An online retailer in Wellingborough has been ordered to pay more than £5,000 after admitting selling plastic wallets advertised as genuine leather.
Northamptonshire County Council’s trading standards team began investigating PGS Gifts Ltd 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 had complained to the business about a wallet which had been bought for her prospective 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 PGS Gifts’ premises, in Baird Court.
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 to unfair trading during a hearing at Northampton Magistrates’ Court earlier this month.
It was fined £3,000, made to pay 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.”