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Aussie Tourist Tells: Phuket Beach Club Charged 300 Baht Plus Tax for Loungers

Aussie Tourist Tells: Phuket Beach Club Charged 300 Baht Plus Tax for Loungers

Friday, November 21, 2014
PHUKET: An Australian tourist has told how he paid an extra 700 baht for just an hour's time spent on a couple of loungers after having lunch at a Phuket beach club.

John Quinn, 64, from the Gold Coast, said last night he wanted to warn others that overcharging still appears to be popular on the holiday island.

''My wife and I had lunch at the Bliss Beach Club on Saturday,'' he told Phuketwan last night. ''We paid 1600-1700 baht for it, that's about what we would have paid for it in Australia.

''Then we relaxed on a couple of beach chairs for an hour. We were charged 300 baht each, plus an extra 106 baht in service charge and VAT, for one hour on the chairs. I couldn't believe it.''

Mr Quinn's outing was at first thought to be at the Bliss South Beach Patong resort but a spokesperson said last night: ''The Bliss has no beach chairs. Beach chairs are prohibited on Patong by the local government, Sir.''

Mr Quinn and his wife Debbie have spent 16 days in the Phuket region and head home today with a soured view of Saturday's expensive outing.

Mr Quinn said last night: ''I've been to Thailand three times and I find it appealing because it reminds me of the way Australia used to be in the '60s and '70s.''

A dentist friend recommended that he visit the Bliss Beach Club and the sunbeds by the beach seemed a natural place to relax after a good meal.

''I am still thinking about retiring here but I hope the overchargers are banished before I consider that,'' Mr Quinn said.

Khun Eak, the manager at Bliss Beach Club, apologised for the misunderstanding today. He said that there were notices telling guests about the extra charge for the loungers that the Quinns must have not spotted.

The 300 baht per sunbed price had been in place for about a year, Khun Eak said.

*Too much Bliss. Phuketwan apologises for confusion about the location of the beach loungers in an earlier report. The correct Bliss became plain on production of the receipt today.

Comments

Comments have been disabled for this article.

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'I am still thinking about retiring here but I hope the scammers are banished before I consider that,'

Well that gave me my first laugh of the day. have a long and prosperous life Mr Quinn (64), but don't hold your breath.

Posted by Mister Ree on November 21, 2014 08:52

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Yeah... I can believe it....Bloody amazing that it is still allowed to happen....Now where is all that talk, bluster and promises gone....down the sewer like most of the announcements made....just finished my daily walk along Patong Beach.....the crap that is being left by the vendors overnight is a dangerous offence to the eyes....time for the Or Bor Tor truck to come along and have another clean-up

Posted by Phuket Stan on November 21, 2014 09:23

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Does anyone else feel the government only ever cleaned the beaches up ready for the Beach games and now they are letting it all slide back down to what it always was?

Posted by Syd on November 21, 2014 09:41

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Are they what you call Lotus Australis?

Posted by Manowar on November 21, 2014 09:44

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Mr and mrs Quinn experience the normal Patong 'way of life'. I can ensure Mr Quinn that during the rest of his life nothing will change in Patong. Mr Quinn, foreigners are money pigs, you rip them off. cheat/scam them. Mr Quinn better consider other locations on Phuket were it is the same, but lesser. Perhaps mr Quinn should read PW article in which is mentioned 14 government departments taking bribes. I can ensure mr Quinn that Patong is not like Australia in '60s and '70s, as he experienced, and it never will be.

Posted by Kurt on November 21, 2014 09:55

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I was laughing about that..TAX...! TAX! hahahahaha, That chair rental boy sure know how to rip off. If mr Quinn realize that this chair boy not pay TAX ( To whom?), but that in Patong the words TAX or RENT mean ..Tea money for 'authorities'. ( pick 1 of 14 departments).

Posted by Kurt on November 21, 2014 10:04

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while its illegal and thats wrong, you always ask the price first

Posted by Michael on November 21, 2014 10:38

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Chair tax there found a new one what's next scenery tax oh how they love first timers on Phuket.

Posted by slickmelb on November 21, 2014 11:57

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"while its illegal and thats wrong, you always ask the price first"

What is illegal? Renting out chairs on private land is not illegal at all. Am I correct in all that happened is that after lunch they decided to rent some beach chairs without asking the price?

