Renovation company and its director convicted for engaging in commercial practice involving misleading omission

4 Jul 2017

A renovation company and its director were respectively fined $30,000 and sentenced to carry out 240 hours of community service today (July 4) at Shatin Magistrates' Court for engaging in commercial practice involving misleading omission, in contravention of the Trade Descriptions Ordinance (TDO).

Hong Kong Customs earlier received a complaint against a renovation company suspected of engaging in unfair trade practices in the sale of interior design and renovation services. After investigation, it was found that the company had offered a set of unclear and misleading quotations at a competitive price. After the renovation work commenced, a further eight quotations were sent to the complainant. A prosecution was subsequently made.

Customs reminds the public to be vigilant in hiring renovation services. Consumers should procure services from reputable traders and compare prices of different traders before procuring renovation services. Before renovation, consumers should pay attention to every item and the total amount of payment in the quotation. A clear and comprehensive contract should be signed between the consumers and the traders. In order to protect the interests of both parties, the contract should indicate the mode of payment and the method in settling the additional cost for any unexpected renovation works. Consumers should monitor works after renovation commences and pay according to the progress of renovation.

On the other hand, Customs reminds traders to comply with the requirements of the TDO and provide material information to consumers in a timely manner.

Under the TDO, any trader who engages in relation to a consumer 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 that the consumer would not have made otherwise 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 the Customs 24-hour hotline 2545 6182.

Ends/Tuesday, July 4, 2017

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