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Ashleigh Allgood (left) and Selina Lienert, troubles in paradise

Jet-Ski Rip-Offs: A Holiday Adventure

Sunday, July 21, 2013
PHUKET: Rip-offs on Phuket have become a recurring nightmare for two young Australian women who faced a demand of 40,000 baht from jet-ski operators over damage the pair didn't cause.

A jet-ski being ridden by tourists Ashleigh Allgood, 22, and Selina Lienert, 21, at Patong was struck by another jet-ski - but the hirers told the Aussie pair they had to pay for the damage to both jet-skis.

After fleeing intimidation and threats on the beach from two sets of jet-ski operators, the holidaymakers were aghast to find police had been called to their resort to help the hirers get their money.

The incident began innocently enough on Wednesday when the young women paid 2000 baht to hire a jet-ski for 30 minutes. Yes, that's right: 2000 baht for 30 minutes.

The pair signed the contract without reading it. As they were returning the jet-ski to the beach, ''another jet-ski came out of nowhere, hit us, then took off,'' says Ashleigh, who was driving.

''We went straight in and they wanted 40,000 baht for the damage,'' Ashleigh said. ''We said, Are you kidding?''

A friend who had been riding another jet-ski was already on the beach. He told them that the contract liability was for a maximum of 25,000 baht.

In seeking the other couple, a man and a woman who had hired their jet-ski from another group, the Australians discovered that the couple had fled. The second company also wanted the Australians to pay for the damage.

Ashleigh said she ''ducked off'' leaving Selina to face the continuing jet-ski fury.

''The first owner was very abusive and shouting in my face,'' Selina said. ''The owner of the second jet-ski was a lot worse. He kept swearing at me. He warned us the mafia would get involved.''

Looking for independent advice before paying a fair price, both girls retreated to their resort and were surprised to find police knocking on their door soon after.

Police volunteer Wal Brown later intervened and helped to mediate with both jet-ski owners at Kathu Police Station, which oversees Patong.

It was about noon when the tourists hired the jet-ski and after 8pm when a settlement was reached.

The women agreed to hand over 16,000 baht, the standard fee for a single jet-ski being out of the water - 1000 baht for the paperwork and 3000 baht a day for a maximum of five days, for the jet-ski being out of action.

Having noted the colors and numbers of both jet-skis, the women were surprised to see both jet-skis back in the water at Patong beach the following afternoon, with other tourists riding them.

''Either they had been repaired that morning or they were being hired out without the damage being fixed,'' Selina said.

''I had to go down to the beach to pay the final 6000 baht and both the jet-skis were being hired out.

''We definitely wish there was more information about jet-skis. It's supposed to be common knowledge about rip-offs, we've since learned. But we hadn't heard about that.''

The women, from Port Macquarie in New South Wales and the Gold Coast in Queensland, arrived on Phuket on July 11.

They quickly discovered their resort in Rawai was too far from Patong and the Phuket beach action for their liking, especially with taxis and tuk-tuks so expensive.

They decided against hiring a motorbike or scooter on Phuket because they'd heard the hirers often want to hold on to passports.

''Taxis to get from Rawai to Patong were just too expensive,'' Ashleigh said. ''It is 700 baht to get from Rawai to Patong.

''The strange thing is, we discovered it's only 600 baht to go back the other way.''

To reduce costs, the Australians decided to move from Rawai to Patong but were forced to pay for their remaining three nights' accommodation at Serenity Resort and Residences Phuket.

They were told cancellation would only be accepted 28 days in advance. Breakfast at the resort also cost them 500 baht each, plus a surcharge.

''Way unreasonable,'' Ashleigh said. ''I don't know how they can get away with that.''

Early in their stay, Selena had a breast augmentation at Bangkok Hospital Phuket in Phuket City - ''the doctors are very good and the hospital is very clean.''

Asked to reflect on the run-in with the jet-ski operators, Selina said: ''I don't think it was very well handled. They shouldn't be screaming in people's faces, especially when you are trying to solve the problem.

''They just keep threatening to put the mafia onto you.''

