Hong Kong Customs combats suspected use of false trade descriptions in sale of beauty service

8 May 2015

Hong Kong Customs arrested a shop owner and a beautician at a beauty parlour suspected of applying false trade descriptions contravening the Trade Descriptions Ordinance (TDO) in the sale of beauty services to a consumer.

Customs earlier received a complaint about a beautician who was suspected of claiming to provide beauty treatment using a device of a particular brand but another device not manufactured by the brand was subsequently used.

After in-depth investigation, Customs conducted a test-buy operation on April 29 and found that the beautician concerned was suspected of applying false trade descriptions of the TDO in the sale of a beauty service. The 30-year-old shop owner and 25-year-old beautician of the beauty parlour were arrested. The case is still under investigation and the arrested persons have been put on police bail pending further investigation.

A trader commits an offence under the TDO if he or she applies false trade descriptions to a service supplied to a consumer; or if he or she supplies to a customer a service to which a false trade description is applied. The maximum penalty upon conviction is a fine of $500,000 and imprisonment for five years.

The Divisional Commander of the Unfair Trade Practice Investigation Division of Hong Kong Customs, Ms Yeung Wing-yan, today (May 8) reminded beauty service traders and beauticians to abide by the law. During the course of sale of beauty services, they should state all relevant information to consumers in a clear and accurate manner and shall not apply false trade descriptions to mislead consumers. Consumers should be aware of the details of the beauty service as well as any potential risks. Consumers should procure services at reputable shops. In case of doubt, consumers should seek professional advice.

Members of the public may report suspected cases to Customs by calling the 24-hour hotline 2545 6182.

Ends/Friday, May 8, 2015

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