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Fair Go: Going straight

Published: 6:40PM Wednesday April 22, 2009 Source: Fair Go

Reporter: Phil Vine

Hair straightening is a daily ritual for thousands of kiwi women (and men). The Ferrari of the hair straightening world is a product made by GHD.

They retail at hairdressing salons for $350 but there are many websites out there selling them for 250 bucks or less. The websites sell fakes that look extremely authentic but they can be quite dangerous. Lexi Cuneen from Waipara in Canterbury got a pair that began to melt and give off toxic fumes after they were turned on.

Fair Go's had dozens of complaints about these fakes.

Websites such as www.nicehair.co.nz < http://www.nicehair.co.nz>, www.ghdstyler.co.nz < http://www.ghdstyler.co.nz>, www.straightener.co.nz < http://www.straightener.co.nz> and www.i-store.co.nz < http://www.i-store.co.nz> appear to be based in New Zealand but Phil finds out they're hiding behind fake addresses.

GHD says that none of their authentic products are sold online (they only sell through salons) and the fakes are electrically unsafe.

Phil's top tips for identifying genuine New Zealand websites:

"Just because it has 'nz' in the website address doesn't mean it's based in New Zealand."

1. Check if there's a New Zealand telephone number on the site. Call it. If there's a fax, fax them.
2. Check for a physical street address. Look in the "contact us" or "frequently asked questions" section. Use the white pages to check if it actually exists.
3. Check the email address. If it's gmail or hotmail that's a warning sign.
4. Go to the companies office < http://www.Companies.Govt.Nz/cms> . Do a company search. Check if it's a New Zealand company.
5. Check the language. If the English isn't great that's another warning sign.
6. Take some of the text and google it to see if it's been copied from another site.
7. Go to the whois website. < http://whois.domaintools.com> put in the website address. Look at the domain address. Check out where it's been registered. Check if the details are correct and match the website itself.

Online sleuths feel free to add to our list by sending us a message on the feedback part of our site.

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