Mum is devastated after losing £500 to con artists.
Many people hoped to stay fit during the lockdown last year, but criminals were able to take advantage of the high demand for sports equipment and defraud innocent people.
Because of the high demand, major retailers quickly sold out of all sports equipment, forcing customers to purchase from unknown sellers.
Charlotte, a mother of two, told how one of these websites defrauded her of £500 on Rip Off Britain.
Charlotte has a lot on her plate, as she runs her own company while also caring for her two daughters.
Her family is health-conscious, so they wanted to build a home gym so they could exercise even if gyms and leisure activities were closed during the lockdown.
She purchased a treadmill so that she and her daughters could stay in shape and train for the couch to 5k regardless of the weather.
She discovered that the major retailers had sold out of exercise equipment, so she ended up purchasing a treadmill from Fitness Legion.
Charlotte used her credit card to pay for the treadmill, which cost £500.
Despite receiving a confirmation email, the sellers had failed to contact her with any updates on her order as the delivery date approached.
Charlotte did some digging after receiving no communication from the company and discovered a slew of negative reviews.
Many customers had complained to the company that their orders were never delivered.
“I had that sinking feeling that I wasn’t going to get my treadmill,” she said.
“And, as certain as eggs, it didn’t arrive on time.”
Charlotte attempted to contact the business, but she received no response.
Surprisingly, the website went down a few days later and was no longer available to buy from.
“I felt like a bit of a fool,” Charlotte continued.
You do feel like a knucklehead.
“I just spent £500 and told the girls it wasn’t coming,” says the author.
“They were extremely dissatisfied.”
Charlotte was able to get a refund because she paid with her credit card.
She spent the money she received as a refund on a treadmill for her daughters.
Many people have been duped by these criminals and their phony websites.
Sales of exercise equipment are expected to increase by 6,000 percent from March to June 2021, according to estimates.
On the BBC iPlayer, you can watch Rip Off Britain.