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) 9230 9133," ACCC Chairman, Mr Graeme Samuel, said today. "International consumers should email firstname.lastname@example.org.
"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.