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Don't have a counterfeit crisis at Christmas

View profile for Deborah Foundling
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With Christmas approaching we’re all looking for bargains to help ease the financial demands of Christmas with presents, food and decorations all to be bought.  However, it’s important that while trying to find the best buy, we also keep our safety in mind, as counterfeit goods can lead to a disaster that could easily have been avoided.  Here Deborah Foundling, Personal Injury Lawyer for Hampshire based law firm Warner Goodman LLP, advises on what to look out for and how to use your Christmas common sense during the festive period.

“Of the £22billion that is forecast to be spent this Christmas, approximately £90million of that will go on counterfeit gifts according to the Trading Standards Institute,” begins Deborah.  “Fake goods are sold all year round, but the counterfeiters see the opportunities at Christmas more than any time of year, so consumers must be more vigilant.”

The TSI have recently issued their own warnings to consumers in the run up to Christmas.  “The TSI’s message is that counterfeit goods pose the biggest risk to our safety as they are often poor quality with low production costs,” explains Deborah.   “The main gifts that consumers should be aware of are toys and electrical goods.  Faulty electrical goods can lead to electrical fires, explosions or electric shock due to missing or poor quality components. With Electrical Safety First reporting that half of all house fires are caused by faulty electrical goods it’s so important to ensure consumers are buying the right products.”

It’s not only the obvious products that consumers should be wary of.  “Make-up and alcohol can also be big earners for Christmas counterfeiters as they will dilute the products to spread the production cost.  Make-up can contain anything from lead, copper or mercury resulting in swelling or poisoning, and alcohol can have traces of methanol or antifreeze which can have potentially fatal consequences.”

There are ways to avoid buying counterfeit presents for your loved ones this Christmas.  “Buy your products from reputable high-street retailers steering clear of the so-called ‘informal’ supply chains such as street sellers, car boot sellers and so on.  While they may be more expensive, you do have to consider your position if the product is faulty.  Where would you return it, and how would you obtain a refund?  A cheaper product at the beginning may end up costing more in the long-term, not just financially but also in terms of your well-being.”

Deborah concludes, “We completely understand that it’s tempting to find the best deal, but remember, if the price is too good to be true, then it probably is! Don’t take the risk; make sure you have a happy and safe Christmas.”

If you’ve had an accident and want advice on making a claim, you can contact Deborah or the other members of the Personal Injury Team on 0800 91 92 30 or visit their section of the website here.

ENDS

This is for information purposes only and is no substitute for, and should not be interpreted as, legal advice.  All content was correct at the time of publishing and we cannot be held responsible for any changes that may invalidate this article.