Ladies, If you haven't got refunds from these rip off merchants, please read the articles below and make a claim.
'Designer Brand Outlet' website suspended
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has acted quickly to freeze the assets and suspend the operations of www.designerbrandoutlet.com following complaints from consumers worldwide.
On Friday 5 September 2008, in the Federal Court, the ACCC obtained ex-parte injunctions against the operators of the 'Designer Brand Outlet' website, Mr Bindert Kloosterman (Ben Kloosterman) and Ms Xin Fang Shi (Lucy Shi).
It is alleged that Mr Kloosterman and Ms Shi do not currently reside in Australia and have been operating the website from China for approximately one year.
The ACCC alleges that false, misleading and deceptive representations were made on the website including representations that items of genuine designer label women's clothing were available for consumers to purchase when in fact either no items were supplied at all or the items of clothing supplied were counterfeit copies.
In the ex-parte hearing on Friday before Justice Flick in the Federal Court, Sydney, the ACCC obtained interlocutory injunctions restraining Mr Kloosterman and Ms Shi from engaging in conduct of the kind alleged in the proceedings on any website.
Justice Flick also made orders requiring that each be restrained from disposing of, mortgaging, assigning, charging or otherwise dealing with their assets, including removing assets from Australia, other than for specific living, business and legal expenses. The injunctions operate until 5:00 p.m. 16 September 2008.
This matter was initially brought to the ACCC's attention by the US Federal Trade Commission as a result of complaints received through the eConsumer.Gov website, an initiative of the International Consumer Protection Enforcement Network (ICPEN).
The ACCC sought the interlocutory orders after complaints from consumers worldwide about this website trader. The ACCC investigation has been carried out in conjunction with the US FTC and UK Office of Fair Trading.
The ACCC has also received cooperation from a major bank and the domain name registrar in relation to suspending the activities of the online trader, until such time as the court was able to consider the allegations.
NetRegistry Pty Ltd, the Australian domain registrar with which the DBO website is registered, acted quickly when contacted by the ACCC in relation to the consumer complaints about the website and effectively disabled the DBO domain name so that since Friday 29 August 2008, the DBO website has been inaccessible.
In addition, the bank with which DBO holds its credit card merchant facility conducted its own inquiries into DBO's merchant account when advised by the ACCC of the complaints regarding DBO, and made the commercial decision to suspend the merchant facility and settlement account until the situation could be reviewed.
The ACCC will now prepare the matter for final hearing. The ACCC will be seeking orders declaring that Mr Kloosterman and Ms Shi have engaged in contraventions of the Trade Practices Act 1974 and injunctions restraining Mr Kloosterman and Ms Shi from engaging in similar conduct for a period of five years.
The matter has been stood over to 10:15 a.m. on 16 September 2008 before Justice Flick in the Federal Court, Sydney.
Release # MR 258/08
Issued: 9th September 2008
Were you misled by Designer Brand Outlet?
Consumers who believe they were misled by the Designer Brand Outlet website and, in particular, who have been unsuccessful in getting a refund when applicable should contact the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
"Australian consumers should call (02) 92..., " ACCC Chairman, Mr Graeme Samuel, said today. "International consumers should email email@example.com.
"The ACCC recently obtained ex-parte injunctions in the Federal Court against Mr Bindert Kloosterman (Ben Kloosterman) and Ms Xin Fang Shi (Lucy Shi), the operators of the Designer Brand Outlet website (www.designerbrandoutlet.com).
"At that hearing, the ACCC indicated to the court that it intended to seek compensation for consumers affected by the operators of Designer Brand Outlet.
"To ensure funds are available for any compensation orders that may be made by the court, bank accounts operated by Mr Kloosterman and Ms Shi were frozen.
"The Designer Brand Outlet website purports to offer for sale genuine designer label women's fashion from brands such as Chloe, Marc Jacobs and Diane von Furstenberg."
Complaints received by the ACCC about the business included that:
consumers ordered products on the website believing that they were genuine designer fashion items, when in fact, the item received appeared to be counterfeit
customers who alleged that the item received was not genuine or otherwise did not match the website description, returned the item back for a refund in accordance with the website's refund policy, but did not receive a refund
customers who ordered products on website and, despite confirmation by email from the Designer Brand Outlet that the order was shipped, have not received the item(s).
consumers who experienced one of the above and tried to contact Designer Brand Outlet by email and/or telephone were not answered.
As a result of the orders made by the court, and assistance provided to the ACCC by the domain name registrar, NetRegistry Pty Ltd, the Designer Brand Outlet website has been inaccessible since 29 August 2008.
Release # MR 268/08
Issued: 19th September 2008