Consumer watchdog warns of hidden fees at pet hotels - RTHK
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Consumer watchdog warns of hidden fees at pet hotels

2024-06-17 HKT 13:17
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  • Consumer watchdog warns of hidden fees at pet hotels
Pet owners should study the fine print carefully when choosing a lodging for their furry friends and avoid those which are unlicensed, according to the Consumer Council.

The council randomly selected 18 licensed pet hotels across Hong Kong for study earlier this year. Only five had their fee structures published online, meaning consumers had to make enquiries, a process which could be tedious.

Different operators also had varying charging schemes. Some charged up to double the normal rate during peak periods such as the Lunar New Year holiday, while the administering of medicines or nutritional supplements all came at a cost.

In the event of injury, illness or even death, only four hotels would provide compensation of between HK$300 and HK$5,000. Eight others stated they would assume no legal liability through disclaimers.

Apart form urging pet hotel operators to be more transparent in their fee structures, the watchdog also hoped the government could amend the rules so that all licensed animal boarding providers were published on the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department's website.

On a separate note, the council conducted a survey of private camping sites in Hong Kong and found that nearly 40 percent of them were suspected of operating illegally.

Only three of the 22 venues covered in the study carried a proper licence or compliance certificate to operate a holiday camp. Authorities were verifying if any operator had breached rules.

The council also studied another seven "glamping" sites which provide extra amenities. Only three were covered by third-party liability insurance, meaning people staying at other sites may not have adequate protection in case of emergencies or accidents.

Consumer watchdog warns of hidden fees at pet hotels