Crackdown on shopping portal for selling ‘fake’ smart appliances

Muscat: The Public Authority for Consumer Protection (PACP) has seized counterfeit electronic and electrical devices of some leading international brands that are sold at competitive prices.

These gadgets did not specify to standard specifications. As per the details, PACP said it used to receive repeated complaints at the same time from consumers about defects in some electrical and electronic goods that were purchased from one of the online sites.

Following up on these complaints, investigations revealed that the devices are mere imitations (not originals) and did not conform to the standard specifications. Devices sold on the online site included electrical and electronic devices, cosmetics, jewellery, perfumes, bags, books, stationery and other items sold at very low rates compared to their actual market prices.

Following investigations, it was revealed that the website is only an interface through which the consumers made their purchases. There is another company cooperating with this website then delivers the goods from the store. where the consumer orders are collected.

 

 

These goods were imported from a neighbouring country and delivered to consumers with payments made on delivery or at the time of order. The goods were inspected with samples sent for inspection to ensure their safety standards.

At the same time, the agents of the seized brands reported that there was a manipulation of the data of the seized smart devices and it did not belong to the original manufacturers. It affirmed that these smart devices were not genuine, which is contrary to Article (7) of the Consumer Protection Law, which states that “it is prohibited to trade any adulterated, corrupt, counterfeit or unauthorized commodity.

Article 20 of the same law said that the provider and advertiser shall be committed to transparency, credibility and should avoid fraudulent or misleading advertising. Investigations are still ongoing.

As more than 60,000 people had visited the site, PACP has urged consumers to be aware of the process of safe shopping and be sure of the quality of products before purchasing them.