Ashleigh added: ''When the police knocked on the door, it was scary. We'd heard the jet-ski operators were really tight with the police, and that the police will take their side because we're just tourists.''

The pair will have to economise because of the lack of spending money. The payouts for the jet-ski damage and the Rawai resort's extra charges have cost them an elephant trek and extra shopping they'd planned.

''I was also really surprised that you have to pay to go to the toilet here,'' said Ashleigh, referring to the Tiger bar complex in Patong's Soi Bangla.

''What the hell, like, you're drinking there . . . if you're drinking there, how can you charge people to go to the toilet? I know it's not that much money, but it's the principle.''

Ashleigh added that they'd been puzzled there were no garbage bins on Soi Bangla to throw your rubbish in. ''I don't understand that,'' she said. ""Everywhere in Australia there are garbage bins.''

Apart from the jet-ski operators, Selina said, the Thais they'd met were ''very, very pleasant, very happy, full of life. They also have a lot of respect, you can see that in the way people greet each other.''

At one stage, though, looking for a taxi in Rawai, they had a highly suspicious encounter with the driver of a private car who seemed to be arranging for the pair to be ''picked up'' by his friends.

Real Phuket taxis were often hard to find, the pair said.

They also remain suspicious about the quality of the alcohol provided in the ''all you can drink'' offers at Patong nightclubs, especially for women at cut prices.

''People have told us not to buy buckets, to guard our drinks and just drink out of the bottle,'' Ashleigh said. ''But a lot of people at this resort have been sick and think that some of the alcohol is risky.''

The Australians, meanwhile, are briefly interrupting their Phuket holiday to head to Koh Samui for a couple of days, taking in Monday's Full Moon Party.

That's bound to be much more sedate.

Article Postscript


From Serenity Resort and Residences Phuket

Hello,

We just would like to clarify that our resort charges one night only cancellation fees if guests decide to early check-out during the low season and we do not charge the full stay (unless a promotional non-refundable rate was booked). If the travel agent charged the guests the full stay anyway, there is nothing we can do.

If a guest books a room only rate as was the case with these guests, then breakfast is charged at Baht 500++ per person per day if guests decide to have breakfast from the buffet. This is a reasonable price for a full breakfast buffet at an upmarket resort, such as Serenity Resort & Residences Phuket.

Urs Aebi - General Manager Serenity Resort & Residences

Comments

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These scammers have many tricks and unaware tourist will keep losing.

Tricks that I have personally seen in Pattaya is where the scammers will arrange another jet ski to hit the other and then the offending jet ski will argue that the si hit them.
They also sometimes half fill the hull with water to make it capsize easy.
Another trick is to guide the skis in between many other jet skis and make it virtually impossible to get in without hitting another one.
Thailand would be much better off not having jet skis until they take corruption out the equation.

Posted by Reg on July 21, 2013 15:21

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Well, what a classic case of pure stupidity, no wonder there are so many "easy targets ".
if you ever venture overseas again use at least half of what ever brain you have and DO SOME BASIC RESEARCH

Posted by bigcheese on July 21, 2013 15:53

Editor Comment:

Just how cautious and wary do tourists need to be, bigcheese? Perhaps you don't get it, but holidays are supposed to be worry-free fun. The people involved with tourism on Phuket have to be trustworthy: ie, no research needed, no rip-offs to fear. Destinations where visitors are obliged to watch their every move are doomed.
Blaming the victims is . . . very, very stupid.

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I feel sorry for those girls but they seemed a bit clueless...
"We definitely wish there was more information about jet-skis", if they bothered to type "jet ski phuket" they would see pretty much all results talking about this scam including phuketwan articles on first page. What did they expect, warning flyers handed out at the airport?

Posted by John on July 21, 2013 16:18

Editor Comment:

There are plenty of destinations in the world where tourists can go where people providing the fun are trustworthy, John. The fact that people are being advised by you to do their own research before visiting Phuket indicates that some things are rotten in Phuket. Why blame the victims? Phuket has to return to being a destination free from rip-offs . . . or face the consequences. No tourists. That's the bottom line.

