Hong Kong Customs yesterday (March 14) arrested the owner of a wedding dress rental shop who was suspected of engaging in an unfair trade practice, namely making a misleading omission, which might have contravened the Trade Descriptions Ordinance (TDO). She was suspected of not informing the customer in the course of business of the need to pay an additional amount of deposit before providing wedding dress rental services.
Customs earlier received a complaint that an additional amount of deposit was required by a wedding dress rental shop in Mong Kok after entering an agreement for rental services. Initial investigation by Customs resulted in the arrest of the 27-year-old female shop owner. The case is still under investigation and the arrested person has been released on bail pending further investigation.
Customs reminded traders to comply with legislative requirements to avoid violating the TDO, and advised consumers to shop with prudence and to ask if in doubt.
Under the TDO, a trader engaged in relation to a consumer in a commercial practice who omits or hides material information; provides material information in a manner that is unclear, unintelligible, ambiguous or untimely; or fails to identify commercial intent, and as a result causes the average consumer to make a transactional decision that the consumer would not have made otherwise, commits an offence. The maximum penalty is a fine of $500,000 and imprisonment for five years.
The department will continue to crack down on unfair trade practices for protection of consumer rights. Members of the public may report any suspected violations of the TDO to Customs' 24-hour hotline 2545 6182.
Ends/Tuesday, March 15, 2016