By writer to www.dailyexaminer.com.au
“ANGRY” and “disgusted” clients caught up within the coronavirus pandemic the world over say Gold Coast corporations have did not ship or refund cash paid for $28-a-pop masks.
Face protectors have grow to be probably the most coveted merchandise as deaths from COVID-19 climb into the tons of of 1000’s.
A Bulletin investigation into Coast corporations Fortress Masks and Viral Tech Masks consists of:
* Claims of quite a few international donations by Fortress Masks, together with 700 masks to the Gold Coast College Hospital. The masks haven’t been obtained. After inquiries by the Bulletin, the corporate eliminated its donations web page from its web site.
*A UK producer is pursuing authorized motion towards each corporations for allegedly wrongfully utilizing photos of its product.
* On the time of publication, the Fortress Masks web site listed simply 34 efficiently delivered orders.
* Clients allege “monitoring” numbers are being created however parcels by no means make it to couriers.
The net firm Fortress Masks, a subsidiary of Mello Magnificence, registered to a Benowa residence, has been promoting ventilator-type masks since mid-March.
However clients in coronavirus scorching spots say they’ve been stung because the facial masks haven’t arrived, after greater than a month of excuses and assurance of early supply.
These the Bulletin spoke to say they’ve been denied a refund.
Fortress Masks follows the same sample to a close to equivalent web site, Viral Tech Masks, which was additionally primarily based on the Gold Coast. Established in February, Viral Tech Masks doesn’t have a registered enterprise quantity, however bank card costs from the corporate observe the enterprise to the Gold Coast.
Each corporations promote “army grade N99 masks” for about $US17.99 ($A27.57) every.
Filters for the masks may be purchased for $US11.99.
A handful of unverified reviewers of each corporations declare on-line to have obtained the product, however individuals who have been in touch with the Bulletin say they’re nonetheless ready.
In its newest publication, Fortress Masks claims longer delivery and dealing with time because of the coronavirus. Nonetheless, masks for some have did not arrive after greater than a month.
The situation of the provider is unlisted on the corporate web site, however purchases generate monitoring IDs from China.
Fortress Masks has not responded to quite a few requests for remark by way of the Fortress Masks on-line and social media channels.
Viral Tech Masks additionally has not responded.
After messages from the Bulletin, Fortress Masks eliminated its on-line claims to have donated 700 masks in its “residence city” to the Gold Coast College Hospital, together with $20,000 in donations to worldwide hospitals.
The Gold Coast Hospital Basis stated a donation from the corporate had not been obtained.
Fortress Masks and Viral Tech has additionally been accused of utilizing the pictures of UK masks producer Cambridge Masks.
“We’re conscious of those corporations and have already contacted them by way of our authorized crew to request they cease utilizing the imagery from our web site and social media,” a spokesman for Cambridge Masks stated.
“Folks ought to examine domains fastidiously, pay on a bank card if potential to get further safety and make sure the masks they buy are from a good supply with opinions on-line, lively social media and many others.”
Kansas resident Carlos Rodriguez stated he purchased masks from Fortress to guard his sister throughout the coronavirus outbreak within the US. He stated she had simply had a kidney transplant.
He claims he paid for the masks in early April and was advised supply would take as much as two weeks.
“I’m past annoyed and really disgusted,” Mr Rodriguez stated.
“I turned suspicious when the bundle nonetheless had not been obtained by the mail service after a monitoring quantity was created. I’m often a really savvy on-line shopper and at all times do background analysis earlier than ordering with a brand new vendor, however this time I did not as a result of the web site appeared so legit.
“There are tons of if not 1000’s of others which have misplaced out on much more than my $75.”
Oklahoma Metropolis resident Shauna Struby stated: “Two of the masks I ordered are for aged mother and father – my 85-year-old mom and my 90-year-old mother-in-law.
“Each have been making do with bandannas and staying in for probably the most half however are anxious to get their masks to allow them to at the very least possibly, ultimately, go to the grocery retailer.
“I simply want the corporate would do us the courtesy of replying and explaining what’s occurring.”
A Viral Tech buyer named Ruby who lives in London advised the Bulletin she had spent about £38 ($A72) on masks in February, so she may depart the home safely.
She has nonetheless not obtained a factor.
“I used to be advised attributable to COVID-19 it could take 5 to seven days longer to get my masks,” she stated.
“I’ve appeared on the ‘monitoring’ which is a China parcel monitoring and it simply says it is in China. I obtained the masks as a result of I am disabled with a number of continual situations together with extreme bronchial asthma and so they apparently had good opinions on their web site.
“It is horrible that others have gone by way of this, completely horrible, to take benefit presently.”
Initially printed as Coast mask company accused of failing to deliver