I received my fake Canada Goose parka today (photos below). The return address on the manifest reads “Shanghai, China.” Phone number (required for shipping): “Shanghai, China.” Shipper: “ShanghaiChinaShanghaiChinaShanghaiChina.” I’m guessing they don’t “do” returns.
The coat had an unusual chemical smell when I opened it (although no rats ran out), so I stuffed it back in its bag. I may throw it out even though I’ve been instructed to keep it until I get my refund. Needless to say, it’s the kind of “original” that one used to be able to pick up on 14th Street in New York back in the days of “squeegee men,” fake Rolexes, 6th Avenue Electronics, and apartments that cost less than $1 million per bedroom. A little bit of nostalgia, I guess.
Ten years ago, I bought a spectacular Canada Goose bomber jacket for about $360. It’s hot as a blast furnace (actually too hot, except on the absolute worst days), and durable as iron. In fact, it’s still in excellent shape. Unfortunately, I have…as we say…grown out of it. So a coupla weeks ago, with the holiday sales coming up, I figured why not git me a new jacket? I deserve it. Plus, the old one’s too small, and it’s cold out.
This time, I figured, I’d get a longer coat — a “parka,” if you will. I priced them from Canada Goose, and they started at $900. So much for Canada Goose.
But wait! Right below the official Canada Goose link in my Google results page was a site called “Officially Canada Goose.” [That link is not the counterfeit site. I wouldn’t do that to you. It’s the real Canada Goose page that details how to verify a retailer and what to do if you get scammed.] It was identical to the CG site — perfect. And in the “about” tab, it esplaned that it was the Canada-based “official Canada Goose” outlet, selling (presumably) last year’s styles and colors. “Well, heck!,” I thought to my own self, “Last year’s gray, navy or black down parka is pretty much like this year’s gray, navy or down parka, plus I keeps ’em for 10 years anyway, so even the latest one would be nine years out of date eventually, and the one I want is $750, but these boys are blowin’ ’em out for $255 with free shipping.”
I think you know where this is headed.
I made the smart move, which turned out to be the dumb move.
- I received no “order confirmation” email, though I had made a .pdf of the order screen as I always do when ordering online. I figured “Christmas rush,” and whatnot, and gave it a day.
- With no email forthcoming, I sent a note to customer service through the website. No response.
- I sent second and third emails — one through the website, and one using the alleged customer service email separately. No response.
- For a few days, I kept checking the order history of “my account” on the site, until on about the fifth day the site had disappeared. In its place was a government warning page about counterfeit websites.
- By then, the charge for the parka had gone through, so I disputed the charge with my VISA card holder, and was informed — thankfully — that if fraud is determined I’m not responsible for the charge or any finance charges relating therefrom. Or related thereto. Or words to that effect.
- Separately, I dropped a note to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (they’re Canadian), and they provided me with an official statement that “Officially Canada Goose” (aka “Lucy in the Sky” from Shanghai, which I don’t think is even in Canada at all) was a fake site. I forwarded everything to my bank, and trust it will resolve itself in due course.
- Meanwhile, I changed all my passwords everywhere — you know, just for fun.
- Meanwhile, meanwhile, the Canadian anti-fraud boys said that even if I receive the counterfeit parka (which I probably won’t), I shouldn’t wear it because Chinese counterfeit “down parkas” often are stuffed with unsanitized bird feathers, rat fur, regular rat, etc., and could make a person sick. Also, you might freeze to death. But that means that even if I receive the counterfeit parka (which I probably won’t), I can’t even donate it to Goodwill or something because whoever might wear it might get sick. The Canada boys said “keep it until you get your refund” and then “destroy it.” So, I guess I’ll have to motor it to the Coat Destruction Center nearest me. If I put it in the trash, somebody’s going to fish it out and wear it and maybe get sick. At this point, the preferred outcome is that it never shows up.
- Meanwhile, meanwhile, meanwhile, I probably should take a bit of that clawback money (when I get it) and buy a coat at Burlington to donate to Goodwill since I learned my lesson and got lucky and people need coats. Because it’s cold out.
Check out this Canadian attorney’s story (from 2013) about the Canada Goose Scam industry. I guess I should have read that one first.