Posted by stevenl on November 21, 2014 12:29

Editor Comment:

Charging extra for chairs close to the beach is not standard in other parts of the world. It would be normal to think that as a paying lunch guest, you could shift to take in the view without additional expense. These chairs, by the way, couldn't have been on the beach because that would be illegal.

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Mr Stevenl, thai renting out chairs/umbrellas on public land is illegal. Funny things is, it is unknown what fine the 'chair owner' will get per chair. If you drive without helmet the fine is 500 thb. I not understand your writing regarding before or after lunch. What has a meal to do with this matter?

Posted by Kurt on November 21, 2014 13:36

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Who in his right mind could assume that when you as a paying customer in a restaurant move from one set of chairs to another one, there will be a substantial fee charged.

Posted by Herbert on November 21, 2014 13:40

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Shame that - eyes firmly shut! And to other comments "always been like that". It hasnt! Phuket changed after mid 80's when tourists made way there in huge numbers and totally wrecked the island paradise. About 25yrs too late..

Posted by Anonymous on November 21, 2014 14:22

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Buckle in for a long read. I thought best not to reply but sometimes
things can't be left unsaid. I will try to keep it entertaining for those
that can go the distance.
I would like bring to the attention of all readers that the year is 2014.
The golden days of a 20baht tom yum are gone. Phuket has become a resort
island and the prices reflect that.
Bliss Beach Club is situated on private land. That land is owned by the
same people that own Bliss. Bliss survived the beach clean up because it
was constructed in compliance with all zoning and public land laws. To
this day we do not put out beach chairs on the beach. They are kept on our
land and as a result we reserve the right to charge a premium. This isn't
just an arbitrary number that we decided on. After breaking down the cost
of purchasing the sun beds, maintaining them, hiring staff to move them
around the club, having staff to offer towels, the cost of purchasing
towels, the cost of laundering the towels and paying the tax to operate as
a business, we decided that 300baht was a fair amount. It is also a mere
fraction of what any other beach club charges for the same service.
Unfortunately the cashier that processed the bill was unaware that the
chairs are 300baht total, inclusive of tax and service charge. My
sincerest apologies for extra charge of 53.1baht as it was a genuine
mistake and something I have spoken to all staff about. In regards to
paying tax, we are not a bare-chested young man strolling along the beach
charging unsuspecting tourists and pocketing all the money without giving
back to the country. We pay our tax. If we do not charge for it then we
would be paying it out of our own pockets. This would defeat the purpose
of owning a business.
We open at 11am and close at midnight. You may settle into a sun bed at
11am and leave thirteen hours later. You will be charged the same 300baht.
The cost of the use of the sun beds is fixed. Alternatively we could
install meters next to each sun bed and charge by the minute. Or we could
install coin operated automatic sun beds that are pre-paid and issue a
shrill alert bell before collapsing in on themselves unless more coins are
added. But that would be stupid. And the technology alone would be
expensive and as such we would have to increase the price which is what
started the issue in the first place.
The cost of the food was 1600 to 1700baht. That is what you would have
paid in Australia. Perhaps, if you would again grace us with your
presence, I could introduce you to Alex, my Australian chef. He runs a
brigade of thirteen staff and refuses to compromise on the quality of
produce used. This is reflected in the price. These prices are displayed
alongside the name of each dish on the menu. We understand that we are out
of some people's price range but that is a decision we made at the outset
of our operation. We offer a fantastic product in an even better location.
The decision to dine with us is entirely up to our guests.
It is still possible to eat a good serve of Phad Thai for 40baht. You will
be eating it with a plastic fork out of a greaseproof paper bag standing
on the side of the road or perhaps, if you're lucky, sitting on a plastic
chair. You can drink cans of Leo beer with ice and eat fresh tropical
fruit as well. That is the choice that is open to everyone. It is still
possible to have a budget holiday in Phuket.
However, if you choose to enter a place that is situated, legally, on the
beach, one that suffered at the hands of illegal beach vendors
soliciting business on its doorstep, a place that is managed by
foreigners, a club that offers a number of amenities, an extensive menu
of both food and drinks as well as outdoor facilities and services, you
must understand that it will come at a cost. That cost may alienate some
potential customers, but that is the point.

Posted by Pepe Viva on November 21, 2014 14:22

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Thai business just doesn't care about repeat customers... they just want to rip them for all they can all the time. So there you go Bliss, you soaked this guy for about $75 for lunch, but you'll never see him or his friends again. You'll never learn.