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I think @reg may be on to something. When i read the story the first thing i thought of was who was driving the jet ski that hit them. It sound very suspicious.

There has been so much talk about these guys and the way they operate and treat tourists. I personally think its time to ban jet skis and put an end to that scam and behaviour by thugs. Threatening to call in the "mafia". Im sorry but enough is enough.

Posted by Ciaran on July 21, 2013 16:22

Editor Comment:

Indeed. But wholesome fun without the risk of being ripped off is probably a more practical aim. People should be able to visit Phuket without being wary and watching their every move for fear of being ripped off, or taken down. The authorities need to make Phuket a destination that can be trusted to protect them, as Thai destinations have always been until modern times on Phuket, or face the consequences.

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Greed I used to love Phuket so much but greed is so out of control both for tourists and expats. I am thinking about leaving after many years here.

Posted by Fiesty Farang on July 21, 2013 16:29

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I am sure that the Minister of Tourism and Sports and the DSI will have this all sorted out next week when they come to visit and conduct their raids. Yeah, right.

Posted by larry on July 21, 2013 16:42

Editor Comment:

Only a fool would expect instant solutions to entrenched long-term problems. Do you believe in fairies, larry?

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The hotel receptionist should give obviously newcomers a discrete, short brief of what can be expected on the road, the beach and in nightlife here. I always do - saves the guests a lot of trouble later.

Posted by Receptionist on July 21, 2013 17:00

Editor Comment:

That's wise, but how shameful for Phuket that it's necessary. Perhaps that's what the island has earned from 20 years of inaction.

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Boycott Phuket with your dollars!

Posted by Steve on July 21, 2013 17:25

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A single jet ski can earn the operator 20,000 baht a day if hired every half hour for 10 hours in a day. The unfortunate jet ski operators are being robbed of considerable revenue if they only get paid 3,000 baht a day for the jet ski being out of action. You have to look at both sides of the argument.

Posted by Anonymous on July 21, 2013 17:33

Editor Comment:

As the article says, both the jet-skis were in use the following day again. There goes your ''other side'' argument. Are you telling us that 20,000 baht a day is a reasonable income? Surely you haven't given this ''other side'' stuff much thought.

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What a Shame for Phuket , these girls should get a 2hr Oilmassage for Free , i could be in charge of that...!!!

Posted by Stephen on July 21, 2013 17:46

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@Stephen - Guess that massage is a job reserved for Thais only.

Posted by Sherlock on July 21, 2013 18:10

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What about the insurance policy the jet ski owners have? Doesn't that cover the minor damage?

Posted by fakename on July 21, 2013 18:24

Editor Comment:

Yes, but the present insurance does not cover the time the jet-ski is out of the water or damage beyond 50,000 baht, both elements that should be covered in a comprehensive policy. If the charge is 2000 baht for two for half an hour, the jet-ski operators can easily afford full insurance.

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Sorry to say it, but the girls are totally clueless.

The warnings about hiring jet skis are all over the net and are also on the Smart Traveler website for all Aussies to see but obviously they didn't check.

Now, they are off to the Full Moon Party and if it is just 2 women going there with all the dangers that the party brings, then they will need all the luck they can get.

I wonder if they were smart enough to take out travel insurance?

There continues to be no shortage of clueless tourists turning up daily.

Posted by Glassy on July 21, 2013 19:39

Editor Comment:

Many tourists trust the people in tourist destinations, Glassy, to take care of them, to protect them, and to treat them as guests. I'm not sure that's being clueless. There are aspects of visiting Phuket that, sadly and unusually for a supposedly hospitably place, require travel warnings. What a pity the local authorities are not doing their best to make sure those warnings disappear. To me, they're the clueless ones, not the trusting tourists who simply believe what they've been told and sold about Thailand. Readers who blame the tourists seem just as deluded as the local authorities, and perhaps, given their ''worldly'' experience, even considerably more clueless.

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i cant believe tourists still use these jet skis,dont give these operators the ammunition they need.Also i cant believe these girls dont know anything about scams in thailand,i know plenty of people in UK who know about these scams but have never set foot on thai soil..

