Inflation in energy prices is driving the French to care for firewood in order to prepare for the coming winter. However, in recent years the sector has seen an increase in frauds. A large number of customers dealt with fake sellers and they were never delivered.
More and more people are choosing to heat with wood, in particular to reduce their energy bills. But the higher the demand… the more scams will multiply. Many customers have witnessed traps set up by fake online sellers, or by people impersonating honest companies.
Wrong with extended delivery times and stock shortages with some companies, some buyers of firewood are turning to lesser known sites, which often offer very attractive prices. Since then, thinking they got a good deal, they quickly finalize the purchase. “I ordered an online platform of pellets that never arrived,” explains Sylvie Dorouge to our colleagues from France 3 Normandy. But once the payment is done, no more news, the site cannot be contacted: “That’s when I realized I had been robbed,” testifies one Osterham resident. This is how your wood never reaches its destination.
Sometimes it is the real companies that are raped by scammers. It is generally difficult to detect. In this case, the scammer uses an existing company and creates a fake ad on Leboncoin or a fake website. David Duchamp testifies to TF1, that he owns a firewood distribution company, but does not sell online, yet his name has expired on the Internet. Better prices are set than the company’s, and the latter is not even aware of these requests. “I had more than a dozen calls during the day. They told me I paid this amount, I should deliver. For a few months, it gave me a bad name,” the business manager testifies.
How do you protect him?
First, watch out for very tempting ads. An honest seller will not sell his timber for less than market prices. Also, if they offer to deliver in record time, beware. Delivering a cubic meter of lumber anywhere in the world in three days seems complicated, if not impossible.
The second warning sign, payment method: If the site offers payment only by bank transfer or cash authorization, beware! Payment tracking will be less effective.
Finally, always remember to check the site’s legal notices. It is mandatory and allows you to see who created the site. If there is none, then reliability is not guaranteed. Finally, for more certainty, Go to reputable distributors such as Simplyfeu, Bricafeu or Leroy Merlin.