CONSUMER COUNCIL

Consumer Council gets 12 complaints over mouldy herbal jelly hotline

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 17 September, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 14 June, 2018, 4:43pm

The Consumer Council has received 12 complaints from people who have been unable to get through on the hotline of a herbal chain accused of selling mouldy jelly.

Hoi Tin Tong had promised to refund cash coupons within 10 days of customers registering on the hotline.

"We hope Hoi Tin Tong will improve its hotline service and offer refunds at retail points," council chief executive Gilly Wong Fung-han said.

She said that the council was concerned about the product's quality and safety and was liaising with the Centre for Food Safety and customs while waiting for test results.

Last week a former shareholder of the company said workers had cleaned mould off jelly and sold it as fresh. This was followed by a university study that found the company's turtle shell herbal jelly contained almost no shell.

Customer Catherine Wong Lai-cheung filed a complaint yesterday after she could not get through on the hotline.

Wong said she bought 20 herbal jelly coupons worth HK$50 each for just HK$28 last month through group buying. Some of her friends had bought hundreds of coupons.

"I dialled the number every other minute about 10 times as soon as I heard about it," said Wong. "I hope Hoi Tin Tong starts being responsible for what it says."

Ng Kim-sing, who also had no luck with the hotline to cash in his HK$550 worth of coupons, said the company should offer refunds at its stores.

A Hoi Tin Tong spokeswoman said customers could leave their contact numbers and coupon details at its outlets and shop assistants would pass them on to head office.

Ng said he feared the company might not be able to afford to pay out all the coupons if it involved tens of millions of them, as one newspaper had reported.

The spokeswoman said it was not possible to estimate the total number and value of all the coupons at the moment, but Hoi Tin Tong would honour all refunds.