Posted by darren walker on July 21, 2013 19:46

Editor Comment:

Thailand is a popular tourist destination, darren, that's what the TAT tells people all over the world. What the TAT neglects to tell tourists is that extreme caution is needed to avoid rip-offs in Phuket. The answer to the problem is not to blame the tourist victims, but to end the scams. If the scams continue, there will be more people like your friends. Too many more. The problems will continue as long as the basic rules governing human behavior are overwhelmed by greed and ignored by both the jet-ski operators and the authorities. .

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One comment I have seen a few times in different articles over a period of time it that "it is safe to drink out of bottles". Safer maybe?

However, I have been in bars where the staff opened the wrong type of beer. When this was pointed out, they simply pressed the cap back on & returned the bottle to the fridge or cooler.

That means bottles could be tampered with at any time. Please be warned that this is a possibility.

Posted by Logic on July 21, 2013 20:16

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Phuket, you are greedy and it will backfire on you. Rip off one tourist with these scams, they tell their friends and media, you lose 100 + potential customers, there are other holiday destinations.

Posted by Anonymous on July 21, 2013 21:02

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Sorry to hear they were ripped off did they get photos of the machines if so Larry may be able to help
Don't know why serenity should be picked on if the girl's booked the resort why should hotel be responsible if they change there mind very hard to get last minute bookings yo cover your costs
Dread to think what will happen next at a full moon party all the scammers may have there pics up already after reading this maybe you should consider removing

Posted by Michael on July 21, 2013 21:16

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it looks to me that these girls would have walked into any tourist trap at any place on this planet...notwithstanding to the aforementioned, tourist should be treated as a valuable good and deserve the best service possible anywhere...simply because they are required for a tourist destination's development and well being. however, this can only be achieved by educating the local business community. selective law enforcement wont help.

Posted by josh on July 21, 2013 21:53

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@ Anonymious and Darren - You are right, but your accusations are only regarding a filthy FEW. The rest of the population on the west coast of Phuket, who lives of tourism are mostly honest people, who have an obvious interest of seeing the tourist next year.
Phuket is a relative safe destination and if the tourist just avoid a few things, then there will very seldom be a problem, so just inform your friends about what to avoid and they can have a perfect holiday here.

Posted by Sherlock on July 21, 2013 22:05

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Threatened to get the mafia involved? Translation...the police. My Thai wife and I have been to Phuket 2 times in 10 years and we will never go back because we are both disgusted with the place. I hope for the day when global tourists completely turn their back on that corrupt cesspool. That aside, I think your reporting is very admirable and please don't ever back down. Good job!

Posted by David Stonham (USA with Thai wife & child) on July 22, 2013 01:17

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Well DSI here is a case for you to investigate when you hit town while it's still fresh, one of many for you to choose from I'll bet

Posted by stunner on July 22, 2013 01:36

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Now there off to the full moon party did they brush up on the speed boats there and back, the drug set ups, the thefts ,these young girls are going to learn about Thailand the hard way sadly.

Posted by slickmelb on July 22, 2013 02:02

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Mr Stonham, if you are disgusted from Phuket at your first visit, why you came back ? Is America better ?At all occasions your political leaders say "God bless you" but your country is also disgusting the way they start wars around the world and then leave a mess to the local people. So dont spell others the lesson

Posted by Eric on July 22, 2013 07:52

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These people with little brain the jetski operators are happy to meet but also the phuketwan to go on complaining locals.There story is irrelevant complaing the jetski,commenting there o breast surgery (i not see the relation between both) to the toilet they have to pay, the hotel policy they not read, and on top going to Koh Phangan being so naive.
1.Just had breast surgery and hopping around on a jetski ??? Smart....
2.They not have to complain the hotels, they had to read the cancellation policy,where ever you book these are clearly mentioned on the reservation forms.
If they prefer action in Patong they not had to book Rawai, you find all information about both places clearly
3 Complaining about paying toilets, many countries in the world you pay for toilets even for public ones. I prefer to pay and have a clean place.
4. Read the agreement you sign specially with the jetski operators, I had to deal with a guest who was involved in a jetski accident,the Thai tourist police officer told me that we had to offer 6000 baht for the days the jetski was not able to operate and that every jetski was insured for 50,000 baht. After 30 min the owner agreed and the case was handled in a friendly and correct way, this just to say that not all are bad guys and it also depends how the tourist is approaching the operator. Some tourists not respect locals this should be said also from time to time. You get the respect back you give to others.

