Hong Kong Customs today (July 13) arrested a staff member of a beauty parlour suspected of engaging in aggressive commercial practices in the course of selling beauty treatment, in contravention of the Trade Descriptions Ordinance (TDO).
Customs earlier received a complaint from a member of the public alleging staff of a beauty parlour in Kwun Tong imposed undue influence in selling beauty treatment. The staff member processed payment with the customer's credit card without seeking authorisation for procurement of beauty treatment valued at about $100,000. After initial investigation, Customs officers today arrested a 44-year-old woman. Investigation is ongoing and the arrested person was put on bail.
Under the TDO, a trader commits an offence of engaging in aggressive commercial practices if he or she uses harassment, coercion or undue influence to impair the consumer's freedom of choice or conduct in relation to a product which causes or is likely to cause the consumer to make a transactional decision. The maximum penalty upon conviction is a fine of $500,000 and imprisonment for five years. The management staff will also be liable if the offence is committed with their consent or connivance or is attributed to their neglect.
Customs reminded traders to comply with the statutory requirements to avoid violating the TDO. Consumers should shop with prudence and procure services at reputable shops. Before making purchase decisions, consumers should not hastily provide their identity cards or credit cards to salespersons. Consumers should firmly refuse signing any sales documents if they have no intention to purchase.
Members of the public may report suspected cases of violation of the TDO to Customs by calling the 24-hour hotline 2545 6182.
Ends/Wednesday, July 13, 2016