A beauty salon in central China's Henan Province has been fined 500,000 yuan (71,225 US dollars) by the local pricing authority for charging two girls 6,000 yuan each for a haircut.
The Paul International Beauty Salon, registered in 2004 in Zhengzhou city, was fined on Saturday for defrauding consumers by failing to publish price lists of its products and services. The 500,000-yuan fine was the maximum for the offence, a Zhengzhou municipal price bureau official said.
The salon failed to tell the girls the price of a permanent wave and the shampoo they used, the official said.
It was ordered to stop operating on Thursday, but the bureau did not ask it to repay back the girls in its penalty notification.
The bureau said the salon's actions were abominable and badly affected the industry.
"They didn't tell us what products and services we had chosen," said one of the girls. They were denied a after they requested one.
A salon staff member defended the pricing, saying, "Isn't it just 12,000 yuan? That's just the price of a bottle of foreign wine."
The girls, 17 and 19, chose the 38-yuan service on display in the salon, including wash, cut and blow-dry, on March 29. To their astonishment, the salon charged them 6,000 yuan each. They had only 400 yuan as a living allowance a month.
The girls were allowed to leave the salon after collecting 9,800 yuan with the help of their classmates. (1 US dollars equals about 7 yuan)
(Xinhua News Agency April 7, 2008)