SOME education companies are using underhand tactics to trick parents, the Consumer Council (消費者委員會) has warned. The watchdog received 78 complaints between January and September – up 20 percent from last year – about tutorial classes, educational programmes and teaching materials.
In one case, a girl was notified to collect a certifi cate and gift from a company after taking part in a colouring competition through her school. She went there with her mother and was asked by staff to take part in a free language-ability assessment.
She was told later that she did poorly in English. Staff then persuaded her mother to buy an English learning kit for HK$20,000. They claimed it would help the girl do well in school tests. After seeking the advice of teachers, the mother tried to cancel the transaction but the firm refused to refund the payment.
In another case, a mother was lured into believing that a saleswoman who visited her home was a representative from her son’s school. She said the saleswoman accurately stated the boy’s name, his school and the class he attended.
Claiming she was there to conduct an “academic survey,” the saleswoman led the mother to reveal her son’s academic performance. Then she persuaded her to sign up for a “homework support service” costing HK$4,500.
The council hoped schools would fi nd out if there are any commercial purposes behind activities before issuing notices to students to take part.
(This article is published on Junior Standard on 24 October 2016)
Malpractice in promoting education kits – Consumer Council
Primary student attended nine hours tutoring a day – Headline Daily