We have just been caught out twice in the last 6 months by Far Eastern firms masquerading as UK based with domain names ending in .co.uk

The one thing all these sites have in common is a total failure to identify either the ownership of these sites or their location - i.e. China

Ordering anything from these sites is the easy bit, but just try returning something such as shoes, clothes and this is where they completely fall down.

Once they have your money, you are given the 3rd degree to even be in the running for a refund. That is, assuming you pass all their interrogation / stalling techniques, which will give one the 'run a around' for quite a while

All this needs to be compared to the likes of ASOS / Brand Alley or other European web sites which operate seemlessly - simplicity themselves, with no interrogation on returns

Finally, do not be fooled into thinking that the UK & Europes 'distance selling regulations' operate in this area - YOU ARE ON YOUR OWN

Probably the only way of getting your money back from these organisations is requesting a charge back from you credit card provider. Although, the Far Eastern firm will inevitably make a hefty 're-stocking' (25%) charge, which for some reason seems to be acceptable behaviour to the credit card provider

So the message is - be very carefull when dealing with this new breed of web site; set up specifically to lull the UK public into a sense of security. Once they have your money just watch out!

Caveat Emptor - With Far Eastern Companies Trading as UK Domains

Just bear all this in mind and take heed

Of course the real question that needs to be answersed is - why are these sites with .co.uk domain names allowed when they are potentially nothing more than a confidence trick to fleece the UK public and are not subject to any UK controls in the same way as UK company web sites?

One final aspect is that on genuine UK sites with merchant servcies a company address needs to be shown - try finding any reference to the location of these Far Eastern companies and invariably it does not exist; because that would give the game away!

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