Hong Kong Customs combats unfair trade practices at employment agency

23 Feb 2023

​Hong Kong Customs today (February 23) arrested a female director cum salesperson of an employment agency suspected of engaging in commercial practices involving misleading omission in the course of selling employment agency services, in contravention of the Trade Descriptions Ordinance (TDO).

Customs earlier received information alleging that a female director cum salesperson of an employment agency in Hung Hom, during the sale of employment agency services to a customer, failed to indicate that he was required to pay an extra charge apart from the agency fees, or else arrangement could not be made for the foreign domestic helper to come to Hong Kong.

After investigation, Customs officers today arrested a 50-year-old female director of the employment agency suspected to be connected with the case.

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. Before making a purchase decision, consumers should scrutinise the terms and conditions of the agreement. They should not sign any sales documents if in doubt.

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/Thursday, February 23, 2023

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