BANGKOK – Charoen Wangananont, President of the Thai Travel Agents Association want authorities to take decisive action against the Sriayudhya Seafood Market, in Bangkok that reportedly overcharged four Chinese tourists for a meal.
The Sriayudhya Seafood Market Restaurant charged them 8,840 baht for a meal, including 17% value-added tax and a “mandatory” 800-baht tip. The legal VAT is 7%.
A image of the restaurant bill and receipt has circulated widely on chat forums. It was posted by one of the four Chinese tourists who dined at the Sriayudhya seafood restaurant in the Ratchathewi area on the recommendation of their taxi driver.
The receipt shows the four diners were charged very high prices, which included 1,800 baht for fish (snapper), 1,750 baht for shrimp, and 1,600 baht for crab, with 17% VAT and an 800 baht service charge – for a total of 8,840 baht.
Charoen Wangananont, said that particular incident would not directly affect the number of Chinese tourists coming to Thailand because the country had many impressive features to please visitors.
“But if similar such incidents keep occurring without any response from the authorities there will surely be repercussions on the Chinese market,” he said.
Although the restaurant incident was relatively trivial, the government should react quickly and take action against any business operators who take unfair advantage of tourists, Charoen told the Bangkok Post.
“If the government reacts and informs the media of its actions, including the Revenue Department checking on the restaurant management charging 17% VAT and a compulsory 10% service charge, then tourism will not be affected,” Mr Charoen said.
Mr Charoen said similar things happened to tourists in China, especially in areas where seafood was served, but Chinese authorities took quick and decisive action against the businesses.
Boonyarit Kalanamit, director–general of Internal Trade Department, said restaurant diners who feel they have been treated unfairly should keep the receipt and report it to the department.
The department would send officials to inspect the restaurant, and examine their charges and determine if they were excessive. If so, the restaurant operator might face legal action under the Price of Goods and Services Act, wich provides for a maximum punishment of a 140,000 baht fine and/or a seven-year jail term.
Mr Boonyarit said the department had punished several seafood restaurants in tourist locations for such behaviours in the past, and for charging different prices for Thais and foreigners.
The restaurant could not be reached for comment despite several phone calls.
In travel ratings website TripAdvisor, many people gave poor ratings for this restaurant. Many of them wrote that they were ripped off and encouraged others not to go there.
TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights show:
Very good 2
Yesterday a taxi driver told me and my husband its a holiday in bangkok, many places are closed, he asked us to gave him 80 baht for going and return, he told us the seafood restaurant is the best in town, so we ate there, we wanted to order the food with price on the menu, but the waitress lead us to the foods that has no price on the menu book, finally we ordered a fish, a small shrimp, and two Chinese tea, they won’t give us a paper written 4200 baht, a very unreasonable price to eat, then my husband gave a credit card to the cashier, then the cashier add another 300 baht, and we have to pay by cash, which is so nonsense, but my husband paid it anyway, please do NOT go there.
Visited May 2015
It’s a SCAM. “Fishprice depends on weight” locals will be ask to choose the fish. Tourist won’t and they cook you a fish for at least 50-60$ each… I wasn’t polite at all and we negotiate from 4400 to 3800 Baht. – never go there!
Visited March 2015
A taxi driver got us there by his recommendation – prices on menu seem reasonable, but they start recommending food not in the menu, sharing plates but multiplying the price times the people in the table, etc.
We paid 3943B for four people (two children) when we have been paying between 800 and 1300B per meal during two weeks.
Good food, but BIG ROBBERY. I totally share all the others comments here (shame I didn’t read these sharings before going there)
It is the worst way to spend your last night in Thailand.