Beware of fake sites purporting to sell furniture and home appliances at bargain prices! Your order will never be delivered and you will be at a loss!
There have been an increasing number of troubles related to fake websites of well-known manufacturers. Some consumers were attracted by bargain prices on such sites and placed an order, as a result of which they got in trouble.
Some time ago, similar troubles happened related to clothes and sneakers. Recently, furniture and home appliances are mainly advertised on fake sites.
Therefore, NCAC would like to introduce a typical trouble over a fake site and key points to note.
I placed an order for a vacuum cleaner on a well-known manufacturer's site linked from an online ad. My order was not delivered to me even two days after the estimated delivery date. I inquired to the seller through a form on the site, but there was no reply. I had no way to confirm the delivery status. When I phoned the contact number shown on the company profile page and told what happened, the company said, "I'm afraid you seem to have accessed a fake site." Apparently, I accessed a fake site copying the official site of the manufacturer except the contact form. I want to get my money back.
Key points to avoid trouble over fake sites
- Prices are deeply discounted. (Refrain from purchasing goods at a huge discount, although it cannot be necessarily said that full priced goods are 100% guaranteed)
- There's something wrong with the URL. (The URL is slightly different from the official URL, for instance, one or more characters are added to the top or the end of the official URL)
- Seller's postal address is not written. Even if it is written, the company does not exist there. (field, private residence, etc.)
- The seller is accessible only through a contact form or free email.
- Payment cannot be made smoothly. Users have to enter data again and again.
- Odd expressions or unfair terms are found in terms and conditions.
- Links on the website do not work properly.
- Use a checker site where you can enter a URL and find out server information. Check if server information includes any suspicious element.
- Check if any site-related problem has been shared online.
- Before placing an order, inquire the site operating company and see what kind of reply you get. (No reply? Odd Japanese letters or expressions?)
In case of trouble
Consult your local consumer affairs center right away. In case of trouble with a foreign business, you can make an inquiry through a contact form to the Cross-border Consumer center Japan (CCJ) in NCAC.