Posted by Pathetic on November 21, 2014 15:38

Editor Comment:

There's probably a difference between locals, who would be aware of the expensive cost of seating by the sea, and tourists, who may assume Phuket is just like everywhere else. Bliss is a Thai business but an expat owned one.

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"Mr Stevenl, thai renting out chairs/umbrellas on public land is illegal."

Yes, but this is not public land. So what do we have: some people have lunch, after lunch decide to use two beach chairs, presuming they are included in the lunch price. It appears they are not, and they are charged 300 baht for the chair rental.

Posted by stevenl on November 21, 2014 16:28

Editor Comment:

Removable signs on the seats might help: ''Sunlounge, one hour or eight hours, 300 baht.''

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I have been to Patong 10 times; forget it move on and see how beautiful Thailand and it's people really are. Phuket is run totally by the mafia/p@lice = same same. Yep the drugs, hotels, washing is all part of the same deal. Just forget your bad experience and try a nicer part. A certain type of person chooses to live on Phuket.

Posted by Anonymous on November 21, 2014 16:45

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(moderated)

Posted by Anonymous on November 21, 2014 17:34

Editor Comment:

Other sites can and do allow it but as a matter of fairness, anonymous commenters are not permitted to criticise real, live people at PW.

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So in other words, yes they were ripped off/ overcharged but not by as much as they thought.

Posted by Manowar on November 21, 2014 17:36

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Isn't this the exact way how issues should be addressed. A complaint or issue is highlighted, the media report it, the premises concerned takes the time to provide a response from their side and we, the readers get the chance to form an opinion.

Posted by Manowar on November 21, 2014 17:44

Editor Comment:

Haven't you just expressed an opinion, and now you're explaining . . . what? Readers always have the opportunity to form an opinion. Whether those opinions are worthwhile expressing is another matter. We usually defend real-life individuals and businesses against anonymous, misplaced criticism. That policy is not going to change.

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Excellent retort, Pepe Viva. Excellent!

I may even pop along in a few days to have lunch.

Posted by Smithy on November 21, 2014 17:48

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Jet-ski already came back. In Bangla this morning I saw touts (farangs) and motorbike for rent parked in front of Tiger (started with 2 now are 8). Goooood.. After some months I hope somethings could change Bangla road looks like same before. Missing only lorises, but I'm sure will come soon.. NO HOPE FOR PHUKET REVOLUTION.. so to be rip off is normal: welcome to Phuket!!

Posted by dave on November 21, 2014 17:54

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Actually, Bliss is on Bang Tao beach.

And it scat first place Beach Club, on a private land.

300THB per beach bed is not expensive , Nikki charges 1,500THB.

Yes, food in beach clubs is expensive (actually what is on offer in Bliss I do not like at all...).

But it is sheer lack of understanding by the customer that he got into a beach club , most of patrons know it well..

I guess menu beside food state a price for sunbeds.

Although Bliss is not very glitzy place and as been said food sucks(at least for foodies), the one has the best facilities for kids along a beach : there is a safe zone , with various kind of installations , small pool , where they can play safely and have large territory for that and can found many mates to play with.

Actually , what is described by Khun Tourist is NON-ISSUE, there is no actual material problem whatsoever.

At first glance, I thought it was some F&B point at Patong, but if it's Bliss on Bang Tao what is described is all OK.

Posted by Sue on November 21, 2014 18:57

Editor Comment:

Signs on the seats would solve the problem. Strangers are not expected to know the odd ways on Phuket.

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Pepe reply tells a completely different story, but he should also tell his staff to advise people that the chairs do cost money to rent a simple sign would suffice, if staff are embaressed

Posted by Michael on November 21, 2014 19:06

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Every where to some degree is the same in all tourist areas, example Cairns, Surfers Paradise, Eilat, South of France by the sea, prices are always high. In the UK though I think if you charge VAT and are not VAT registered you go to jail, VAT is Customs and Excise and have huge powers. I don't think the Aussies would mess around if you charged GST either. This is Thailand and people come here because it is different. If this was London or Sydney and you had people coming who looked different and had 10/100 times the money in many cases there would be a lot more violence. Thailand is a but ambitious with the money but safer than the West. If it was the same it would not have it's charm. There was news today that a foreigner on a Bangkok airlies flight attacked a female flight crew pinned her to the floor opened her shirt and opened his trousers and then was restrained by customers. They banned him but Police took no further action. Thais are very forgiving, but in this case too forgiving the guy should go to jail drunk or not, you do not attack a lady, ever.

