Hong Kong Customs combats unfair trade practices at online diaper retailer

17 May 2023

​Hong Kong Customs today (May 17) arrested a male suspected of engaging in wrongly accepting payments on presale coupons of diaper on the Internet, in contravention of the Trade Descriptions Ordinance (TDO).

Customs earlier received reports alleging that a diaper retailer sold presale coupons of diaper through a social media platform but failed to supply the ordered goods within the specified date or a reasonable period after accepting payments from a number of customers for purchasing the presale coupons. Also, no refund was offered.

After investigation, Customs officers today arrested a 46-year-old man suspected to be connected with the case. He is the person-in-charge of the retailer concerned.

An investigation is ongoing and the arrested man has been released on bail pending further investigation.

Customs has all along been concerned about illegal online sales activities. It has strived to combat unfair trade practices on websites to protect consumers' interests.

Under the TDO, any trader commits an offence if at the time of acceptance of payment, the trader intends not to supply the product or intends to supply a materially different product, or there are no reasonable grounds for believing that the trader will be able to supply the product within a specified or reasonable period. The maximum penalty upon conviction is a fine of $500,000 and imprisonment of five years.

Customs reminds traders to comply with the requirements of the TDO. Traders should not accept advance payments from consumers if they are uncertain whether the pertinent goods or services can be delivered to consumers within a specific or reasonable time. Before making prepaid consumption of product, consumers should pay attention to the risk of prepaid consumption and its supply quantity and supply period. Also, they should make orders through reputable traders. After purchasing the products, consumers should keep the transaction receipts and related records, which can become the basic information in case a complaint is lodged in the future.

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/Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Previous Page