Tongrentang apologizes for tricking foreign tourists

Moderator: savanb

Tongrentang apologizes for tricking foreign tourists

Postby long_way » Thu Jun 16, 2011 9:31 am

Tongrentang apologizes for tricking foreign tourists
(Xinhua)
Updated: 2011-06-13 09:12


BEIJING - Tongrentang Co, the largest producer of traditional Chinese medicine, Sunday apologized to the public following reports that one of its retail stores tricked foreigners into buying unnecessary and overpriced medicine.

The Nancheng Tianhui tourist medicine store, a franchised outlet of Tongrentang in Beijing, reportedly diagnosed foreign tourists brought in by tour guides and charged them high prices for medicine.

Tongrentang said in a statement that they apologized to consumers and the public for its loopholes in management as it said that the expensive medicine was not sold by Tongrentang but by Beijing Hanci Chinese Medicine Hospital, which is located inside the Tongrentang outlet.

Though, Tongrentang's stamp was on the invoice of the medicine sold by the hospital.

The outlet has been suspended and the hospital is under investigation, according to the city's drug administration.

The administration has ordered a six-month overhaul on the city's one-day tour business, in order to prevent vendors, tour guides from tricking tourists.

Tongrentang, a household name in China, was founded in 1669 and was once designated to provide medicines to the family of the emperor.

Source: http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2011 ... 680019.htm


Expats feel cheated in TCM purchase
(Xinhua)
Updated: 2011-06-09 19:56

BEIJING - On a tour in Beijing, you may find yourself in a drugstore, being diagnosed with some illnesses previously unknown to you and buying expensive traditional Chinese medicines.

Foreigners accuse a retail store of Beijing-based Tongrentang Co., Ltd., the largest producer of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) in China, of tricking them into buying unnecessary medicine from suspicious sources.

American tourist Wei De, who gave only his Chinese name, booked a one-day tour with Xiandai Tourism Agency, a subsidiary of China Travel Service at Wangfujing Grand Hotel in downtown Beijing on May 14.

"The tour schedule was to visit the tomb of the Emperor Yongle in the morning and the Great Wall in the afternoon, but I was taken to Tongrentang Nanchengtianhui drugstore in Changping district at midday," said Wei De.

At the drugstore, Wei was introduced to a "professor" in a doctor's uniform. After the "professor" felt Wei's pulse, Wei was told that his kidney was quite weak, so he paid 780 yuan ($120) for a packet of medicine.

"I found that most tourists were diagnosed with similar problems. The 'professor' said we all had something wrong with our kidney," said Wei.

Tongrentang, a household name in China, was founded in 1669 and was once designated to provide medicines to the family of the emperor.

The receipt issued by the store shows that the payment was made to the outpatient department of Beijing University of Chinese Medicine. Some packages of medicine read that the medicine producer was Beijing Hanci Chinese Medicine Hospital, "located in the Nanchengtianhui drugstore."

Many foreign visitors felt cheated since the medicine they received was not produced by the renowned Tongrentang.

"This is my first trip to China and I was swindled at this pharmacy in March. It is horrible that they hijacked the famous brand to deceive people," said Alex Cleveland from Sweden.

Jiang Xiaodong, head of Tongrentang's publicity department, said that, "Nanchengtianhui drugstore is one of Tongrentang's franchised outlet," but denied the store had sold overpriced medicine from unknown sources.

"And if customers bought the medicine from Hanci hospital, then this has nothing to do with us," said Jiang.

As for whether the tourists were over-charged and what the medicine was composed of, Beijing Drug Administration will begin an investigation into Nanchengtianhui drugstore Thursday afternoon.

Foreigners' complaints often fall on deaf ears because of language barriers and some tourism agencies and hotels are in cahoots with the sellers, said a manager of a Beijing-based tourism company on condition of anonymity.

Spanish daily newspaper ABC's corespondent Pablo had a similar experience and complained to Beijing Tourism Bureau, his travel agency and the hotel. But all he got was a 700-yuan compensation from the hotel. A dozen compliant emails were never replied to, he said.

"Having been living in China for six years, I would not let my one-time bad experience at the drugstore tarnish my overall impression of China. But for those who had been to China just once, they would surely be disappointed," said Pablo.

Source: http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2011 ... 668021.htm


Scam prompts health check for tourists' TCM visits
(China Daily)
Updated: 2011-06-14 09:19

Image: Customers flock into Nancheng Tianhui Tongrentang drugstore in Changping district in May. Tongrentang was found to have tricked foreign tourists into buying overpriced medicines. Mao Weihao / for China Daily http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/metro/imag ... f59802.jpg

BEIJING - The city's tourism department has ordered a six-month overhaul of the one-day tour business after it was revealed some retail stores were tricking foreign tourists into buying unnecessary and overpriced traditional Chinese medicine (TCM).

The city authorities raided the Nancheng Tianhui medicine store, after a report by Xinhua News Agency on June 8 revealed the franchised outlet of Tongrentang Co Ltd, the largest TCM producer in China, diagnosed foreign tourists brought in by tour guides and charged them exorbitant prices for medicine.

Gao Hongyi, the legal representative of the store, admitted on Monday that the store had been selling medicines produced by the Hanci Chinese Medicine Hospital under the name of Tongrentang, which is against the law.

Tongrentang said in a statement on Sunday that it apologized to consumers and the public for loopholes in management.

But it said the expensive medicine was not sold by Tongrentang but by Beijing Hanci Chinese Medicine Hospital, which is located inside the Tongrentang outlet.

However, Tongrentang's stamp was on the invoice of the medicine sold by the hospital.

In response to the scandal, many people have called for harsher punishments against unregulated tourism agencies and stricter rules on tourism featuring TCM.

Zhang Ruigang, director of the Tourism Research Center at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said that with the boom in tourism featuring TCM, the tourism sector and the health and pharmaceutical sector should jointly establish more efficient supervision and stricter rules to regulate the market.

A US tourist was one of the first to file a complaint.

He booked a one-day tour with Xiandai Tourism Agency, a subsidiary of China Travel Service, at Wangfujing Grand Hotel in downtown Beijing on May 14. But instead of going to the tomb of Emperor Yongle and the Great Wall as scheduled, the tourist group was taken to the Tongrentang Nanchengtianhui drugstore in Changping district.

At the drugstore, the tourist was introduced to a "professor" in a doctor's outfit. After feeling the tourist's pulse the so-called professor informed the tourist that his kidney was quite weak and prescribed him some medicine, which cost 780 yuan ($120).

"I found that most tourists were diagnosed with similar problems. The 'professor' said we all had something wrong with our kidney," the tourist said.

Foreigners' complaints often fall on deaf ears because of language barriers and some tourism agencies and hotels are involved in the over-charging scams with the stores.

"I felt I was lied to at the drugstore. They were lying to the tourists about the medicine," said Alex Cleveland, a tourist from Sweden who was in the same group, during an interview with Jiangxi Television.

"I was even asked to pay for a tip for a cab when traveling around. I know there's no need to tip taxi drivers in Beijing," he told China Daily.

Source: http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/metro/2011 ... 688669.htm
long_way
 
Posts: 737
Joined: Fri Feb 09, 2007 8:56 am

Return to Scam Archives

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron