There are big reductions, but the products aren’t real Pandora
If you’ve ever queued in Pandora in the weeks leading up to Christmas, you’ll know that buying that ring or bracelet online is a very attractive alternative.
But shoppers should take care – because there are scores of websites out there purporting to offer real Pandora items which are actually fake.
The online pages – which offer up to 70% reductions – are uncannily like the official online jewellery store.
But if you hand your details over and you could be left hundreds of pounds out of pocket – or, at best, with a counterfeit item, says the Daily Mirror.
It reports how one customer said that they’d ordered several charms at a total price of £235 from a particular website on October 10 this year. They were then billed £265 instead and, to date, the items have not arrived.
The official Pandora Facebook page has a section where customers can check whether a particular website is selling fake goods or not. You can access this section by clicking HERE.
The company says: “It’s impossible for us to do a complete list of fake sites, as new fake sites pop up all the time, due to how easy any person can create their own website or Facebook page.”
But some of the sites which the company says are fake or unauthorised are:
In a statement on the Pandora Facebook page, the firm says: “As soon as a brand becomes popular you will see counterfeits multiply. Copies and fake products are unfortunately a challenge for Pandora – just as it is for most other jewellery manufacturers.
“Jewellery is easy to copy because of its size and character, and that unfortunately also goes for the lettering, e.g. our marker’s mark “ALE” or our trademark “Pandora”, which otherwise show customers that the product is authentic.
“This means that you can easily find products that have this stamp, but which is most definitely not authentic Pandora. Rest assured that we do not tolerate such counterfeits and take appropriate action.
“PANDORA takes trademark infringement very seriously and we have a department dedicated to brand protection. Unfortunately, it is not always easy to shut down a website, and the process can take some time if the company hosting the website will not cooperate.
“We are also working with Facebook to find a solution to stop fake sites advertising. Many fake websites and Facebook pages are daily being closed down.”
The statement adds that customers suspicious of any websites can check on the Facebook page, but should also send the address and Facebook URL to its Brand Protection team at email@example.com.
It also features a list of authorised Pandora retailers to guide shoppers:
Action Fraud, the government’s anti-fraud arm, has identified a number of preventative steps for customers shopping online this Christmas.
In a statement, detective inspector Chris Felton told Mirror Money: “As with any online shopping, we would urge people to research a seller before paying any money. Search for reviews from people who have previously purchased from the seller and check the item description carefully. If you are unsure, ask the seller questions.
“To protect your money until you’ve resolved any problems with the seller, always pay suing a recognised service; never pay by money transfers.”
I paid by credit card
If you’ve paid by credit card and the full amount of each item (or a deposit for an item) is over £100 and under £30,000, you’re covered by something known as Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act.
This means that you have the right to ask the card or credit provider to refund you the money if the goods don’t show up or aren’t as advertised.
You don’t have to go to the seller first. But make sure you emphasise to the credit provider that you need them to look at your refund as a priority.
I paid by debit card
If you’ve paid by debit card, section 75 doesn’t apply, but there is a bank scheme called ‘chargeback’ which includes your bank refunding you the lost balance.
“This isn’t a scheme that the card providers have to provide by law,” explains James Walker of consumer rights platform Resolver.co.uk, “but as it is good industry practice, you can still make a complaint if the card providers don’t stick to the rules of the scheme.”
Under chargeback, you can ask the bank to get back your money if the goods you’ve ordered haven’t turned up. The bank will usually do this, but if the seller disputes the refund by producing a contract that they’ve fulfilled, then the dispute is between you and them.
I paid by PayPal
If your eligible purchase doesn’t arrive, or doesn’t match the seller’s description, PayPal can reimburse you.
You must contact them and claim via their buyer protection scheme within 180 days.
Consumers also have the right to take their case to the Retail Ombudsman who will be able to take an impartial look at what’s happened and could force them to compensate you.
If the website is stocking counterfeit goods, you may want to report it to Trading Standards too.