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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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I have bought three branded watches which were advertised at

Resolved Question:

I have bought three branded watches which were advertised at a significant discount, via Facebook. The products are clearly counterfeit and are of low quality. I trusted the advertisement and made the purchase, as it was a suggested advertisement made to me by Facebook. Do I have recourse to seek compensation from Facebook as they are either knowingly permitting the advertising of counterfeit goods or they are not being diligent in whose products are being promoted via their service?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. How do you know that Facebook were aware these items were counterfeit?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Well, the products are advertised as Omega watches, one did not work, both of the others are clearly not made to a standard that you would expect (the time adjusting "turner" can be unscrewed. There were no warranties in the boxes.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have attempted to contact the seller, but, they have not responded to my emails.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I could very easily establish if they are genuine, by taking them to a registered retailer that has a high street presence
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Ok but how do you know that Facebook knowingly let adverts for fake items be publicised on their site?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I cannot prove that, but, one would expect that they would carry out some degree of checks.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
With hindsight, looking at the website, there are clues that suggest the products are not genuine (sections of very poor written text), a lack of a registered trading address. I would usually check all this before making a purchase, but, as I followed the link from Facebook I considered that the trader was repututable
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Stupid, now, looking back on it. And, as they say, "if it looks too good to be true it probable is", however, I simply believed because of the Facebook link
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
OK the issue here is that to be able to sue Facebook you must be able to show that they had knowingly or negligently allowed such adverts to be made on their site. You mention that you expect them to make some degree of checks but that is not really plausible – there are possibly hundreds of thousands of items advertised on sale there so you cannot expect the site hosting the adverts to go through each one and establish with a degree of certainty that what is on offer is genuine. The same applies to similar sites like ebay – millions of items on sale there, they certainly do not make checks on every item to make sure it is not counterfeit. There is no legal expectation on them to do this unfortunately. What would be expected is if it had become clear that the items were counterfeit and they were reported to the site, but they negligently did not remove the listings and kept allowing these items to be sold, then that is when you could have a potential claim but that will be rather difficult to prove here. So any rights you have are against the seller, not Facebook which hosted the advert. I'm sorry if this is not necessarily the answer you were hoping for, however I do have a duty to be honest and explain the law as it actually stands. This does mean delivering bad news from time to time. I hope you understand and would be happy to provide any further clarification if needed. If you are still satisfied with the level of service you have received I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page. Thank you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Humm, OK. So, my route is to report the matter to Trading Standards and the police as it fraud, which is illegal?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I realise there is probably not much I can benefit, but, if the site can be disrupted or closed so that others are not caught that would be a good start.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Yes indeed, TS, police and if needed - court to try and get your money back. I think you can report this to Facebook and also here: http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/report-a-fraud-including-online-crime
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello, I see you have read my response to your query. If this has answered your question please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars from the top of the page. I spend a lot of time and effort answering individual queries and I am not credited for my time until you leave your rating. If you still need further help please get back to me on here and I will assist as best as I can. Many thanks.
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