'It's completely unacceptable' - warning as fire-risk tumble dryers are resold online
PUBLISHED: 10:34 12 July 2019 | UPDATED: 10:34 12 July 2019
Fire-risk Whirlpool tumble dryers are still being sold by third parties on online marketplaces.
Consumer charity Electrical Safety First (ESF) has issued a warning to customers and said more needs to be done to prevent recalled products being resold online.
Earlier this week it was announced Whirlpool would be recalling appliances from consumers' homes due to fire safety concerns.
While it was initially estimated 500,000 would be recalled, the true number could be as high as 800,000.
Whirlpool, which operates the Hotpoint, Indesit, Creda, Swan and Proline brands, also revealed it had logged 54 fires in its tumble dryers in recent years.
Three of these were in models that had already been updated.
ESF said it tracked down appliances listed with both model and serial numbers on eBay, while dryers matching model numbers alone were identified on Facebook Marketplace.
The charity said eBay swiftly removed the listings and said it intended to conduct a broader search on the site while educating sellers on how to check if their item had been recalled.
Other listings matched model numbers on Whirlpool's list but did not include serial numbers, therefore preventing potential buyers from having full information.
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ESF warned that model numbers and serial numbers were not a mandatory field when listing an electrical appliance on a handful of sites, leaving the consumer unable to make an informed purchase.
Martyn Allen, technical director at ESF, said: "It is completely unacceptable to see recalled tumble dryers being sold via online marketplaces. It is essential that mechanisms are put in place before an item is listed to ensure these items are safe.
"We are very mindful that some private sellers may be unaware that their model has been recalled and this is why more needs to be done to increase the awareness surrounding products that are subject to a recall or safety notice."
Suffolk Trading Standards are warning consumers across the county to be cautious when purchasing such items from a third party.
A spokesman said: "Second-hand goods have become increasingly popular from charity shops, social media platforms and auction websites - but buying a product second-hand is never as safe as buying something new."
The organisation has offered advice to consumers buying tumble dyers second-hand:
- Watch out for scorching or burn marks, and check for loose or worn wires
- Ask if the appliance has been serviced annually by a qualified engineer, and for copies of the engineer report
- Ensure you have the instruction manual and read any installation advice
- Check if products have been recalled HERE