A self-storage employee identified as a salesperson with RedBox Storage in Hong Kong has been arrested for allegedly violating the city’s Trade Descriptions Ordinance (TDO). Customs officials began investigating after several customers complained staff exaggerated the size of the units at the company’s facility on Shing Wan Road in the Sha Tin area of the city. The 32-year-old woman was taken into custody after renting a unit to an undercover agent, according to news sources.
“The size of the cubicle was about 20 percent smaller than what the undercover agent was told,” an unidentified source with knowledge of the case told the “South China Morning Post.” “He discovered this after making the payment and getting the key to the cubicle.”
The TDO prohibits businesses from presenting false or misleading statements to customers about products and services. Violating the ordinance carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a HK$500,000 fine. Management staff could also be held liable if a violation is committed with their consent or under their direction. Management could also be cited for negligence, according to a source.
“This is the first time we have arrested staff from a mini-storage facility in connection with false trade descriptions,” the source told “The Post.” The investigation is ongoing, and the self-storage employee hasn’t been charged.
Two fires last month at Hong Kong self-storage facilities, in which two firefighters were killed and another treated for injuries, have increased the regulatory scrutiny on the local self-storage industry. Government officials have committed to spending two months examining 487 self-storage locations, primarily looking for safety violations.
RedBox operates three self-storage facilities in Hong Kong.
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