Read the facts about Splatt.co, tell your friends and family too
Several days ago we told you about company called Splatt.co - a company distributing catalogues across the country that offered insanely low prices on clothing and electronics. Bitterwallet suggested readers be wary before placing an order with the online retailer - it'd be all too easy to hand over your credit card details to an unfamiliar company in the Christmas melee.
Since then, there have been numerous attempts to discredit our coverage in the comments of both Bitterwallet and HotUKDeals. Therefore, to set the record straight, here are the facts we've uncovered about Splatt.co:
Splatt.co isn't officially a company
We can't find any proof that Splatt is a registered company. Companies House has no records of either of the two company names given on the website - Splatt.co or Splatt Group.
Splatt.co has been passing itself off as another company
Last week, HotUKDeals received emails from a person claiming to represent splatt.co, threatening legal action over comments posted in the forum. In the footer of the email were two addresses; a correspondence address, in London, and a registered address, in Leeds. There was also a company registration number - 04296508. This company number was also published on Splatt.co's website in the Terms & Conditions:
This is the company number for Splatt Ltd, a company based at a private address in Leeds (the one also given as Splatt.co's registered address) and established in 2001. This date fits with claims on Splatt's website that the company was formed in 2001 and has being involved in clothing retail ever since.
However, Splatt Ltd is a dormant company. When it was trading, Splatt Ltd was involved in interior design and illustration. This morning we talked to one of the former directors of Splatt Ltd, Richard Hamlin. He categorically stated he is in no way involved with splatt.co and that he is well aware the company has been passing off his dormant company's credentials as their own.
Since Richard Hamlin became aware of this, the company number has been removed from both the website's terms and conditions (although Google has cached the page here).
Splatt.co's correspondence address (also the address for customer returns) doesn't exist
The company's correspondence address, as stated in emails to HotUKDeals and on their website is 34 South Molton Street, London, W1K 5RG. More importantly for consumers, this is also the address for customer returns.
We visited the address earlier this week; 34 South Molton Street is otherwise known as Mayfair Point, a business offering virtual offices and hot-desking. Staff told us that while they'd heard of Splatt.co, the company wasn't based in the building; they suggested we contact Westminster Consumer Action.
Splatt.co's customer service phone number is a circle jerk
If you ring Splatt.co's order line - 0844 450 0155 - you are told in no uncertain terms that the operator will only take orders; they will not assist you in any way with regards to customer service. For customer services, you are given another number - 0844 450 0255. If you call this number, you'll be told that you're listening to a recording and that no customer service support is available via telephone.
Splatt.co didn't exist until last month
The domain name splatt.co wasn't registered until 2 November 2010. Furthermore, there is no evidence to be found anywhere to suggest this company has been trading for nine years.
Splatt.co won't reply to emails
Having received emails from individuals claiming to represent the company, HotUKDeals requested a legal address and contact to communicate with them through registered post or legal courier. There has been no response so far. The final email to HUKD on the matter was sent from [email protected] on 17 December - a domain registered just three days beforehand.
So there you have it. If you have ordered from this company - whether or not you've been charged for goods not yet received - then your card details are now in the hands of an unregistered online retailer that has passed itself off as another company, has no physical address for correspondence or customer returns, won't respond to emails and didn't exist until last month.