Posted by Feisty Farang on November 21, 2014 19:44

Editor Comment:

We'd like to read an account from a reliable source before making judgements about that particular case.

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This happens when the demand is bigger then the offer, prices are rising,as long as the beach chairs and umbrellas not come back in a controlled way by the local or bor tor the prices will rise.
Niki beach charges 5000 baht and more depending on the location of your chair. Thats a bigger scam then 300 at this beach club.

Posted by Eric on November 21, 2014 20:20

Editor Comment:

Exclusivity can be a point of difference but if times ever get tough on a one-industry island, prices will drop rapidly. Let's see how many takers there are next July.

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Sounds like he was "Blissfully" unaware of the rip off!

Posted by Mr Wolf on November 22, 2014 06:42

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if prices are on the menu and loungers
i can't see a prob
i would just walk in - look at the prices
if it was too expensive walk out, go somewhere else
job done

Posted by ayjay on November 22, 2014 07:15

Editor Comment:

Making sure the price is on the seat solves the issue.

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Strange story. The price for private sun lounges, not expensive at all actually is now subject to a news story? It's a free economy, making money is the purpose and considered clever and nothing else. Others charged 500 Baht and some famous beach club 1.000 Baht. So what?

Posted by Hajo on November 22, 2014 09:06

Editor Comment:

Ethics require people to know the price of their purchases, Hajo. If you walked into a restaurant and there were no prices on the menu, would you stay long? If someone sits down on a seat at a beach club, without knowing they are actually later going to be charged for it - plus VAT and service percentage - that's plainly a ripoff. You think that's standard procedure? You think that's not news? I am horrified.
Anyone who pays 1000 baht for a beach lounger clearly has more money than sense. Even on Phuket, scams should have upward limits.

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What is all the fuse about , Bliss is a private beach club and a beautifully located one ate that . So the food is expensive , it would be at that prime location , staff rent and lighting cost money .
I remember when catch had there chairs on the beach , they where on a public beach and they where a lot more than 300 baht .Nikkie beach is 5000 for a large sun bed for a group ReKata is 1000 baht for a sum bed for the day .
Private businesses on private land can charge what they like . May I make a suggestion to John , next time you are in phuket you could always sit on a cement table outside 7 11 and buy a 30 baht beer and a mama noodle and sit and watch the trafic go traffic go by . There are places for everyone on phuket Island to suit everyone's budget .

Posted by Tony Kenny on November 22, 2014 10:56

Editor Comment:

The ''fuse'' is about being charged for products without being told you might have to pay for them, Tony. Go to a store and you expect to have every item labelled with its price tag. The same principle applies with resorts and beach clubs. This couple had lunch then went to relax outside, as you would expect to be able to do at no extra cost in many places. They were charged 706 baht for giving their bums a rest for an hour. They didn't know the chairs were gold-plated. Most people would be equally incensed. The answer is that beach chairs at places frequented by tourists, who don't understand the weird and whacky world of Phuket, should have price labels on them, just like any other product.

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I pay 5000 every Sunday at Nikkie beach Ed .
I do not feel ripped of at all , I do not have more money than sense I just enjoy spending what money I have on what pleases me .

Posted by Tony Kenny on November 22, 2014 11:04

Editor Comment:

The point of the story is about being told in advance that your bum is costing you money. What you do with your money is your affair. You must be the one who prefers loud noise to the sound of the surf.

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To Pepe Viva.,,,,, thank u for that.. u so nailed it... it is NOT a rip off as long as customers knows.. and damn if people don't see what u just told... i will soon have Lunch at Bliss, see Ya.

Posted by frog on November 22, 2014 11:41

Editor Comment:

''As long as customers know.'' And people arestill entitled to view any product or service as a rip-off if it is overpriced.

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I love the sound of the music beating away to the surf . I love it at Nikkie beach , bliss ,catch , bimi , and a lot of other places . When I go home to my villa it is beautifully peacfull .

Posted by Tony Kenny on November 22, 2014 12:02

Editor Comment:

How wonderful your life must be, Tony. We are all so deeply envious.

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I respect your opinion editor, but calling something a ripp-off or a scam is quite a serious accusation. If someone considers the price high or rather low is subject to personal opinion. You can see from the reader replies, this is all relative. 1.700 Baht for lunch, so what? A good bottle of wine is 2.000 and even 5.000 Baht for lunch is quite normal. Is a Rolex a ripp-off? Sure, prices should be indicated somewhere and I'm pretty sure they are. Someone did not look and also did not ask. No, I don't think this is worth a story in a newspaper. It's not news.

