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Friday, Jun 21, 2024

Two pay for failing to clean up mess over diaper orders

Two pay for failing to clean up mess over diaper orders

Customs officers have arrested a man and a woman operating an online baby diaper shop for allegedly accepting HK$230,000 for prepaid baby diapers from at least 216 parents but failing to deliver them.
About two dozen parents who had bought diaper voucher sets showed up at the shop's warehouse in Tuen Mun yesterday in an attempt to get refunds.

Catherine Ho Ching-ting, deputy head of trade descriptions investigation bureau at the Customs and Excise Department, said 216 reports from consumers territory-wide were received in the past three months, complaining they did not receive the pre-ordered diapers within the specified date or in a reasonable time, and the shop owner refused to refund them.

Ho said the largest case involved HK$18,000, with the victim purchasing 300 sets of vouchers.

A 46-year-old male manager and a 46-year-old female director of the online shop were arrested for violating the Trade Descriptions Ordinance. They have been released on bail.

"Customers should consider placing orders with reputable shops and keeping a record of their receipts and orders to ensure secure transactions and facilitate any subsequent complaints to law enforcement agencies," Ho said, also calling on consumers to report their cases.

The online shop involved, Baby Clan, used to sell voucher sets which could be exchanged for diapers of a specific brand and size, or for other diapers at a discounted price.

Some parents said they made orders in March and had not received the goods until this month.

Some of them went to its office at Hung Cheung Industrial Centre in Tuen Mun on Tuesday demanding an explanation, but a notice was later posted outside the office saying it would be closed to arrange delivery on Wednesday.

A Facebook post said the office "will be closed for member and non-member inquiries and visits on May 18 and 19 due to annual internal inventory and arranging for product delivery. Customers can still make inquiries through Facebook private messages or emails."

About 20 parents who prepaid for diapers demanded refunds and cancellation of their membership yesterday but the office and warehouse were closed. Some people still have dozens of unused voucher sets worth about HK$3,000.

A mother said she failed to contact the shop owner and accused them of "cheating every mother and every family out of their money."

Sing Tao Probe in March reported the shop put up the price of some diapers even higher than the market price when exchanged with the vouchers, without reasonable explanations.

Mothers said the shop even cancelled the accounts of the customers who made complaints. Although a refund was given, the amount was lower than the original value of the vouchers.

Baby Clan released a statement on March 4 apologizing to parents, and promising to freeze prices for five years.
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