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NCC warns consumers about ‘scam’ furniture supplier Milo Designs

The National Consumer Commission is warning consumers about Milo Designs. File photo.
The National Consumer Commission is warning consumers about Milo Designs. File photo.
Image: 123RF

The National Consumer Commission (NCC) has warned consumers to “exercise caution” when dealing with a company “masquerading” as an online shop that designs and sells furniture.

Milo Designs came under scrutiny from the commission after it received complaints from consumers who claimed they were scammed by the company “after paying for the goods (furniture) advertised on their Facebook page”.

A visit to the company's social media pages shows images of luxurious bedroom furniture selling for R5,000 to R11,000.

The company describes itself as a “manufacturer [of] unique furniture with world class standard” on its Facebook page.

According to the commission, it has been operational since 2014 and has amassed around 264,000 followers.

The NCC said consumers have reported paying between R10,000 and R1.2m to the company per transaction.

“On investigating their conduct, the commission’s preliminary assessment indicates the operators of this scam, LM Kotze and MC Wood, are not co-operating with the commission.

“Acting commissioner Thezi Mabuza says both [operators] have no intention of delivering the goods or refunding the consumers. The commission arranged several times to meet and serve them with an investigation certificate to no avail. In most cases, they cancel meetings at the eleventh hour, making it difficult to finalise our investigation. Addresses provided by these persons show dilapidated buildings.”

The NCC said it also discovered the images featured on the company's social media pages of custom-made furniture they claim to make “are not from South Africa but obtained from suppliers based in countries such as Colombia and Canada”.

It confirmed it had been able to ascertain these were stolen from Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook.

“We call on South Africans to exercise extreme caution when they transact with Milo Designs as their modus operandi is to advertise the goods and take money from consumers with no intention of delivery.

“It is the supplier’s responsibility to deliver the goods to the agreed place on the agreed date  and time. Consumers are urged to exercise caution when transacting online. Anyone who might know the whereabouts of these individuals is urged to notify the commission.”



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