Priceline has been forced to send a warning to customers who might have inadvertently bought counterfeit beauty products.
The popular pharmacy chain posted a message to customers this afternoon after it discovered the mistake.
A statement said four Sydney stores had “improperly obtained and sold some counterfeit product branded ‘The Ordinary’ from an unauthorised and invalid source”.
The Ordinary is a popular but affordable skincare brand that has a cult following.
“Priceline head office has not and would never authorise such activity,” the company said.
“On notification to us, we directed the stores to immediately remove all invalid products and are taking all actions necessary to ensure no further invalid products are made available.
“We have also commenced an investigation.”
The Ordinary’s AHA 30 per cent +BHA 2 per cent Peeling solution, Azelaic Acid Suspension 10 per cent and Alpha Arbutin 2 per cent + HA are not permitted to be sold in Australia.
Several other products, while available in Australia, are not currently sold in Priceline stores and could be counterfeit.
There are also others that are sold in stores that could be counterfeit anyway.
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People who have purchased the products at the Bankstown Pharmacy Exchange, Merrylands, Blacktown or St Marys stores are being told to stop using them immediately and return them for a full refund.
“If you are concerned about the validity of any products you have purchased, please contact us,” the company said.
“We take these matters VERY seriously and we thank those who brought it to our attention so quickly.”
But customers were not happy, saying what the franchises had done was dangerous and action should be taken.
“That is disgraceful and really dangerous – surely this constitutes a violation of the franchise agreement?,” one woman said.
“I have a lot of trust in Priceline stocking authentic products and this is concerning to me as a frequent customer.”
One woman labelled it “dodgy” and others shared stories of franchises they had worked for operating differently to head office.
“Holy crap!!! 2020 is a nightmare! Now I can’t even trust my true love Priceline!!!,” another woman said.