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Watch out for rogue fashion Websites

Thursday, August 07 12:12:02

The European Consumer Centre in Ireland today warned online shoppers that it has received numerous complaints about rogue fashion retail outlets on the Web.

The consumer watchdog said it has received a number of complaints about rogue dress sites over the summer, with debs seeking dresses for the big event a particular target.

In many cases, problems arose because the website turned out not to be based in the country in which it was purporting to do business.

Such websites tended to use a domain registered in a certain European country and marketed items to consumers based within the EU. However, in many instances, the business was not operating out of a physical address in that country.

In some cases, traders were found to be operating from outside the EU entirely. This can lead to difficulties as consumers often face long delays in delivery and may be left disappointed if their order does not arrive in time for the special occasion. In addition, European consumer rights may not apply to purchases of items from outside the EU, causing further difficulty for those seeking redress.

ECC Ireland said it strongly advises consumers to thoroughly research a trader when shopping online for special occasions.

"It is important to be aware that a website which uses a domain address associated with a certain country may not necessarily be based in that country. It is advisable to check that the trader provides full contact details on their website and also to conduct an internet search for any further information that may be available. This may help to turn up any negative feedback left by other consumers," it said.

Consumers are further encouraged to be cautious of any offers advertising expensive or designer garments at vastly reduced prices. In many instances, where an offer seems too good to be true, it is.

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