Beijing beauty salon investigated after woman, 78, spends US$44,000 on treatments

Her son claimed she was conned after offer of free massage led to payments for eight treatments in eight months

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 18 April, 2018, 4:45pm
UPDATED : Monday, 30 April, 2018, 6:02pm

Beijing’s industry and commerce authority is investigating a claim that a 78-year-old woman was defrauded by being coaxed into spending large sums of money at a beauty salon, a report claims.

The woman spent 274,500 yuan (US$43,700) on several treatments at the salon over the course of eight months, the Legal Evening News reported.

In May last year, she was stopped by a man in a supermarket who said the salon was offering a promotion and could give her free treatment for her weak leg.

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She was given a free foot massage lasting 40 minutes, then recommended to buy a membership card, which cost her 14,500 yuan (US$2,300). A shop assistant referred to her in affectionate terms.

Two months later, the woman had her pulse taken by a shop assistant dressed in a white doctor’s coat, who told her that her “chi” – from the traditional Chinese medicine term referring to inner energy – was weak and all her blood veins on her back were blocked.

She was persuaded to have full treatment to avoid “severe consequences”, costing 70,000 yuan (US$11,100) and using equipment imported from Japan.

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The woman paid the salon for eight treatments, including for her eyes, skin and detoxing.

Her son later managed to get back a little over half of the money, but he believed his mother had been defrauded and complained to the Beijing Municipal Administration of Industry and Commerce.

The bureau promised an investigation into the salon in conjunction with the local health authority.