Website not updated, phones go unanswered at Splatt
Victims say the company first launched on the internet in early December.
The website promised extremely low prices on fashion accessories including Ugg boots, Lacoste shirts and Diesel jeans, and was promoted by glossy leaflets through the post.
Victims say the website was very professional looking, having copied the design of similar clothing websites. It even offered buyers the apparent ability to track their orders, "secure" payments, and sent out confirmation emails. The people behind the site took orders and answered phone queries.
It seems that besides the very low prices, buyers were seduced by the fact that the company promised to deliver up to the 23 December.
This extract is from an article published by The Guardian at the beginning of the year (our use of bold letters). The scam company traded as Focus Clothing and targeted consumers in the weeks leading up to Christmas 2009.
We thought it worth repeating on Bitterwallet, because it could so easily be referring to the behaviour of Splatt.co, an online retailer that appeared at the beginning of the month. Splatt began mailing catalogues to UK households at the beginning of December, promising low prices on Ugg boots, fashion accessories and in-demand products such as iPads (not available last year). Splatt initially promised deliveries up until 22 December, and offers buyers the ability to track their orders, secure payments, and confirmation emails.
As pointed out by members of Hot UK Deals and MSE, the Splatt homepage bears more than a passing similarity to the website of established retailer Republic:
As we revealed last week: we can't find any evidence of prior trading history for Splatt (despite the website's claims of trading since 2001); Splatt has claimed to be a registered UK company by using the credentials of a dormant company with a similar name; the company doesn't appear to be based at the building given for both its registered address and address for customer returns. It's also the only retail operation we've encountered that requires your date of birth to be given over the phone just to place an order.
Furthermore, the Splatt website hasn't been updated since 20 December (it's still carrying a weather warning explaining delays in orders being delivered before Christmas). We've tried calling the 0844 customer service line all day; the first time we were cut off after a minute, on several further occasions we were on hold for thirty minutes until the looped recording ended.
We're not saying that Splatt is connected with Focus Clothing, but there is a pattern of behaviour consistent between the two. What happened to Focus Clothing? The Guardian claims the company disappeared in January, taking £1 million in customer's money with it.
Splatt is showing all the signs of being a scam. We're now pulling together all the information we have on the company and we need your help. If you've ordered goods from Splatt then please let us know by emailing [email protected] - let us know if you've received them or not, and what contact you've had with the company - send us any emails you've received from staff. If you've had contact with individuals associated with the website, we'd also like to hear from you.