A disgruntled local tourist was outraged at the overcharging of meal fees by a Kamala-based restaurant, eventually resulting in the district’s regional police chief to mediate between the opposing parties.
A social media post, dated July 7th, by Lalita Chaiyasit, the restaurant customer, outlined how NaNork Sunset restaurant in Kamala overcharged her family’s during their dining experience.
Ms. Chaiyasit, in her social media post, said:
“Warning for Phuket tourists. Today my family and I are travelling. We bought four lobsters, and then we ordered a restaurant to cook and added some more dishes.”
She also added:
“When seeing the bill, we were shocked by the prices of fried squid for 2,500 baht and spicy curry pork for 850 baht. We ordered a lobster as sashimi, but we did not get it. The food was inedible, it did not taste right. We can eat some, but we already invested and expected the food to make us wow. (sic.) We can pay, but not for this overprice 55555.”
The customer balked at the curry dish’s cost, price 850 baht, and the 2,500 baht priced fried squid.
The restaurant bill also charged a 3,000 baht cooking fee, resulting in the online tirade by Ms. Chaiyasit.
The billed totaled 6,750 baht, including several other dishes the family had ordered the restaurant.
Ms. Chaiyasit, later in the post, clarified that it was not her who ordered food. Instead, the order was placed by a tour guide who accompanied her family from the hotel.
“I just stayed at my hotel and ordered my tour guild to do it. PS. We have only just learned that a hotel staffer has suggested this restaurant to our guide.”
The owner of NaNork Sunset, Sitthithep Precha, explained to officials that Ms. Chaiyasit’s tour guide placed a food order for ten people.
He explained that the tour guide specified the order to be: lobsters which were to be made into sashimi and fried with three different sauces; a Caranx fish to be made into sashimi and steamed with lime; two Grouper fish to be cooked with chili sauce; an order tom yum, and kaeng som curry.
The restaurant owner said:
“We only talked with the tour guide, not the customer when they came to order.”
He also clarified:
“We charged 3,000 baht for cooking. The amount of food cooked was for ten people. In total 2 kilograms of fried squid was cooked, for which we charged 250 baht per one-person serving, and the same for spicy curry pork.”
The customer challenged the restaurant’s pricing, which resulted in the bill being discounted at least three times.
The owner said:
“When the customer called and told us that it was too expensive, we negotiated and ended the deal at the price of 4,900 baht, but she transferred to us only 4,000 baht.”
The incident eventually garnered the attention of Kamala Police Chief, Col Chaiyaphruk Phatiworakorn, resulting in him mediating between Mr. Precha and Ms. Chaiyasit to make amends over the “misunderstanding.”
Present in the meeting between the altercating parties were the Phuket Department of Commerce representative, Yaowapha Phongkheha, and officers from Dharongdharma Center (Ombudsman’s Office), and Tourist Police.
The meeting concluded with both parties apologizing to each other, settling their differences.
Phuket Commerce Chief Phongkheha, commenting on the incident, said:
“The prices that the restaurant set for the food they serve are reasonable, not too high as explained in the post. The prices of food are clearly shown in their menu.”
After the incident, Deputy Chief of the Kamala Tambon Administration Organisation, Seri Lapmak, reminded business owners not to overcharge tourists.
“We understand that this covid-19 situation is a hard time for everyone, and certainly not the time to charge high prices. Please set prices to be suitable for Thai tourists. I do not want any tourists being overcharged.”
The business deputy of Kamala, Mr. Lapmak, provided his office’s hotline numbers for tourists to call on if they have been overcharged:
“Please call me on 081-5371334, or the Kamala OrBorTor at 076-385640.”
Source: The Phuket News