delivered.
If you buy something that isn’t as described, or is not of satisfactory quality, you have statutory rights. This means you should be entitled to a refund or an exchange of goods. However, counterfeit sellers are not easy to track down.
Good reasons not to buy counterfeit
By buying counterfeit goods, you’re helping the trader to break the law. The money you spend ends up funding organised crime such as drug dealing. You’re also contributing to job losses because genuine manufacturers are unable to match prices charged by rogue traders. You also put yourself and your family at risk as some counterfeits can be dangerous to use and in some cases are made using toxic substances.
If it seems too good to be true .....
Councillor Russell Imrie, Midlothian Council cabinet member with responsibility for Trading Standards said: "Christmas is an expensive time of year for many people so bargains can be appealing but the general rule is that if it seems too good to be true, it usually is. I would urge everyone to make sure that the goods they are buying whether face to face or via the internet are genuine and are coming from a reputable supplier.”
The public are also reminded that when buying gifts the most important thing to remember is to check the returns policy with the retailer and keep your receipt. If you have a complaint you should speak to the shop/supplier in the first instance.
- If you are still not satisfied then you should contact Midlothian Trading Standards on 0131 271 3549 or Citizens Advice Consumer service on 03454 04 05 06.
- If you are concerned about any suspicious sales people in your area you should contact the police or your local Trading Standards office.