With Prom nights fast approaching for excited Worcestershire teenagers, Worcestershire County Council’s Trading Standards team are advising teenagers and their parents to be on guard when purchasing prom dresses, following a rise in complaints about online dress purchases.
The high price of prom dresses and garments in retail stores is likely to drive teenagers to search for cheaper alternatives online.
But, according to the complaints received, the beautiful dresses advertised on some websites are often very different to the dresses received. Complaints relate to the wrong goods being provided, poor quality materials used, or goods arriving too late for an event.
Many of the websites complained against are actually based in the far-east, despite appearing to have a UK website address, meaning consumers have limited rights should something go wrong.
Trading Standards is advising online consumers to take some simple steps to protect themselves:
Consumers can visit www.getsafeonline.org for comprehensive advice on buying online, or to report an incident or for advice on your rights please contact Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 04 05 06.
Peter Holmes, Senior Trading Standards Practitioner, said: “Prom Night is often the highlight of the school year and we recognise that Worcestershire young consumers want to look their best for such an important occasion. As with all goods sold, there are unscrupulous scammers and con artists who are just waiting to exploit what should be an exciting and happy occasion.
"We would urge consumers not to rush into anything and just do a few simple checks before you commit yourself to buying that dream dress or outfit. Most of all we wish everyone a happy Prom Night.”