ISLAMABAD -The influx of online shopping platforms during the last few years has undoubtedly made the lives of people much easier by making every essential item available to their doorsteps but their reliability is still questionable for many.
It has been observed that a number of online shopping websites, social media pages and groups operating in the country were selling sub-standard stuff including dresses, shoes and other accessories to the customers, contrary to what is displayed and shown.
A number of fake websites created in the names of famous brands are making buyers fool by showing original branded pictures of dresses and other items with original prices but delivering substandard stuff and replicas.
“Those fake websites are even using exact names and logos of the famous brands that anyone can hardly feel the difference between the original and the fake ones,” Samina Naz, a regular online buyer said.
Talking to APP, she said, “I placed the order of two dresses on a popular brand website after fulfilling all the requirements. The delivery man from a famous courier service company delivered a packet to my house after receiving payment.”
“When I opened that packet, both of the dresses were totally different to what I ordered and the poor quality of fabric, design and embroidery reflected that these were taken from some flee market. Even the phone number mentioned on the parcel cover was also a fake one,” she said.
“It is better to visit the branded stores for shopping instead of relying on the online shopping websites. I cannot understand why these brands do not take any action against the fake websites using their names and logos and spoiling their image,” she observed.
This has also been observed that some websites offering highly attractive discounted deals on different items are not offering the option of cash on delivery but demanding payment through credit cards in advance.
Sajid Akber, a young boy said, “I liked a jacket through an online shopping website (local) and I got crazy to buy that urgently. Payment through a credit card was the only option to purchase that jacket so I paid the amount.”
“It has been two months now since I placed the order and the jacket never arrived. But I think it was my mistake that I blindly trusted on an online shopping website without checking the facts,” he said.
The tempting sale offers on the fake online shopping sites are attracting buyers like me and the relevant authorities must take action against these website owners who are looting the customers, he insisted.
Kamran Khan, who is a web developer and an IT expert, “Checking the credibility of online shopping websites is not an easy task for a common man especially those who are not well educated and have very little knowledge of internet usage.”
He said, the buyers must check before placing an order on the website of any brand whether it is an official one or fake.
About local websites, he said the buyers must go through the reviews about the shopping websites and try to avoid shopping from those websites that require initial payment through credit cards, except for one or two very reliable websites.
While the reliability of social media pages and groups offering different items cannot be checked unless we buy something from them but the only way to prevent fraud is to check reviews and only go for proper shopping websites, not pages or WhatsApp groups, he added.
Since online shopping has been witnessing a boom across the country after the pandemic, there must be some mechanism to register complaints against fake websites to save the users from exploitation, he said.