SURVEY SAYS: Consumers don’t know who to contact if sold fake goods

A recent survey carried out by Scam Savers showed that 67 per cent of respondents would not know who to contact for help if they were sold a counterfeit product.

With a total of 91 people participating in the survey, over half of them (61) would not know who to contact with many saying they would feel “cheated”, “disappointed” and “embarrassed” if they received a fake item.

The survey revealed that just over 63 per cent, which is 57 respondents, said that they buy branded goods from services such as Amazon and eBay, and just over 23 per cent had been sold a fake item.

The most popular item that people have been misleadingly sold is headphones, followed by perfumes and fragrances. One respondent claimed to have been sold cheap car headlight bulbs and another an iPhone.

Fake products come with great risk and electrical products in particular have not been put through the same vigorous safety checks that branded products have.

One respondent said: “I would feel conned. I would be upset but I would feel like it was my fault for ‘falling for it’. So then I would be reluctant to do anything about it as I wouldn’t know who I could talk to.”

It seems that consumers would feel embarrassed because in many cases, they thought they had checked the relevant information to make sure the product was legit.

Almost 97 per cent of those who took the survey use sites like Amazon and eBay often or sometimes, showing that there is more room for fraudsters to catch out customers who put their trust in companies.

“If it [the product] functioned as well as the real deal, I’d use it,” said one respondent. “If it were faulty I’d return it. It would also depend on how much I spent. If I spent a lot of money and it turned out to be fake and faulty, I’d want a refund for definite.”

The majority of those who took the survey told us that they would feel betrayed if they were sold a counterfeit item and in the words of one of those people: “If the deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.”