Wembley computer repair shop fined for selling ‘unsafe’ phone charger plugs

The seized phone chargers

The seized phone chargers - Credit: Archant

A computer repair shop in Wembley has been fined for selling faulty USB phone charger plugs.

Brent Council sent in officers to Technospike in Wembley Park Drive following complaints from customers to crack down on the sale of faulty and counterfeit electronics.

When the £2 USB plugs were tested, they were found to be too unsafe to use and were seized from the shop.

A quarter of all plugs sold at the shop were returned by dissatisfied customers, but the shop still continued to sell the items.

The shop and senior technician, Tamim Fahim, 28, were fined a total of £2,960 by Willesden Magistrates’ Court this week for selling unsafe plugs and a small range of counterfeit goods.

Cllr James Denselow, Brent’s cabinet member for stronger communities, said: “This is another great result. I hope this case acts as a deterrent to others out there who may be thinking of selling fake or unsafe goods.

“This shop thought it could get away with ripping people off and risking their safety selling shoddy sub-standard electrical equipment - they were wrong to the tune of just under £3,000.

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“The message to anyone else in that game is clear: rip off the people of Brent or risk their safety and we’ll have you in court and make you pay.”

David Thrale, head of regulatory services, which tested the plugs, added: “Businesses that undercut competitors buy selling unsafe or fake goods undermine the vast majority of traders that trade fairly and responsibly.

“Brent regulatory services will continue to protect responsible local businesses from unfair and irresponsible competitors.”

But Fahim, who pleaded guilty and was personally fined £595, told the Times that the sentence was “unreasonable” because he did not know the plugs were faulty and did not have the equipment to test them himself.

He said he bought them from another shop which was closing down, and that the purchase was due to his “inexperience”. Technospike opened in 2014.

Calling the fine “harsh”, Fahim, of The Circle, Neasden, said: “Every shop has a high return of certain items. We had just started selling them and we just thought a certain delivery had problems. We were going to investigate it ourselves.”

He added: “We’re not a big company, we are just a small start-up shop, and they have fined us like we are a million-pound company.

“I know the law is the law but we are a start-up that needs help and guidance. But instead they have slapped us with a fine that we are finding difficult to pay.”

Fahim and Technospike were fined £595 each, and hit with costs of £825. They were also ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £60.