Three beauty chains closed their doors abruptly last week following a suspected shareholder dispute involving About Beauty, Dr Protalk and Top Comfort.

Lawmaker Elizabeth Quat of The Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong said the party has received 250 cases so far, with amount totaling HK$10 million.

Eight staffers also sought help, of which six are pursuing HK$240,000 in outstanding wages.

One of the customers said she visited About Beauty a day before its suspension. At that time, staffers were still trying to talk her into buying more packages, and there was no sign that it would stop operation. The customer paid HK$60,000 in advance for its services and had yet to use it.

Another client said she paid HK$20,000 for packages last month. She tried to ask the credit card company to stop the transfer, but failed.

Hong Kong Beauty Industry Union said the cases would be transferred to customs, the Consumer Council and the Labour Department for follow up. Some companies have also expressed willingness to hire the three chains' staffers and finish customers' outstanding treatments.