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Sunday, Jun 23, 2024

Customs arrest operators of online baby products shop for non-delivery of goods

Hong Kong Customs on Thursday arrested two operators of an online baby products shop after they were suspected of engaging in wrongly accepting payments when selling customers vouchers for diapers.
The move came after Customs received over 200 complaints from affected customers accusing the retailer of not delivering the diapers after they use their vouchers.

A Customs spokeswoman said they have received the reports since March, alleging the operators of selling the vouchers through social media platforms but failed to deliver the products within the specified date or in a reasonable time.

No refunds were arranged either, the spokeswoman said.

As of yesterday, Customs received 216 complaints involving a sum of HK$230,000, with the biggest transaction being HK$18,000 in purchasing 300 vouchers.

It is understood the two arrestees, a man and a woman both aged 46, were operators of an online shop called “Baby-Clan.” Its website and contact telephone number were not working on Wednesday.

A message on its Facebook page said: “Our company will be conducting annual internal inventory and arranging for product delivery, the office will be closed for member or non-member inquiries and visits on May 18 and 19. Customers can still make inquiries through Facebook private messages or emails.”

Customs reminded traders to comply with the requirements of the Trade Descriptions Ordinance. Under the ordinance, any trader commits an offense if at the time of payment acceptance, 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 for five years.

Customs also called on consumers to stay vigilant in regard to online shopping and procure products at reputable shops.

“Consumers should also beware of whether the online payment methods provided by the online stores are secure, and keep the transaction receipts and related documents, which can become basic information in case a complaint is lodged in the future,” it added.
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