Friday, August 29, 2008

Be extra careful - Chinese Herbal shop scam in Hong Kong

I followed my husband to Hong Kong for business trick yesterday. You must think that I must have a lot of excitement to share with you about the beauty of Hong Kong right ? Wrong ! I am about to inform you about the trick that the Hong Kong herb shop used that could let you end up with big regret and worst of all, a sad trip that you swear you will never want to visit HK any more.

I believe a lot of people out there must have experienced the same thing, just that a lot were left to forget the bad experience. Well, I am not ! Cause this bad experience just happened to us a few hour ago, and I am still burning with anger right now and swear that I must publish it in my blog !

It happened at one of the herbal store in Jordan, Hong Kong. I was coughing very badly before coming to HK. I went to a nearby chinese herbal shop to look for some cough syrup. Well, I would say the staff there were very nice to us, kept giving me a lot of explanation about my health problem. In fact, he's quite sharp spelling out all my health my problem. Thing is, due to his polite attitude, I thought he was someone sincere. Then he explained that the cough syrup will never help me cure the bad cough at all, I would be wasting money.

So he suggested another 2 types of herbs for me. Of course we we took a good look at the price, HKD 65 + HKD 10 for another type, ok, fair enough. Big mistake !! You should not look at the price alone because you don't know the measurement / price, in Chinese word, they called it 錢 & 兩. And guess what, those measurements were written in such a small sized fonts that I believe old people would never be able to read.

Next ! I would say too smart that they can be very good psychologist if put to good use. They knew we were quite receptive to the suggestion. Then quickly, they suggested in a 'quicker motion', telling us, taking another 2 smaller portion of another 2 types of herbs is good enough. Of course we took a sharper look of the prices and of course, repeated the mistake ! And this time, because they know we will take a closer look at the smaller fonts printed at the bottom of the price, so this guy quickly pulled out another paper with health information about the two herbs, this really shifted our attention to look at the price details.

And next, they provide even better service by helping you to grind the herbs into powder. Well what have you to reject the item when they are all ground into powder? This grinding service really act like a consent agreement that you agree with their suggestion already. And next, they gave you nice packaging.

Ok now, take a look at their calculator, we were both shocked to see that the cheaper herbs they suggested ended up to HKD9700 !!! We quickly argue about the price, then they started to show you the prices show were meant for 錢 (smaller portion, eg. gram to Kilo) but the herbs they gave us were all in 兩(bigger portion, eg. Kilo).

We couldn't even reject the goods at all cause they already ground them for us.

This people are really cunning and you can never trust them at all.

I remembered I once saw a news about China tourists complaining how they were tricked into buying branded goods but ended up imitaion goods. I thought this would never happen to us, well, their tricks don't appear in branded goods only, in fact, any kinds of goods they find possible to cheat the tourists.

I believe a lot of tourists visited Hong kong before must have been through the kind of bad experience like mine. So be extra careful when you visit the herbal stores in Hong Kong. Don't end up like us.

If you really want to buy the herbs in Hong Kong, REMEMBER ! Always ask them to total up the price for you first BEFORE they grind it into powder (though I don't know what other trick they will 'top up' next ).

Do you think I still have the mood to enjoy in Hong Kong ? I hated so much to leave Hong Kong now !

In fact, if you have the kind of money to visit Hong Kong, save it for Japan. Cheaper and definitely value for money !


Erni Jap said...

Yeah.. today me and family just experienced the same scamming... I was thought that people here mostly educated and sincere to tourist. So disappointed and make me wonder the quality of the products.

And later on, I did see the same case on other place happen to other tourist. But, they do brave to just walk away though the seller did slice the products.

HOPE this not to happen to anyone else. BE AWARE ALWAYS!! NO MATTER WHERE WE ARE.

Story Quilt said...

Oh dear ! Do be careful and and be sure what you want because they will keep persuading you to buy more things.

If you have familiar friends, do ask them to buy for you :)

regencyspices said...

This is the most horrible thing I've read! How can companies be such scammers.

Story Quilt said...


Yes, that was my scary experience .... :(

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