16 January 2018

A Corby phone repair shop has been fined for falsely claiming to be an approved Apple repair centre and supplying original Apple parts to mobile phone and tablet users.

A Northamptonshire County Council Trading Standards investigation found that Free Fusion Ltd, based in High Street, Corby, supplied counterfeit Apple parts and was falsely advertising itself as approved by Apple and that it used original Apple parts for mobile phone and tablet repairs between November 2016 and April 2017.

Misleading statements

It follows a previous undertaking to Trading Standards by the company director Szymon Wierzbic not to make misleading statements in advertising material and a more recent Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) adjudication against the business.

Despite attempts by the ASA to have the claims removed from Free Fusion Ltd’s website, the company continued to present itself as Apple approved. As a result, the matter was referred to Trading Standards to consider further action.

At the hearing last Tuesday (January 9th), the company and Mr Wierzbic admitted offences contrary to the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 and the Trade Marks Act 1994.

Free Fusion Ltd was fined £1,000 for making the misleading claim that the company was Apple approved and £1,000 for claiming to supply original Apple parts.

Mr Wierzbic, as the sole company director, was also fined £500 in relation to the misleading claim that the company was Apple approved and £500 in relation to the Apple original parts claim.

Free Fusion Ltd and Mr Wierzbic were also ordered to pay half each of the prosecutions costs amounting to £2,463, as well as victim surcharges of £100 for Free Fusion Ltd and £50 for Mr Wierzbic.

Unlawful trading

County council cabinet member for public protection Cllr André Gonzalez de Savage said: “This is a great result for our Trading Standards team and it demonstrates that unlawful trading will not be tolerated in Northamptonshire.

“I would encourage anyone who has information about the sale of counterfeit items to report it to Trading Standards, anonymously if preferred, by calling the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 04 05 06 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”​