Energy Prices: Firewood is popular in the anticipation of winter… Beware of scammers!
Inflation in energy prices is driving the French to take an interest in firewood to prepare for the next winter. However, in recent years, the sector has seen an increase in scams. A large number of customers have encountered fake sellers and never delivered.
More and more people are choosing to heat with wood, in particular to reduce their energy costs. But the more the demand increases… the more the scams multiply. Many customers have witnessed the traps set by fake online sellers or by people posing as honest companies.
Due to extended delivery times and stock shortages by certain companies, some firewood buyers turn to lesser-known locations, which often offer very attractive prices. From then on, they quickly closed the deal, thinking they were getting a good deal. “I ordered a pallet of pellets online that never arrived,” explains Sylvie Durouge to our colleagues from France 3 Normandy. But once the payment is completed, no more news, the website can’t be contacted: “That’s when I realized I was being ripped off,” says the Ouistreham resident. So your wood never reaches its destination.
Sometimes it’s real companies that are hijacked by scammers. They are generally harder to spot. 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 he owns a firewood distribution company but doesn’t sell online, yet his name ended up on the internet. Better prices are set than those of the company and the latter is not even aware of these orders. “I got more than ten calls during the day. They told me I paid this amount, I have to deliver. That gave me a bad reputation for a few months,” says the managing director.
How can you fight back?
First, watch out for ads that are too tempting. An honest seller will not sell his lumber below market prices. Also beware if they offer record time delivery. Delivering cubic meters of wood anywhere in the world in three days seems complex, if not impossible.
Second warning sign, the payment method: if the website only offers payment by bank transfer or cash mandate, be careful! Payment traceability will be less effective.
Finally, always remember to check a website’s legal notices. They are mandatory and make it possible to know who created the website. If not, reliability is not guaranteed. Finally, for more security, contact well-known distributors such as Simplyfeu, Bricafeu or Leroy Merlin.