Posted by Hajo on November 22, 2014 12:20

Editor Comment:

It's a scam if someone sits on a beach chair and is billed extra for that without knowing they were going to be charged. It's a rip-off if something of a certain value is vastly overpriced.
In the Bliss case, there appears to have been a misunderstanding. The reasonable way to settle that is to offer the unknowing customer a full refund.
Anyone who fails to put a price, clearly upfront, on any item runs the risk of being accused of scamming customers. Some resorts still even charge for wi-fi, which is both a scam and a rip-off.
Unless I misjudge human nature, most readers who do not have a financial stake in resorts and restaurants find news about scams, ripoffs and misunderstandings to be newsworthy. PW is not a newspaper. If it was, though, we think 50 baht per copy would be the appropriate price. We're worth more than twice as much as the 20-baht products combined.

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Most hotels in cities still charge for internet as the infrastructure actually costs a fortune and needs replacement every 3 to 4 years. This has of course nothing to do with ripping off people. In Phuket people expect best service for free, a mentality apparently protected by PW, which is not a newspaper but a news website? Many hotels now start charging for faster Internet and give speed limited web access free of charge. A good solution, I believe. Anyway, it is up to Bliss how much they can charge for their chairs. Maybe someone from Bliss could inform readers where and how prices are indicated?

Posted by Hajo on November 22, 2014 13:38

Editor Comment:

What people expect, Hajo, is to see price tags on products. As the visit by the tourists from Australia proves, it's a mistake for proprietors to assume that everyone knows the peculiarities of Phuket. To be charged VAT and a service fee as well adds injury to insult. What the exchange has proved so far is that there are plenty of people on Phuket who fail to see the equation from the perspective of their customers. That's a shame, and a mistake on their part.
For example, a resort that provides a mosquito spray for guests is very sensible. But a resort that fails to put a price tag on the mosquito spray, then charges the guest once it's used, is not treating the guests fairly. I am surprised to have to tell you that people expect the best service for free everywhere.

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I'm 100% with Pepe on this one.

It would appear that a lot of posters on here, and most likely the editor, have not recently visited upscale beach clubs in international destinations.

Clearly there was an unfortunate misunderstanding about the charge for use of the loungers. But saying 300 baht is a rip off is laughable.

Phuket has become an international destination with a range of facilities to cater to every budget. As the destination matures, Phuket can only benefit from a shift away from mass market Cheap Charlies toward independent travellers with a higher average daily spend.

Don't want to drop THB 1000 on lunch or 280 for a beer? No worries - there is a bar stool waiting for you in Kamala or Rawai. But dismissing the up market trade as a scam or a rip off only reveals how little you yourself probably contribute to the local economy.

Check the calendar. This isn't 1976.

Posted by Matt on November 22, 2014 13:45

Editor Comment:

The rip-off is being charged an extra 706 baht without warning at a club where you've just spent 1600-1700 baht for lunch. It's admitted that the 106 baht for VAT and service was in error. A more sympathetic person would ask for the contacts for the couple and offer them a full refund. These Bliss customers have been poorly treated.

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"What people expect, Hajo, is to see price tags on products" - just back from Tesco and a quick drive through of Makro - very hard to find prices on many products - perhaps PW could do a story on that too. It must be a slow news week at PW.

Its very clear to any readers that PW has its own agenda in relation to sunbeds on the beach. Now you are attacking a private operator for charging to use his own property.

Absolutely shameful

Posted by Phuket Saviour on November 22, 2014 14:38

Editor Comment:

We've never ''had an agenda'' in relation to sunbeds but when the military cleared them from the beaches, PW and most other people could see instantly that Phuket is much better off without them. It's odd to find someone who can walk through a supermarket and not be able to see the prices. No doubt you have a conspiracy theory for that, too.
This is about a couple not being told their bums were racking up a big bill, without warning. Either that's too simple for you, PS, or maybe you're too simple for it.

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When I first came to Phuket there was none of the developments you see today, it was a tranquil island paradise. greed, and commercialisation has taken a massive grip, and sadly Phuket has taken on a very different form. I know that you can't stop progress, but how quickly things have changed, and indeed the Island has become IMHO, a paradise lost.

