Chinese ripoff at London duty free shop stirs rage

China | 13 Feb 2018 3:05 pm

A duty free shop at Heathrow Airport in London has been accused of ripping off Chinese travelers and drawn widespread condemnation on social media platforms.

The revelations came after a worker at World Duty Free alleged that the shop offered 20 percent VIP discount vouchers to customers spending £79 or more, while telling China-bound passengers to spend £1,000 to qualify, media reports in London said.

Heathrow Airport has said the practice was "unacceptable,'' while World Duty Free said it had been investigated and "corrected with immediate effect.''

World Duty Free apoligized in a statement and said: "As a global company we are committed to treating all our customers with respect and in a consistent and fair way. We would like to offer our sincere apologies to our customers who were in any way made to feel this was not the case." 

The ripoff of Chinese was first revealed on Saturday. Weibo user @Renjiannaipao posted a claim on his blog that, when working as a salesman at the World Duty Free shop, he witnessed Chinese tourists being treated unfairly, the BBC reports. He accompanied a Chinese traveler to a counter to ask about the discount and a cashier explained Chinese passengers should pay £1,000 to qualify, which was confirmed by a store manager, he said.

The revelations were shared more than 75,000 times on Weibo, and exceeded 100,000 views on WeChat.

"I shopped [at World Duty Free] at Terminal 2 and I was told I should spend 450 pounds to be eligible for the voucher. It seems that the voucher follows seasonal pricing," @Yunxiaoyunyaohaohaodushu commented on Weibo.

"Several years ago, I spent around 100 pounds and got the voucher. Several days ago, I went shopping [at the World Duty Free shop] and had a bad shopping experience,” @GakkerrQ complained on Weibo, the People's Daily Online reported.

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