Doncaster MPs urged to close loophole for online marketplaces selling potentially dangerous electrical items

A charity is urging all three Doncaster MPs to back their campaign as it warns residents they remain at risk from highly dangerous electrical products sold online.

By George Torr, Local Democracy Reporter
Monday, 9th May 2022, 2:23 pm

MPs Dame Rosie Winterton, Nick Fletcher and Ed Miliband are being urged by Electrical Safety First to warn constituents about buying appliances online from web providers.

People continue to turn to online marketplaces in search of bargains and the charity is warning residents that they risk being duped by potentially dangerous gadgets.

They said that online marketplace providers are not bound by the same laws as high street retailers, leaving shoppers exposed to ‘substandard and illegal electrical products that can cause fires and electric shock’.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Some of the faulty electrical items the charity tested

The charity is calling on the MPs to campaign to close this loophole in the law.

A recent investigation by Electrical Safety First has uncovered a number of highly dangerous, faulty devices, purporting to save consumers money on their energy bills, being sold on the online marketplaces.

They said that these devices ‘lacked basic safety components’, with some even exploding during specialist testing.

Previous investigations by the charity have found potentially lethal phone chargers, counterfeits, hair dryers and extension leads that pose a serious risk of electric shock, all being sold via online marketplaces.

Independent testing by the charity has shown how popular electrical products fail legal safety tests, resulting in hair dryers bursting into flames and phone chargers exploding, as some ruthless third party sellers take no care for the safety of products sold via online marketplace platforms.

Lesley Rudd, chief executive of Electrical Safety First said: “It is imperative that the UK government holds online marketplaces to the same standard as it holds High Street retailers.

“Gaps in the law allow for opportunistic merchants to take advantage of lax regulations.

“This is why we are calling on Dame Rosie Winterton MP, Nick Fletcher MP and Ed Miliband MP to ensure that the residents of Doncaster are given adequate protection from purchasing potentially harmful electrical goods on online marketplaces.”

The charity has produced an online petition which has secured more than 35,000 signatures.

Residents can support the campaign by signing the petition which can be found at www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk/stop-the-sale-of-dangerous-electrical-goods-on-online-marketplaces/