Hair salon scalps customers

BEIJING Tue Apr 8, 2008 10:02am EDT

Students wash their classmate's hair as a part of a practice session at a hair school in Shanghai May 9, 2007. REUTERS/Nir Elias

Students wash their classmate's hair as a part of a practice session at a hair school in Shanghai May 9, 2007.

Credit: Reuters/Nir Elias

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BEIJING (Reuters) - A Chinese hair salon has been shut down and fined 500,000 yuan ($71,280) for holding two customers hostage and charging wildly excessive fees for haircuts, a newspaper reported on Monday.

College students Zhang Yi and Yuan Sha Sha went for a haircut at Baolou International Beauty Salon in Zhengzhou, in the central province of Henan, expecting to pay the 38 yuan ($5.42) advertised on the window.

But when the barbers were done, they produced a joint bill for 12,000 yuan ($1,700), enough to make anyone's hair curl, the Beijing News reported.

"After borrowing from 16 people, the two were only able to come up with 9,800 yuan and it wasn't until after 10 pm were they allowed to leave the hair salon," it reported.

It was not the first time that the shop tried to cheat consumers. One was slapped with a bill for 4,776 yuan when she came in for a haircut last September. In December, another customer opted for a 68 yuan haircut, but was asked to pay 5,670 yuan.

The shop was eventually shut down with nearly 100 local residents applauding outside, the newspaper said.

(Reporting by Beijing Newsroom; Editing by Nick Macfie)

($1=7.015 Yuan)

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