- Can I lodge a complaint with the TIC if I am not happy with the activities arranged by my travel agent?
Yes, but the agent being complained must be a TIC member.
- Is there any time limit for lodging a complaint?
Yes. The complaint must be lodged with the TIC within 30 days from the date of the incident. If your complaint is about goods bought at shops arranged or designated by your travel agent, you must lodge a complaint within six months (for visitors from mainland China) or 14 days (for overseas visitors) from the date of purchase.
- I am not directly involved in the complaint case. Can I lodge a complaint?
No. The complainant must be directly involved in the case.
- I am directly involved in the complaint case but do not have time to follow up my case. Can I ask another person to do so on my behalf?
Yes; but you need to submit an authorisation letter.
- I wish to lodge a complaint but my case is also under legal proceedings. Will the TIC accept my complaint?
No. The TIC only handles complaints which are not under legal proceedings or arbitration.
- How do I lodge a complaint?
Inbound travellers can lodge complaints by post, by fax, by email or in person. For general complaints, they can also download the Complaint Form For Inbound Travellers or fill in and submit the form online . For complaints related to refunds, they must download the Complaint Form for Refunds , and then send the completed form back to the TIC by post or by fax.
- What kinds of information should I provide when lodging a complaint?
- Your name, address / contact number in Hong Kong, your date of departure, and your correspondence address / telephone number / fax number / email address in your place of residence;
- The name, the address and the telephone number of the Hong Kong receiving agent being complained;
- The name of the mainland / overseas tour operator (i.e. the travel agent you patronised in your place of residence for joining a tour to Hong Kong);
- Information about the travel service you wish to complain (e.g. date of arrival, name and contact number of the tourist guide, etc);
- Details of the case; and
- How you wish the case to be solved.
- How does the TIC handle general complaint cases?
- If a complaint is filed with the TIC by the complainant while he/she is in Hong Kong, the Executive Office will mediate between the complainant and the travel agent concerned for a settlement in the hope that the complaint can be resolved before the complainant leaves Hong Kong. If the complainant cannot reach a settlement with the travel agent, he/she may request the Executive Office to continue to follow up the case after he/she leaves Hong Kong.
- If a complaint is filed with the TIC in writing via letter, fax or email by the complainant after he/she has left Hong Kong, the Executive Office will verify all the information provided and notify the complainant within three working days whether the case is accepted. If it is accepted, the Executive Office will look into it, and write to the travel agent, tourist guide and registered shop concerned asking them to provide a written explanation each within 21 days. The Executive Office will then send the written explanations to the complainant, and try to help the parties concerned to reach a settlement.
- Our tourist guide has taken us to some shops designated by our travel agent. Can we request a refund if we are not satisfied with our purchases?
Yes. You will be fully refunded if you make the request within six months (for visitors from mainland China) or 14 days (for overseas visitors). However, you must present the original receipt together with the purchased items, which must be undamaged and on which there must be no wear and tear because of use.
- What should I do if I fulfil the requirements for a full refund?
If you are still in Hong Kong, you should request your tourist guide or receiving agent to help you to return your purchases for a full refund. If you have already left Hong Kong, you should contact the mainland tour operator, the Hong Kong receiving agent or the registered shop concerned for a refund.
- I am 60 years old and retired. And my son is a teacher. Can our travel agent charge us additional charges?
No. Except for optional activities, travel agents are not allowed to charge tour members because of their leaving the tour group, their age or occupation, etc.
- Does a watch with its bracelet adjusted meet the conditions for a full refund?
If the watch bracelet is adjusted by a registered shop at the request of a customer, who then leaves the shop with the watch, the shop must not refuse to refund on the grounds that the bracelet has been adjusted, and must offer a full refund to the customer so long as the watch is undamaged and on which there is no wear and tear because of use.
- According to the Refund Protection Scheme (Registered Shops) for Inbound Tour Group Shoppers, is it true that visitors must return their purchases to the registered shops within 14 days after purchase in order to enjoy the full refund guarantee?
No. Overseas visitors who make a refund request within 14 days after purchase are entitled to a full refund, whereas visitors from mainland China need to make a refund request within six months after purchase.
- Suppose a visitor asks a registered shop for a refund, and the shop is only willing to offer a replacement instead of a refund. Does the shop violate its refund pledge?
If the visitor asks for a refund and the shop does not comply even though the purchased item fulfils the refund conditions, that already constitutes a violation of the refund pledge.
- Is it true that receipts issued by registered shops must have a "full refund protection" phrase printed in accordance with rules set down by the TIC?
All receipts issued by registered shops must be printed with the phrase of full refund protection. For shops which receive mainland China's inbound tour groups, the receipts must be printed with the phrase "Six-month, full refund protection (the purchased item shall be undamaged and there shall be no wear and tear because of use)" in Chinese. For shops which receive overseas inbound tour groups, the receipts must be printed with the phrase "14-day, full refund protection (the purchased item shall be undamaged and there shall be no wear and tear because of use)" in both Chinese and English.
Apart from that, the TIC also requires that receipts should not be printed with any provisions at odds with the phrase.
- Suppose a registered shop agrees to refund a tourist for an purchased item but wants to charge a fee for the damaged packaging. Does the shop violate its refund pledge?
A registered shop must make a full refund to the tourist who makes a refund request by presenting the original receipt together with the purchased items, which must be undamaged and on which there must be no wear and tear because of use. A shop must not charge any handling fee for any reason or deduct any fee from the refund for damaged packaging. If the shop does not make a full refund, that already constitutes a violation of the refund pledge.