Posted by reader on November 22, 2014 15:59

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@ Pepe

A very well articulated response with which I to some degree agree with but one that unfortunately misses the point.

It is unreasonable to expect tourists to be aware of having to pay when they move within the compounds of the business they are a paying customer of from one set of arranged seating to another one.

Whatever signage you have posted is obviously not visible enough. A benevolent business owner would have given the guests the benefit of doubt and not charged them.

This is where the rip off comes into play.

Charge for something which is not commonly known to carry a charge, fail to signpost it clearly enough and refuse to compromise.

As to the VAT and service charge error - I can't help but to wonder what kind of POS (Point of Sales) system you use. If the Sun Bed is one sales item among many others, as the receipt suggests, then the billing is automatic and slaps on both service charge and VAT.

To me it sounds like whoever programmed the POS machine is at fault, not the cashier but feel free to correct my assumption if I'm in the wrong.

As to Phuket having become a resort island with prices to match - yes, agreed. But also ONLY prices to match. Nothing else is anywhere near the level of quality and service you would expect for example at Burleigh Heads. Using that since Australia was drawn into as a price comparison.

The cost of labor, rent, insurance, raw materials and taxes is nowhere near what you as a business owner would have to pay in Australia, yet you see it fit to charge at the same price level.

Yes, nobody is forced in so customers can choose but please save us from trying to justify it with such comparisons.

In addition, and naturally unrelated to you and your business, just about everything on Phuket is seriously lacking. Take public transport, infrastructure, law enforcement, environmental protection, garbage disposal, social equality or whatever the criteria is you wish to use to label Phuket a resort island AND thus justify pricing levels equal to Australia.

You run a business and as such you will of course try to make the most profit you can. Nothing wrong with that and I wish you all the best. What riles me up however is your hypocritical rant about how you try to justify developed nation price levels.

Posted by Herbert on November 22, 2014 16:22

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A big bill - 600 THB - 15 euro - are you having a laugh.

This story is about 15 euro - nuff said

Posted by phuketsaviour on November 22, 2014 17:56

Editor Comment:

The story is about a principle. Go pay your bribes, your graft, your overcharges, your ripoffs, your scams. Just don't kid yourself that you can tell right from wrong.

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And people are still entitled to view any product or service as a rip-off if it is overpriced"... Who can be the judge for something being overpriced? if u think it is overpriced just leave it be and go elsewhere.. but when the case is that u order 2 drinks and get to pay for 3 , that is a rip off. or what the jet skis tend to make standard... but charging for quality could barely be a rip of Mr Morrison... u got ur head where it shouldn't be... don't embarrising urself with bad journalismn..

Posted by frog on November 22, 2014 19:03

Editor Comment:

Every individual makes decisions on a daily basis about whether they are getting value for money in their life for every purchase, frog. But you do need to be told what the price is. Had the tourists in this case been told ''Those two seats will cost you 300 baht each plus VAT plus service charge whether you sit on them for 10 minutes or 10 hours'' their bums would have been out of there fast. Jet-ski operators quote their prices, without fail.

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It appears that a majority of contributors to this thread have reading comprehension problems: the main thrust of this article is NOT about the (arguably) high prices of the loungers or other services at the establishment in question -- it's about a proper lack of communication in regard to pricing which is the restaurant's responsibility -- not the customers!

I'm no cheapo and have money to pay but if they'd have given me that bill for loungers after I'd just spent a good sum at their restaurant I'd have told them where to stick it.

Posted by Gforcejunky on November 23, 2014 04:59

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If a Buisness invests a lot of money on location,ex pensive kitchens , decoration and qualified cooks and staff, then obviously, the higher prices they charge are quite normal. They also pay a lot of tax. All over the world you have cheap fast foods and gourmet restaurants, and who expects them to charge the same prices ? A decent meal anywhere in Europe will cost you at least 2000 Baht per person, more depending on your drinks.i have been in Australia on holidays, and I can tell you it was very expensive ! I don't complain about it though, I chose to go there.

Posted by Elizabeth on November 23, 2014 05:06

Editor Comment:

I wish I could join you sometime, Elizabeth. However, prices are not the issue here.

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Pepe's response is great! To those that might not know him or Bliss Beach Cub, I say reserve your comments till you visit and spend a day! The beach loungers are at a price and we were told that price up front on every visit and there are signs posted, although maybe not on every lounger. They are Beach Loungers and come with towel service. There are also showers and a pool to rinse off after a beach swim, all included. There is plenty of other seating inside and outside that is free, all day long for paying customer if you like.

