Shanghai's consumer rights protection commission has investigated watch repair makers, uncovering some staggering markups.
Consumers were charged from 1,200 yuan to 5,800 yuan (9 to 5) at different outlets after being sent watches for repair that just needed a battery change, the commission said. The "consumers" were actually undercover inspectors.
The commission, meanwhile, has signed up with 45 watch repair outlets in the city to regulate the market.
These outlets bear a unified logo signifying that they are listed in the credibility list of Shanghai Consumer Rights Protection Commission and are recommended by the commission for watch repair services.
They include Shanghai Watch and Clock Shop and Prime Time Watch & Clock Service Center.
Complaints over watch repairs have increased significantly in recent years, particularly with regard to expensive watches, the commission said.
It received about 600 complaints over watch repairs last year. "High repair charges, failure to fix the problem after repair, and poor service" were the main causes of complaints, said a commission official.