Posted by Eric on July 22, 2013 08:17

Editor Comment:

Telling tourists off for not giving in to the jet-ski thugs, for standing up for their rights and for attempting to help to fix Phuket's problems, big and small . . . these symptoms indicate your brain is barely moving, Eric. By arguing in favor of the scams and the rip-off merchants, it's clear you've forgotten the basic principles of fairness and freedom that young tourists all understand clearly.

The last time Phuketwan tried to help mediate a jet-ski dispute - they were asking for 180,000 baht, on top of the insurance - the operator threatened to smear blood all over our faces. Respect? I don't think you fully understand what it means when it comes to Phuket tourism. The scammers spoil it for everyone.

Phuketwan remains open-minded. We welcome complaints from tourists about excessive prices and scams, and we welcome complaints from scammers about tourists.

I guess you don't mind paying 500 baht for breakfast.

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Everybody talking about how bad this might turn out for Phuket, but tourist numbers are still increasing and the forecasts are very, very positive.

Nobody blaming the girls for trusting too much, only when travelling there are a few things any more experienced traveller always checks: Good places to go, bad places to avoid (this places exist everywhere) and your flight/hotels booking conditions.

Phuket is still a beautiful island, just loosing its charm. Right now it is becoming the "Mallorca" of Asia. Sadly. But I still love the beach here even after 2 years.

Posted by Jakub on July 22, 2013 08:43

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Eric, your comment to Mr Stoneham bewilders me, I am assuming you are not very intelligent, he and his wife seem to have given Phuket a second chance, which is only fair, your attack on US is completely irrelevant to the story, you seem to have a problem, get help. Oh, before you accuse me of being American, I am NOT, nor am I a supporter of all their policies. Be nice if you could keep your comments relevant to the story.

Posted by Phuket_IOC on July 22, 2013 09:51

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Jakub, or anyone else, can you PLEASE tell me what is "beautiful" about Phuket, that can NOT be found anywhere else, that would encourage tourists to come/or return. I see cheap shopping, cheap hotels cheap sex, the "beauty" has long been destroyed by over development, scams, corruption, jet skis, speed boats and deck chairs.

Posted by Phuket_IOC on July 22, 2013 10:06

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Why would the mafia get involved - apparently there's no such thing in Phuket!

Posted by Mister Ree on July 22, 2013 10:36

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I remember a couple of year ago now , Bangkok police come and stay in Patong for some weeks !!!
Everybody was so nice that time , even tuk tuk and no jetski scam at this time !!!
maybe that is what Phuket need REAL POLICE !!!

Posted by jorgen48 on July 22, 2013 10:37

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To the editor, I am not supporting scams at all not in Phuket or elswhere in the world, I just want to say that not all Phuket people are bad and that should te told also to the readers.

Regardimg your comment on the breakfast, thats not a abnormal price in a 4 or 5* resort in Phuket or anywhere in the world, in bkk 800 to 1000 ++ is normal price, in europe 30 euro. No if the breakfast is nice I am not gravy to pay.

And to Phuket Ioc, you should be more polite in your response and accept others there meaning, the trued seems to be difficult for you to accept.It is quiet easy as a foreigner we are a guest in a foreign country and if we not like the way the things are going we are free to move on, so easy it is not only in Phuket but anywhere

Posted by Eric on July 22, 2013 11:57

Editor Comment:

We understand that not all Phuket people are scammers and thieves, Eric, but there are enough to damage Phuket's international reputation and for all nations that send tourists to Phuket to be alarmed about their citizens' safety. Many honest Phuket people are also concerned. However, next to the scammers and thieves damaging Phuket's reputation, the biggest problem is apathy. By blaming Phuket's problems on the tourists, you are tapping deeper levels of see-no-evil and self-deception. Sadly, that makes you part of the problem, not part of the solution.
As the EU Ambassador says: ''Many people who go to Phuket have a wonderful time and don't encounter problems. But there are a lot of problems that people do encounter.''

