Home Money SALLY ORDER IT: I ordered a blonde wig after my breast cancer diagnosis, but when it arrived it was GINGER. Now I can’t get my money back. Please help

SALLY ORDER IT: I ordered a blonde wig after my breast cancer diagnosis, but when it arrived it was GINGER. Now I can’t get my money back. Please help

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 SALLY ORDER IT: I ordered a blonde wig after my breast cancer diagnosis, but when it arrived it was GINGER. Now I can't get my money back. Please help

In September last year I ordered a curly blonde wig from the Wigsell website for £66 plus postage as I had just been diagnosed with breast cancer and after treatment my hair was starting to fall out.

Things went wrong from the start as the company initially put my delivery address as Aberdeen and I had to contact them to correct it to my home in Enfield.

Finally the wig arrived, but it was not blonde, but redhead. I contacted them and sent them a photo. I was told I would have to return the wig to China and pay £50. I refused and they offered me only 10% of the original cost, which I also refused.

I returned the wig to a UK address which I found in the original packaging and when I chased it down they told me it was not the correct address and they had not received the package. I sent dozens of emails trying to resolve this. Please help.

RB, Enfield.

Sally Hamilton responds: You have been trying to move on as best you can after a series of operations failed to eradicate your cancer, which has unfortunately spread.

Buying a wig was designed to help you regain some self-confidence after such a terrible blow, but I can only imagine your dismay unwrapping a red wig when you had ordered blonde and the unwanted stress you faced trying to return it.

When I read about the large sum I would have to pay to return the wig to China, or the alternative of keeping it and receiving a refund of just £6, well, that made my hair stand on end.

I did some online research on Wigell and didn’t like what I saw. Almost all reviews on customer feedback website Trustpilot offered a damning star. There were comments such as: ‘Inferior quality goods’; ‘arrived after eight weeks, wrong color, wrong style, ordered short blonde and long red’; ‘It looked like a court judge’s wig’; “My mother, who is having chemotherapy, paid £160 for a human hair wig and was sent a cheap and absolutely disgusting nylon wig.”

Getting Wigell customer service to resolve their issues seemed fruitless in most cases. This goes against what Wigsell boasts on his website, where he says: “We want to make sure you are 100% satisfied with your purchase” and when customers are dissatisfied “we want to make things right.”

With this in mind, I attempted to contact the firm to discuss your case and their customer service. I’m still waiting to receive a response.

In the meantime, I took a separate tack, which others who have had the misfortune of receiving similarly dodgy wigs that don’t match their order, should also consider. Since you paid by credit card, this gave you protection through the chargeback process. This is where customers who don’t get satisfaction from a disputed purchase can have the transaction reversed by their bank, which then demands the money from the retailer’s bank.

I asked your card provider, M&S, to apply this to you. He did so quickly and I am pleased to report that within a short time he refunded her a total of £68.80 and sent her a bouquet of flowers.

An M&S Bank spokesperson said: “We are very sorry to hear of the challenges the customer faced in trying to obtain a refund from the retailer, particularly at this difficult time. “We are pleased that on this occasion we were able to quickly arrange for a refund to be applied to their account and we wish him all the best.’ I also wish you the best.

Last December the mobile phone number I have had for 20 years stopped working. I contacted my phone provider O2.

It turned out that my number had been transferred to the Vodafone network, so I could no longer use it. But O2 didn’t know why this had happened and at first couldn’t help me get it back.

Luckily the number was ported back to O2 a few days later so I can make calls using it, but the number is still not recognized when my friends and family call me. What I can do?

RT, Redhill, Surrey.

Sally Hamilton responds: Not being able to make or receive calls on your own phone is bad enough. But you also told me that meant you couldn’t access your emails.

This is because you suffer from memory problems and occasionally forget your email password and need to reset it. Your email provider requires that you use your mobile phone number to reset your password.

This also meant you had to write to me using your friend’s email to ask for help when you got nowhere with O2.

I contacted O2 on your behalf. A few days later he managed to contact you (through his friend’s number) and their technical experts organized the reconnection of your phone number. He apologized for the inconvenience and sent her £150 as a gesture of goodwill.

I suspected there was something more sinister behind these events and asked O2 to investigate whether you had been a victim of SIM swapping fraud.

This occurs when criminals trick a mobile provider into activating a SIM card on their own device using someone else’s number. The scam means they can use a phone account for free (with bills sent to the victim). They can also potentially gain access to the person’s bank accounts. This is because banks often send unique access codes to customers via text message as part of the online banking login process. By intercepting text messages, scammers have access to all of these important one-time passwords.

O2 dug deeper into his case and concluded that he had indeed been the victim of a SIM swapping scam. Fortunately, he did not suffer any financial loss as a result.

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Can Sally Sorts It help you?

Do you have a consumer problem you need help with? Email Sally Hamilton at sally@dailymail.co.uk. Include the phone number, address, and a note addressed to the offending organization giving them permission to speak with Sally Hamilton.

Please do not send original documents as we cannot be responsible for them.

The Daily Mail or This Is Money cannot accept any legal responsibility for the answers given.

O2 told me that a scammer had somehow been able to get past the security of their O2 account and then requested the transfer authorization code (PAC). This is the code that customers must request from their current network if they want to switch to another network but want to keep their mobile number.

Using the PAC code, the scammer was able to transfer his number to Vodafone. It is unclear how the scammer managed to breach the first level of security to access your email or O2 account, but it is likely that your personal information was obtained by other means, perhaps through phishing emails or while completing forms on websites, or perhaps your data was purchased on the ‘dark web’ after a data breach. We can’t know for sure.

To avoid falling for SIM swapping fraud, phone users should watch out for warning signs. The most obvious is when the mobile owner suddenly can’t call or text with their phone, like what happened to you.

But other clues include receiving notifications that the number has been activated on other devices, or suddenly that login details are not recognized when logging into a bank or other online account.

O2 has since contacted you to advise you to change your online passwords and click “sign out from all devices” on your various accounts.

An O2 spokesperson said: “Unfortunately, RT was the victim of fraud, and a fraudster was able to access its email account or MyO2 account to request and access a PAC code.” We have restored her number and she is happy that it is now resolved. We always recommend customers contact us as soon as possible if they receive any communications from us that they do not immediately recognize, and to choose strong, unique passwords to help protect against this type of fraud.’

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