Be warned against online businesses

Kim Shanab with receipts and correspondence about the hamper she and Lailla Shanab (below), ordered and never received.
Kim Shanab with receipts and correspondence about the hamper she and Lailla Shanab (below), ordered and never received.
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CONSUMERS are being warned to take care when ordering products online.

Kim Shanab, 51, from Lytham Road, South Shore, and her daughter, Lailla, 32, who now lives in Qatar, ordered a hamper from ihamper.com in December, and are still waiting for their delivery.

Lailla Shanab

Lailla Shanab

The Burnley-based company has already taken the money for the luxury Christmas hamper, leaving the mother and daughter frustrated.

Mrs Shanab, who runs a newsagent on Lytham Road, said: “It infuriates me that she spent so much money.

“If she had spent £20 we would have put it down to experience and moved on, but this is a lot of money.

“Some of our family were left without a Christmas present.

“I’ve called them, my daughter has called them and they haven’t got back to me.”

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The family contacted Trading Standards to try and get their money back, but were told they were unable to get a refund because the purchase was made from Miss Shanab’s home in Qatar.

Mrs Shanab added: “It looks like we can’t do anything about it because my daughter lives in Qatar.

“She bought it outside of this country and I can’t believe they are going to get away with it.”

Miss Shanab, a headteacher at a school in Qatar, added: “I contacted ihampers five times via email, online help and telephone to request a refund.

“I was told on each of these occasions that the refund would show in my account within three to five working days.

“It’s very frustrating, particularly as I live abroad and am not even based in the UK.”

Blackpool Council Trading Standards team have today issued advice to consumers who are ordering goods online.

Catriona Bright, public protection officer at Trading Standards, said: “When paying online ensure the payment page is encrypted. Look out for the “padlock” used by web browsers to indicate this is the case.

“Unless you’ve agreed otherwise, the supplier must send the goods or carry out the service no more than 30 days after your initial order.

“If they can’t, they must offer you another date, send you something else or give you your money back.”

For more information about online shopping rights contact Blackpool’s Trading Standards Consumer Advice section on (01253) 478375.

ihamper.com were unavailable for comment.