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Hello,

We just would like to clarify that our resort charges one night only cancellation fees if guests decide to early check-out during the low season and we do not charge the full stay (unless a promotional non-refundable rate was booked). If the travel agent charged the guests the full stay anyway, there is nothing we can do.

If a guest books a room only rate as was the case with these guests, then breakfast is charged at Baht 500++ per person per day if guests decide to have breakfast from the buffet. This is a reasonable price for a full breakfast buffet at an upmarket resort, such as Serenity Resort & Residences Phuket.

Urs Aebi - General Manager Serenity Resort & Residences

Posted by Urs Aebi on July 22, 2013 12:08

Editor Comment:

Thanks for your response. We've also added it as a Postscript to the article.

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Excerpts from the UK travel advisory website which have a bearing on the above story:

''If you rent Jet Skis or water sports equipment, satisfy yourself that adequate safety precautions are in place. Rent only from reputable, licensed and insured operators, thoroughly check for damage before use and insist on training. Don't hand over your passport as a guarantee against returning a jet ski. Unscrupulous owners have been known to hold on to passports against claimed damage to the Jet Ski.
Western tourists have been victims of vicious, unprovoked attacks by gangs in Koh Phangan. These attacks are particularly common around the time of the Full Moon parties and generally occur late at night near bars in Haad Rin on Koh Phangan. In January 2013 a British national was killed in a shooting incident while at a beach party in Haad Rin. Violent assaults and robberies have been reported in Chaweng, Koh Samui. Attacks have also occurred in other tourist districts in Thailand including in Chiang Mai. Take care, especially at night.
There have been sexual assaults against foreign men and women, especially in the Koh Samui archipelago and Krabi province. Tourists have also been robbed after bringing visitors to their hotel rooms. In some cases their drinks were drugged. Be careful about taking drinks from strangers and at clubs and parties, particularly in Koh Samui and Pattaya and, at the Full Moon party on Koh Phangan, where date rapes have been reported''.

Posted by Pete on July 22, 2013 14:06

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Selena should not be swimming in an ocean so soon after surgery, especially Patong

Posted by Tit Dr on July 22, 2013 20:27

Editor Comment:

Your stethoscope appears to be just an attempt to appear intelligent, Tit Dr. Riding a jet-ski does not involve swimming. You should get out more.

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Tit Dr is having a laugh with his name equals Tit Doctor.

Posted by Fiesty Farang on July 23, 2013 00:22

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Why YOU delete my talks? DEAR EDITOR.

Posted by Norway on July 23, 2013 07:29

Editor Comment:

Because, Norway, you are not a reputable commenter and your motives are highly suspicious. Your first post claimed ''About 90% off Phuket people are scammers . . .'' and continued in the same vein.

Why would we post such an offensive lie? And this, your second post, comes from a different email address. We have no interest in anything you say.

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The last two comments really take the biscuit: FF needed all his brain power to work out something so simple to anyone else that he has the boldness to write about it, and Norway complains about comments being deleted. How come they were deleted if they were never there in the first place? I sometimes wonder if got onto another forum by mistake.

Posted by Pete on July 23, 2013 08:48

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Sadly nothing new here. Yes we would all like the scammers shut down, that's no excuse for not taking responsibility for yourself.
Caveat emptor.
Hope they learned something in Phuket, Full Moon Party can be a whole lot worse.
A bit rich of you to write up the resort in the way you did. I've paid more than 500B for breakfast in many hotels in many countries. That's the price in a luxury hotel on the waterfront. Plenty of more expensive breakfasts in Australia - or do they only eat at home?
Fair go on the taxi price to Editor. Could they get a 45 minute taxi ride for 700 B in Australia?
Exposing scams ok, the rest seems a bit of a beat up.

