An online retailer based in Wellingborough has been fined more than £5,000 after admitting selling wallets falsely advertised as genuine leather.
Northamptonshire County Council Trading Standards began investigating PGS Gifts Ltd, of Wellingborough, after a number of test purchases of the wallets, which were analysed by the British Leather Technology Centre and found not to be genuine leather.
During the investigation, officers discovered a customer complaint to the business about a wallet that had been bought for her soon to be father-in-law.
She reported that despite it being described as good quality leather online, she was disappointed with the quality when it arrived and it smelt of plastic rather than leather.
Trading Standards officers visited the business premises, in Baird Court, where they found that labels inside the wallets stating they were in fact made from PVC had been cut out before sale.
The company admitted two charges relating unfair trading during a hearing at Northampton Magistrates’ Court on August 8th and was fined £3,000 as well as legal costs of £1,960 and a victim surcharge of £120.
Cllr André Gonzalez de Savage, county council cabinet member public protection, strategic infrastructure and economic growth, said: “Consumers should be able to feel confident that the goods and services they buy are of the quality advertised, whether they’re buying in person or online.
“The vast majority of businesses out there are honest and reputable, but if you think you’ve been sold a sub-standard or dishonestly-advertised product, you can report it to Trading Standards by calling the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 04 05 06.”