Hong Kong Customs combats unfair trade practices at beauty parlour

     â€‹Hong Kong Customs yesterday (January 12) arrested a female staff member of a beauty parlour suspected of engaging in unfair trade practices involving misleading omission during the sale of beauty services, in contravention of the Trade Descriptions Ordinance (TDO).

     Customs earlier received information alleging that a staff member of a beauty parlour in Causeway Bay, in the course of selling a facial beauty treatment valued at about $900, claimed to a customer that some specific additional treatment items would be offered for free. However, after the customer had received the beauty treatment and the additional items, the staff member said those additional items could only be offered for free if the customer purchased a beauty service package valued at about $15,000. Otherwise, the customer would need to pay an additional fee.

     After investigation, Customs officers yesterday arrested a 36-year-old female staff member of the beauty parlour concerned.

     An investigation is ongoing and the arrested woman has been released on bail pending further investigation.

     Customs reminds traders to comply with the requirements of the TDO and consumers to procure services at reputable shops.

     Under the TDO, any trader who engages in a commercial practice that omits or hides material information or provides material information in a manner that is unclear, unintelligible, ambiguous or untimely, and as a result causes, or is likely to cause, an average consumer to make a transactional decision, commits an offence. The maximum penalty upon conviction is a fine of $500,000 and imprisonment for five years.

     Members of the public may report any suspected violations of the TDO to Customs' 24-hour hotline 2545 6182 or its dedicated crime-reporting email account (crimereport@customs.gov.hk).

Ends/Friday, January 13, 2023
Issued at HKT 11:15