Posted by Michael on July 24, 2013 17:27

Editor Comment:

In Australia, the taxis all charge for the journey you take, not for the trip back to base without a passenger as well. If Phuket fares were all cut in half, not only would the fare then be fair, but many more people would be able to book a resort in the seclusion of Rawai and ride to Patong whenever they wanted to go shopping or enjoy the nightlife. Acceptance of extortion costs Rawai dearly, and it grieves me to hear sane people argue in defence of rip-offs. At the age of 21 and 22, most of us are prime targets for price-gougers of all kinds. Kids need things explained. They deserve a break now and again, whatever the rules. Some breakfasts may be worth 500 baht . . . if there are six of you. But as you say, that's the upmarket price. Caveat emptor indeed.

*Please note the offer in response to the next comment for Phuketwan to review a breakfast at any upmarket resort where the meal is reckoned to be worth 500 baht ++ We will pay, of course, and review with complete honesty. .

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The biggest scam was the 500 baht breakfast . . . (moderated)

Posted by Bors on July 24, 2013 17:47

Editor Comment:

Well, it's a what-the-market will bear thing, like the taxi fares. That's not a ''scam.'' If people are willing to pay that much . . . the rest of your moderated comment I find difficult to believe.

If there's a Phuket resort out there that charges 500 baht ++ or more for breakfast and reckons it's worth every baht, Phuketwan would be happy to organise a dining review. Just drop us an email.

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To editor, start your breakfast experience at the laguna hotels, but take more then 500 baht with you, it starts around 750++, I support Michael his fair comment about breakfast pricing, the editor his 5* hotel experience around the world unfortunately seems to be limited.

Posted by Eric on July 24, 2013 19:18

Editor Comment:

Was there some point to what you've just written, Eric, or was it empty of thought as usual and all about the money? Logic is clearly not on the menu anywhere you eat. Come back when you have something worth saying. Whenever.

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I will clarifie in the first article you mention the above hotel with name without checking in this case the product offered(information given by the 2 ladies) for the price charged, I thought that good journalists where double checking before publishing and bringing in discredit the hotel in this particular case. The bad publicity has been given even if later you add an additional part to the article.

Posted by Eric on July 24, 2013 21:37

Editor Comment:

You are the one who is discrediting the ''hotel'' with your foolish comments, Eric. And that's shameful of you. The resort has been given the opportunity to respond and their response has been published.

They have no complaints. You're the one with the warped agenda.

We intend to carry more interviews with normal tourists on Phuket, and let them relate their experiences - what works and what doesn't - just as they have the opportunity to do these days at TripAdvisor and many other sites. I think readers can draw their own conclusions about the two young Aussies . . . and about you.

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I am not discrediting the hotel, just the opposite and want to say that the hotel is very gentle to not bring this to court for the prejudice you make them in your article, you should read better the reply and be more polite to your readers, I not call you foolish, I respect you more then you do when you reply my comments and the comments of other readers who have there meaning.

Posted by Eric on July 25, 2013 09:50

Editor Comment:

The resort is perfectly capable of defending its own reputation, as it has done. Your comments only add needless confusion.

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It sounds to me like they just were badly educated. Coming form Australia a land so overly governed that you get a fine for leaving your car doors unlocked while parking, you really need to do some research before you come somewhere like Thailand. I agree that holidays should be "worry free" but coming from somewhere like Aus where you are not encouraged to use your brains because everything is so safe guarded a lot of this stuff is just common sense, it is still a statistically poor and emerging country. I have to agree with bigcheese on this one.

Posted by Sean on July 26, 2013 17:38

Editor Comment:

Boy, Sean, you've got some problems. A superiority complex seems to be the obvious one. If we had to impose an education test before Commenters were allowed to post on Phuketwan, you'd fail Logic, Bigotry and Bias. And that's the Kindergarten Entry Level.

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Next time girl don't smile like two dumb tourist. had you been intimidated and threatened or it was just bad trip. When the situation is serious stay serious. There is a too big difference between the article itself and the way you present yourself, with a smile like that for sure the people who threatned both of you won't feel guilty.

