Stevenage retailer ordered to pay over £3,200 following Trading Standards prosecution
Published: 06 Jun 2019
A Stevenage company has pleaded guilty to supplying unsafe and fake mobile phone adaptors, as well as fake Apple iphone cases, following an operation by Hertfordshire County Council’s Trading Standards Service.
At St Albans Magistrates Court on Wednesday (5 June), Tech Tronx Limited, trading as Tech Tronx, of Westgate, Stevenage, pleaded guilty to two charges contrary to the Trade Marks Act 1994 involving 342 fake Apple iphone cases and 27 mobile phone adaptors. A third charge related to failing to comply with its duties under regulation 25 of the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 2016.
The company was fined £1,200 and ordered to pay £2,051 in costs, as well as a £40 victim surcharge.
The court heard that officers from Hertfordshire Trading Standards visited the company last year after becoming suspicious of their business practices.
On the first occasion in June, the officer, who did not identify himself, purchased an Apple iphone 6s case for £15 and was assured by the sales assistant that it was genuine. However, the phone case was fake and officers returned to seize mobile phone cases and chargers with “Apple” logos from the shop.
When the adaptors were later tested by an independent electrical engineer he concluded that they did not meet British standards and posed a “risk of electrical shock or injury to anyone using them”.
At interview the company admitted to buying the stock from an unknown passer-by. No details of this supplier were recorded.
In mitigation, the company said that only eight cases were sold and all 28 adapters sold were returned by customers as the pins did not properly fit into the standard UK socket. They admitted that it was a reckless rather than malicious mistake which the company were sorry for.
Councillor Terry Hone, Cabinet Member for Community Protection, said: “Selling fake goods might appear lucrative, but traders risk harming the public, seizure of stock, loss of reputation convictions against their name and fines or imprisonment when no checks are conducted on items sourced.
“We put our trust in traders to act responsibly and provide us with safe, fair deals. A particularly low market price is enough to create suspicion that goods are not legitimate. We encourage consumers to alert Trading Standards to such business practices.”
Businesses can seek advice by contacting Hertfordshire Trading Standards. Consumers can also report any concerns to the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06.