The Taipei City Government on Tuesday said it has launched an investigation into fruit stall vendors at Shilin Night Market after allegations that another foreign visitor was overcharged.
The investigation was launched after a Taiwanese user on Dcard, a popular online discussion forum, said that a foreign friend of theirs was charged NT$400 for a bag of diced fruit at a stall in the market, Taipei Market Administration Office division chief Yang Chung-cheng (楊忠誠) said.
The story drew significant attention from local media on Tuesday.
Photo: Yang Hsin-hui, Taipei Times
Yang said he asked police to inspect fruit stalls in the market on Monday next week, and would personally lead a group of environmental and health officials to continue the inspection on Tuesday.
The city is concerned about the impact overcharging could have on the reputation of the night market, which is one of the city’s top tourist attractions, Yang said.
There are 10 licensed fruit stalls at the market and nine other makeshift stands on the periphery, Yang said, citing statistics from his office.
Since the licensed fruit vendors are monitored by the Shilin Night Market Association and have signed a pledge not to inflate prices, the overpriced fruit allegedly purchased by the foreign visitor might have been sold at a makeshift stand, he said.
Officials have yet to identify the vendor, because information about the location, quantity or type of fruit purchased was not revealed in the online post, Yang said.
Vendors must clearly label prices, inform consumers of their unit price and weight, and confirm with buyers before slicing and packing fruit, Yang said.
There have been many allegations of vendors at the night market overcharging foreign visitors, prompting several fruit vendors to sign a pledge in 2012 to use price tags and electronic scales to ensure that pricing is more transparent.
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