Posted by stephane on July 26, 2013 20:49

Editor Comment:

The interview took place two days after the jet-ski incident, stephane. Australian woman don't stay serious unless they have to. Telling people to pretend seems bad advice to me.

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@ stephane there are some girls in this world that love to play up to a camera
would you feel better if they moped about for a few months with faces like a tombstone.

Posted by slickmelb on July 27, 2013 06:38

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As you said some like to play up with camera but in my opinion smiling like that is a bad message for the one who put pressure and intimidate them these kind of problem are happening for years now and to me when i saw them it doesn't look that bad but for sure it was. There is a time for play up with cam and another to report it seriously cause these things are not funny at all.

Posted by Stephane on July 28, 2013 05:00

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well they dont seem upset by the pictures? this will continue until foreigners learn not to rent the jet skis, until then they will be smiling after being scammed.

Posted by Anonymous on July 29, 2013 02:09

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Hello,
I am Ashleigh. In regards to Serenity's comment about the cancellation fee and breakfast, I would like to CLARIFY that;
Selina and I booked directly through Serenity over the internet, not a travel agent! we expected the fee of one nights stay, for the short notice of cancellation. But instead the reception said the resorts policy for everybody is 28days notice and that we would have to pay for the full booking. if what you are saying is true in your comment about the one night's stay cancellation fee, we would expect now a refund for charging us the full bookings stay.

Also, Selina and I did not book a 'room only rate', we booked the room with breakfast included but when we arrived Serenity said the arrive day does not include the breakfast, so we both paid the 500baht for breakfast that morning.

In regards to the comments of us being; "stupid tourists", I think everybody is at risk of getting scammed for something. There isn't warnings for everything that COULD happen. Selina and I were just unlucky. Just like the resorts policy of cancellation. What are tourists supposed to do, if the reception says you have to pay for the full bookings stay?? we couldn't do anything but suck it up and pay what they were asking.

In saying that, with the jet ski incident; I wouldn't say we are that stupid as we did seek help with that situation and didn't pay their original asking price of 40,000baht for the damages. And I extend a big thank you to Wal Brown, for his help in this matter and his constant help with other tourists!

It seems that Thailand has a lot of risk factors, ranging from scams, to alcohol contamination, to rape risks. Instead of blaming tourists, these issue are the problem and need to be addressed!

Posted by Ashleigh on August 12, 2013 09:50

Editor Comment:

Thanks, Ashleigh. At least with the Crime Crisis Centre, tourists and residents on Phuket now have a place to formally lodge complaints about rip-offs, scams and other Phuket diseases.

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ED, I believe, though I might sound naive, that Phuket already had somewhere to lodge complaints, it's call the police, well, we know how impotent they have proven to be. This is where DSI needs to concentrate some of their investigation time, ask the WHY the police, from top to bottom, have failed in their duty.

Posted by lonewolf on August 12, 2013 10:05

Editor Comment:

That's a sweeping remark, lonewolf, a generalisation unsupported by facts. Tell us what evidence you have. Or is your comment based on barroom BS?

Please note that we tend to remove hahaha and 555 from comments because it makes posters look not like lonewolves, but laughing jackasses.

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In august 2012 the Thai government introduced three channels for people to report corruption, phone call line no 1206, boxes to receive complaint were installed in Gov House, provincial town halls (Phuket ?), bus terminals, shopping centres etc.. and as a third channel people could report corruption at www.stopcorruption.co.th .
Whether this helped or (was implemented fully) not is not clear but it could be a reason why DSI got interested in Phuket's problems.

Source : http://thailand.prd.go.th/view_news.php?id=6414&a=2

Posted by Sailor on August 12, 2013 11:13

Editor Comment:

That's too optimistic for me, Sailor.

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Not sure who Wal Brown is that Asleigh mentions but i like him already Ed you know?

Posted by slickmelb on August 12, 2013 20:53

Editor Comment:

Wal Brown is a Region 8 police volunteer.


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