Fri, Feb 22, 2019 - Page 2 News List

Taipei inspecting Shilin fruit stands for price gouging

CRACKDOWN:The city said that last month it issued NT$52,800 in fines to vendors breaching road, food safety and pollution regulations

By Chou Yen-yu and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

A woman buys fruit at a fruit stand at Taipei’s Shilin Night Market in an undated photograph.

Photo courtesy of the Taipei Department of Legal Affairs

The Taipei City Government yesterday said it would continue to inspect mobile fruit stands at the Shilin Night Market to protect consumers against overpricing, with the eventual goal of removing all mobile stalls in the area.

Several incidents of overpricing by mobile fruit stands were reported last month and subsequently confirmed by night market management, Taipei Department of Legal Affairs Consumer Protection Officer Ho Hsiu-lan (何修蘭) said.

The majority of mobile fruit stands — which offer cut fruit on-demand — overcharged customers by two to three times the market price, Ho said.

They were probably encouraged by the fact that most of the area’s visitors are foreigners, who are not familiar with local fruit prices, Ho said.

The city government cannot dictate prices at the market, but last month it issued a total fine of NT$52,800 for 44 counts of breaching road, pollution and food safety laws, Ho said.

Only 19 mobile fruit vendors remain in the market, with two vendors quitting last month due to the fines, Market Administration Office Vendors’ Division head Yang Chung-cheng (楊忠誠) said.

Inspections are conducted twice a week, Yang said, adding that the ultimate goal is to remove all mobile fruit stalls.

Consumers can refuse a purchase if they feel that they did not reach an agreement on the price with the vendor or that the vendor is forcing them to do so, the Vendors’ Division said.

They should take note of the stall’s location and report it by calling 1999 to file a complaint, the division said, adding that it would prioritize that area of the market for inspection.

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