The sharper edge to traveling in Asia

Pa Farang on hotel scams overseas

Written By: herbrunbridge - Nov• 18•14

pafaranghalo[1]The Good Manner: Advice on Thailand from WoWasis’ Pa Farang

This week’s scam unveiled: Why am I paying unadvertised hotel “fees”?

Dear Pa Farang,

Recently, I stayed at one of Bangkok’s better hotels. I headed out to dinner and a night on the town, came back around 1 pm with an acquaintance, and we were stopped by a secrity guard, who put her name on a list and tried to charge me an extra 200 baht for an overnight guest. I really had it out with the manager the next day. He said I should have booked a room for two. When I asked how much extra it was, he said is was the same price as a single… all that nonsense for nothing! Is this rubbish common in all large hotels?

– Bad Business

Dear BB,

You’re a victim of the “joiner fee” scam. Hotels that pull this stunt intend to harass both you and your acquaintance, and it’s essentially a “morality fee.” Invariably, doubles in these hotels cost the same as singles. Most hotels do not have this policy, as infuriating good guests isn’t the best way to run a business in the hospitality industry. You were right to voice your opinion of this practice, which constitutes a scam that is yet another way to fleece customers. As we say, vote with your feet, and find a better hotel that cares about the value of a repeat customer; there are plenty in this city, to be sure.

ThailandPromoBannerHere is another favorite hotel scam, generally run only in smaller hotels. You get charged a key deposit fee of say 200 baht. They conveniently forget to return the fee to you when you check out. This is endemic in Pattaya, and other outlying areas. Always refuse to pay key deposits, as it amounts to tipping the reception staff against your will.

Avoid all scams, show the Good Manner, and have a great time in Thailand,

Marayat dee,
– Pa Farang

Read Pa Farang’s other columns in WoWasis for more advice on relationships and cultural matters in Asia

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