I frequent Bliss (was there last weekend) and had frequented many other beach clubs that are gone because they freeloaded on the public, in my opinion Bliss is reasonable priced. An unlike other viewers opinions, I think the food is fantastic, at a price, but a very good value with all the facilities for our family! And on top of not only paying their taxes, Bliss is a charitable neighbor! They recently threw an entirely free all nigh event for charity, not charging one stang for rental, organizing great food for free, and being a gracious host! This event put around 400K baht into a well deserving charity project assisting the less fortunate in Phuket! They could of throw a beach party and put that extra money into their own pockets - the choose charity!

I shall be back to Bliss many times and still see it as a great value on a great beach!

Thanks to Pepe, the owners, and the staff for you Beach Club and being a great family club and a great neighbor!

Posted by Brad kenny on November 23, 2014 09:02

Editor Comment:

Yes, Bliss is clearly going to be a beneficiary of the closure of other beach places. We've given it good marks in a review but it's not a budget affair. The only real point is whether these customers were treated well or not. I don't give Pepe a big tick for consumer relations this time around.

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@ Kurt...Your not all there are you?

Posted by Chalongresident on November 23, 2014 10:15

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As I said earlier, of course the price is published. It was purely the Aussi customers fault, not to care, not to read, not to ask. My judgment remains the same: the story is unfair, incorrect and not newsworthy. The editor should apologize to the business accused here. And no, I have stake in the company.

Posted by Hajo on November 23, 2014 10:20

Editor Comment:

Definitely not the customer's fault, Hajo. No signs on the seats. Service is a big part of Tourism, one of our key areas of coverage. Pepe should have refunded the tourists their money, or at least asked for the email address to apologise. You display no care for genuine complaints from customers. Phuket at its best.

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@ Pepe Viva, your effort to try and justify charging a customer 300b for moving a few feet to another chair after already having had a meal at your club was pathetic. Word of mouth advertising is priceless, I'll definitely be spreading the word.

Posted by Chalongresident on November 23, 2014 10:23

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My apologies... must have had my head up my ass .. they should have had been informed in one way or another if that is what happen. ofcoz they should.. no need to say everything else again. / Frog

Posted by frog on November 23, 2014 10:31

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@ ed

Have you already visited the beach club and seen how the setup is? Are there signs or is it otherwise obvious the beach chairs are not part of the restaurant?

Posted by stevenl on November 23, 2014 11:49

Editor Comment:

The set-up is not relevant. The signs should be on the sunbeds to prevent just this kind of disaster - contented customers alienated by poor service. The issue should have been resolved on the spot with generous understanding by staff, from the customers' perspective. I am surprised the Aussie couple were charged and allowed to go, clearly disenchanted. They will tell 100 others.

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@Peper Maybe the term Rip-off is not the right one her but for me GREED is at least on its place. Your well written defence is humerous on a few points bit your softening words / excuse for your compabies VAT mistake is weak and hilarious. After having a decent lunch in one at the same place the customers should have been clearly informed that switching from one chair to another on the same premises should start another parking $$$ bill. If it had happened to me my reaction would have been depending on the way they convinced me of proper signing and warning for this greedy measurement. BIt most likely my answer would be heard and read by many.
For me it is incredible to have to pay for a seat or entry when I'm coming/or just spend a serious amount of money.

I live far over 10 years on this island and changes like you introduce now are for me the reason to want to move away from. You introduce something nasty and on a bed choose moment. Till recently I had somw places to choose from where I could enjoy sitting on the beach. Feet in the sand and as long I spend money like I'm willing and used to do so. NO ONE ever charged me a baht for used sitting a short time on one of the empty launchers. For me you are a disgrace by doing so. They always knwe I would be back in a few days. By the way DO I also need to pay for using your toilet?

@Sue. The places who charge 1.500 baht and more for a beach chair is what I would call RipOff.

Posted by phuketgreed on November 24, 2014 13:41

Editor Comment:

Your opinions are your own as always, PG. What may have been overlooked is that 12 months ago, when the 300 baht charge was imposed, according to the Bliss manager, most of Phuket's beaches were covered in sunbeds. Tourists would have quickly realised that sunbeds cost money. But now . . . the Bliss sunbeds are among the few remaining on the island. To expect tourists to know Phuket's history of being charged for sunbeds is asking too much.

