Residents upset over charity appeals

RESIDENTS today spoke out against companies that are "misleading" them into donating unwanted clothes to charity.In what seems a growing trend, people are receiving leaflets asking for donations for the third world, only to find in the small print that the companies are commercial organisations likely to profit from the scheme.

RESIDENTS today spoke out against companies that are "misleading" them into donating unwanted clothes to charity.

In what seems a growing trend, people are receiving leaflets asking for donations for the third world, only to find in the small print that the companies are commercial organisations likely to profit from the scheme.

The leaflets do not claim to be from a charity, but say the companies provide people in third world countries with affordable clothes.

As reported in the Evening Star earlier this month, trading standards officers have issued a warning and said while the companies are not committing an offence by selling on collected items, people often don't realise this happens.


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But since then similar flyers from other companies have been discovered.

Melody Shaw, of Medway Road, said: "I was a bit upset that the leaflets were made to look like the charity leaflets that come through the door.

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"It is disingenuous to copy exactly what charities do. I wondered if this is something that has just started to spring up."

A man, of Sidegate Lane, who did not wish to be named, said: "People think they go to charity but they don't, people are being misled. You get so many things come through the door for real charities it is easy to think this is for charity too."

The Star has learned that one company, Merico Limited, was struck off and dissolved in June by Companies House, which is responsible for ensuring businesses follow legislation set down in the Companies Act 1989.

A Companies House spokesman confirmed the organisation did not complete the necessary forms and were no longer recognised as a limited company.

Yet a reader has claimed they received a leaflet from the same company last week.

He said: "It certainly is the case that it is an offence to use the word limited in the name where the company is not incorporated."

Steve Greenfield, Suffolk County Trading Standards Officer, said: "People need to be aware that these are commercial companies making a profit out of donated items rather than giving them away as a charity would do.

"It is important to always fully read the details of these flyers to make sure you only support organisations you want to."

If you need advice, call the Trading Standards advice line on 01473 584358 .

If you have been the victim of a similar scams tell us your experience by writing to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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