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Taipei investigates complaint about overpriced fruit at night market

2019/01/15 23:14:40

CNA file photo

Taipei, Jan. 15 (CNA) Taipei City government said Tuesday it has launched an investigation into fruit stall vendors at Shilin Night Market after yet another alleged incident of fruit vendors there overcharging foreign visitors.

The investigation was launched in the wake of media reports about an online post in which it was claimed that a visiting foreign national was charged NT$400 (US$12.97) for a bag of diced fruit at a stall in Shilin Night Market, the largest and most famous night market in the city, according to Yang Chung-cheng (楊忠誠), a division chief at the Taipei Market Administration Office.

The alleged incident was recounted on Dcard, a popular online discussion forum, by a Taiwan national on behalf of her foreign friend, and caught local media attention Tuesday.

After learning about the alleged incident, Yang said, he asked police in the district to inspect makeshift fruit stalls in the market on Monday and will personally lead a group of environmental and health officials to continue their inspection of fruit stands at Shilin Night Market late Tuesday.

The city has launched the investigation amid concerns about the impact such overcharging could have on the reputation of Shilin Night Market, a top tourist attraction in Taipei, Yang said.

Citing statistics from his office, Yang said there are currently 10 licensed fruit stalls at the market and nine other makeshift stands on the periphery.

Since the licensed fruit vendors are monitored by the Shilin Night Market Association and have all signed a pledge not to jack up prices, the overpriced fruit allegedly purchased by the foreign visitor may have been bought from a makeshift stand, he said.

However, officials have yet to identify the vendor in question because information about the location, quantity or type of fruit purchased by the foreign visitor was not revealed in the original online post, Yang said.

The division chief warned vendors that they must clearly label the price of produce, inform consumers of their unit price and weight, and confirm with buyers before slicing and packing the fruit.

There have been many news reports and allegations in the past of unscrupulous vendors at the night market overcharging foreign visitors.

This prompted several fruit vendors to sign a joint pledge in 2012 to sell fruit with price tags and use electronic scales to make pricing more transparent.

(By Liu Chien-pang and Ko Lin)
Enditem/AW