In common with many sellers to the public worldwide Hong Kong shops compete with each other in business outlets presenting blandishments to the market to lure shoppers by use of highly loud and visible messages about pricing of the offered products. There seems to have been no letup in the multifarious demonstrations of this practice such that the huge public confusion – possibly misleading shoppers – has come to the attention of the Hong Kong statutory consumer watchdog, the Consumer Council.
The Council has no directly attacking teeth but is charged with protecting the interests of the consumer which it does by whistleblowing. In the case of price marking it took action 5 years ago to inform about market behaviour – misbehaviour – in this area. In the ensuing period up to now the Consumer Council has found that the practices that it condemned 5 years ago have not abated – in fact in the opposite direction there has been a massive increase in the public outreach of pricing messages which are at best misleading and at worse arguably an offence against the misleading sanctions of the Trade Descriptions Ordinance. The following is the lead article in the South China Morning Post of the 23rd September 2019 which clearly and rightly draws factual attention to this serious position usefully comparing the general practices of Singapore and Britain in the same circumstances.
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