Wednesday 4 April 2007

mainland tourist shopping tour scams

In the last months regularly messages popped up that mainland China tourists visiting Hong Kong were lead into shopping scams. They pay a low fare to visit Hong Kong by guided tour. Once here they are here, they get dragged along all sorts of shops to purchase goods.

Of course the tourguide will gets his\her commision from this.

In this article action and prompt follow up is demanded by the Shenzen tourist authority.

Interestingly enough, during the weekend 2 cases were high lighted on TV.
One could be a little dodgy, where the product either didn't meet clients expectations or indeed was sold something else then that was on the invoice.

Case 2 was more interesting. A person mentioned he was being ripped off by a jeweler, he bought a watch thinking it had diamonds on it. He showed a receipt and everything. So when the reporters went to contact the shop.... they said they have not had and dont have a watch that looks like that in their collection.
Now... this sounds dodgy, either the jeweler is putting up a story...or there is a new series of copycat events coming up. A new way of getting money, by pretending you have been sold fake goods and then get them exchanged for either real, or get your money back.

THat they are good in copying and coming up with creative business ideas can be read at Marc van der Chijs his blog about a joke with fake melrose pizza

UPDATE 08April07:

There have been some major activities to cut down on illegal practices. One jeweller has been raided by customs and excise officers and goods have been taken away for investigation.

People found guilty can expect up to 5 years in jail and 500K HKD fines according to a government website