Salon in China quotes US$60 for hair perm, but afterwards says they divided man’s scalp into 12 sections, US$720 in total

·3-min read

A hair salon in China is under investigation for telling a customer a hair perm and styling cost 398 yuan (US$60) but afterwards charged him 4,776 yuan (US$720) under a bizarre system whereby they divided his scalp into 12 “sections” with each costing the quoted price for the service.

The man, surnamed Liu, went to the Zhenxuan Hair Salon in Hangzhou, Zhejiang, eastern China, last week to have a hair perm and styling.

A hairstylist there recommended a hair service supposedly costing US$60, which Liu agreed to, the City Express newspaper reported.

Do you have questions about the biggest topics and trends from around the world? Get the answers with SCMP Knowledge, our new platform of curated content with explainers, FAQs, analyses and infographics brought to you by our award-winning team.

The bill when it arrived had divided the man’s head into sections and charged him for each individually far in excess of the original quoted price. Photo: Baidu
The bill when it arrived had divided the man’s head into sections and charged him for each individually far in excess of the original quoted price. Photo: Baidu

But when he was presented with the bill, Liu was astonished to see a demand for the staggering sum that was 12 times higher.

The staff told him that the initially quoted price was for just one area of his scalp which the salon had secretly divided into 12 areas — for each of which he was charged the quoted amount.

Liu said he felt he had no choice other than to try and pay the amount despite the alleged deception and paid 3,000 yuan (US$447) for a “gift card” after salon staff told him he could get 50 per cent off.

After he shared his experience on social media it quickly came to the notice of the market supervision authority of Hangzhou which launched an investigation on Friday.

The salon is accused of setting its prices in a deceptive way and committing price fraud, officials said.

Authorities have closed the salon while it investigates the case. Photo: Baidu
Authorities have closed the salon while it investigates the case. Photo: Baidu

The salon was also caught using a lotion from South Korea without any label information in Chinese characters, which is illegal in China. The lotion was used on Liu’s scalp during his treatment.

The salon has been ordered to close during the investigation and change its pricing practices, but it is unclear if Liu will receive a refund.

Mainland consumers are frequently overcharged and left with exorbitant bills, with consumer fraud a major problem in China.

‘How bad is he?’: father gives desperate son almost 20 properties to lure wife

In February, a woman complained that a major hospital in Beijing had illegally charged her 38,000 yuan (US$5,655) for keeping her mother’s body for three days after she died.

Zhengzhou TV reported in September last year that a woman had to pay 198,000 yuan (US$29,465) for a one-hour body massage at a beauty parlour in the city. The local market authority later investigated the case.

More from South China Morning Post:

This article Salon in China quotes US$60 for hair perm, but afterwards says they divided man’s scalp into 12 sections, US$720 in total first appeared on South China Morning Post

For the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2022.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting