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October 30, 2013

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Anger as hairy crab scammers scuttle off

HAIRY crab customers are looking to get their claws into dishonest sellers of prepaid vouchers for the seasonal delicacy following a series of scams.

Consumers have complained to the city consumer watchdog that some hairy crab voucher sellers could not be contacted after a deal was made.

And some customers said other businesses delivered poor quality or dead crabs when they redeemed their vouchers, according to the Shanghai Consumer Rights Protection Commission.

A number of customers were told that no crabs were available when they wanted to redeem their coupons.

Several consumers who have hairy crab vouchers issued by a company called Ruilin Trade (Shanghai) Co Ltd complained that they could not contact the company, the commission said.

The watchdog tracked down the legal representative of the company, but was told  the company has closed.

It is pushing the representative for a refund or redemption of the coupons, the commission said.

100 calls unanswered

In another incident, a customer surnamed Dong told Xinmin Evening News that she could not redeem a 378 yuan (US$62) voucher for six crabs.

The voucher included numbers for customers to call to reserve their crabs and arrange free delivery.

After more than 100 calls went unanswered, Dong went to the name of the company, Shanghai Zhidan Co Ltd, an address on Hongqiao Road.

She found a large commercial plaza at the address, but the information she had gave no floor or room number of the company.

The company website could not be accessed either, she discovered.

Another consumer, also surnamed Dong, complained to the commission that crabs received with a 1,088 yuan voucher included some that were too light and several  of which were dead. Attempts to get a refund were refused.

Prepaid coupons of hairy crabs have become popular in recent years, as free and flexible delivery makes them convenient.

However, the crab voucher market is not well regulated in the city, and the commission is urging authorities to blacklist rogue sellers.



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