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@phuketgreed

First, please differentiate the products :

sunbeds WITHIN beach clubs, that provides facilities - bathroom, shower, pool;vs.sunbed just on a beach.
Sunbed+umbrella cost in Bliss 300THB(10USD),
In Europe, say on Formentera is. near Ibiza is., at Playa d'es Arenals, just sunbed on the beach costs more - 9EUR(11USD), and the same amount costs a parasol.
On Miami beach again just sunbed costs already more than in Bliss 12-15USD, and umbrella the same amount.
In beach clubs sunbed(ok, usually cabana) on Miami beach or Clearwater near St.Petersburg in FL costs 100-300USD per day, in Europe on average 50-250EUR per day.

In accordance to marketing science, customers are segmented by tiger spending power, in this case there are people who are willing and able to sound less than 50THB per person per day on Phuket beaches, there are those who spends under 500THB pppd, there those who can, may and wish to spend up to 5000THB per day per person and so on.
It is very wrong to perceive whole continuum of beach goers through the prism of that segment to which one belongs.

Second, I need to clarify that cited Nikki beach sunbeds prices can be used in full against F&B charges , so it is quite a difference that just sunbed price, so it is very good deal.
5000THB is charged for a big bed capable to accommodate up to 4 persons , so it is just 1250THB per person.
10000THB cost same beach bed in the 1st line, so 2500THB per person, redeemable against food and beverage, just 65EUR, it is cheaper than in Nikki Beach clubs in their other locations.
Although Nikki carries both problems with external dimension - noise pollution of surrounding, and problems with internal dimension - so small and over-chlorinated pool, coupled with obviously insufficient pressure of tap water in the area, that results that single shower hardly serves its purpose, and all the sweat, hairs and sands successfully washed out in the pool.
Still, food is good there, and buffets are even offer very good value for the price.

As one who drives Hiatsu should not claim that Mercedes Benz is over-priced,
similarly one who drives Mercedes Benz should not claim Ferrari is overpriced,
as well as those who drive Ferrari should not claim that Bugatti is overpriced,
same one who is within one spending segment should claim that products that are consumed by segment of higher brackets are over-priced: they are simply beyond budget and preferences of lower spending segments, but in no way over-priced - things should be called by its proper name, and to express jealousity and mask it under "over-priced" tag makes no good, it is necessary just to accept that there various segments.

Third, although for me and majority of others, Bliss is at first place beach club and then restaurant, I see that for Mr.Quinn, as well as many others , it is at first place restaurant , and they may be not aware that it is a beach club at all and what a beach club business concept means.
Yes, of course, let's put then on sunbeds some info tags or sheets that elaborate on conditions, if that is not apparent for some customers from menu etc.
Regardless that such info tags would looks excessive for those in the know, surely they will be helpful for others.
As I said Bliss has it strong points and some, in my opinion weak points - to be more precisely, it's not food itself that sucks there but menu, but my demands in terms of food may be beyond of average customers, so most of them seems to be satisfied.

Posted by Sue on November 24, 2014 16:57

Editor Comment:

With sunbeds gone from Phuket beaches, many tourists won't know there's a charge associated with the ones on private properties.Signs become more essential.

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@Herbert

May I ask you what is wrong with VAT amount calculation on the receipt above?

Chapter 4 on VAT of the Revenue code is construed on the basis of the EU VAT Directive ( as well as UStG, which as I understood is well known to you); Thailand administrative courts as well as using ECJ decisions to interpret VAT provisions , and all secondary legislation on VAT incl.clarifications follows VAT Directive, therefore

taxable amount here is 660THB, and split into service charge and principal amount is irrelevant for VAT assessment.

Those who doesn't charge VAT on service portion definitely are going to inflict a sword of taxman on nearest VAT audit.

Posted by Sue on November 24, 2014 17:09

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How can 1600-1700THB=60AUD fine-dining style full lunch for two can be regarded Aistralian level of prices?
My understanding that meal in a restaurant without wine, costs like 100AUD per person.

On my only visit to Australia, I remember that even beyond hotel, at Brisbane Marina Mirage mall outdoor cafe at marina adjacent to my hotel at Seaworld dr., I paid more than 40 AUD for just small-size chicken masala and 2 soft drinks. ??

Posted by Sue on November 24, 2014 17:32

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This is actually good publicity for Bliss.
The receipt shows what is actually being paid and more important how cheap it is compared to other places.

Posted by Paul on November 27, 2014 16:01


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