You may find this surprising but there's a lot of counterfeit electrical products out there. You may not even be aware you've bought one, but if you do, then you're in danger of a serious accident. Fake safety marks, and imagery taken from product sites are a common phenomenon.
The question is, what can you do about it. If you're shopping online, it's even worse, how can tell what's fake and what isn't? Today, we're going to be looking at the dangers of counterfeit electrical products and what you should be looking out for.
Have you spotted the item you've been looking for a while but you couldn't afford it, well if it suddenly appears on a site and it's much cheaper than normal, then alarms bells should be ringing. If its too good to be true, then don't buy it. It's not worth putting yourself or your family in danger.
If an item has too many amazing reviews, then be suspicious. It's probably nowhere near as good as you think it is. Look on other sites and check out their reviews. It could be a fake items where the sellers have paid for good reviews.
Make sure you buy all your electrical items from a reputable suppliers. You should buy from a UK supplier because they'll have the right appliances to work in your home, so you'll know its safe. A web address with this at the end ".co.uk" doesn't always guarantee that it's from the UK, so check there's a postal address in this country on the contact pages.
Does the supplier constantly brag about the products authenticity? They shouldn't need to because if it's the real deal, they shouldn't need to go on about how genuine the item is. There should just be a sensible, detailed description of the item with out any embellishments.
Paying For Your Item
If you go on to pay for an item, once you reach checkout there should be a padlock system so you know your payment details are safe, if not then don't go ahead with the purchase, and definitely erase your payment details.
If you're already bought the item how can tell whether it's fake or real? You may want to inspect the packaging carefully, and of course the item itself. If there's insubstantial packaging around the item matched by spelling errors, then you can rest assured it's probably not a genuine item and not from a reliable high street retailer.
Dodgy Packing and Obvious Grammatical Errors
Always make sure there's a safety label certification and that all other supplementary materials are there in with the packaging and also on the item itself. The plug attached to your new appliance should be from a UK retailer also. If you don't feel comfortable about using it and you have your suspicions, then don't use it, put it away.
As alternative, you could take it with you to a reputable retailer and compare it with identical items on sale and if there are clear differences between your item and theirs, then don't use it.
Taking Your Items Back, Reporting it and Getting a Refund
Once you're certain you should take the item back to the supplier you bought it from and ask for a refund. You have a legal right to one if you've bought something that turned out to be counterfeit or fake without your knowledge.
If you're unable to find anywhere then go to your local Citizens Advice Bureau for advice on what to do next. Report it too, because the Trading Standards can act on what you tell them. It's illegal to sell products that are counterfeit and which could put people in real danger and their lives at risk.