11 March 2009

back to blog

the past weeks had been so toxic i had no time to blog. but now i am back. and still trying to find the time. lots of catching up to do, especially with ec drops, LP, twitter and just reading my fave blogs. first off, i want to share this email from a friend, mary rosary, about her experience in bangkok last saturday. hope this will help us to be more careful whenever we eat outside.

she sent this letter to the office of tourism and development, ministry of tourism and sports:

Report on the Incident in Sta. Fe SteakHouse, Century Mall, Victory Monument
Date: 8th March 2009, Time- 6.45pm to 8pm

We went to Sta. Fe Steakhouse to have dinner last night. The restaurant was packed so the waiter told us to wait for a bit so they can clear up a table for the 7 of us. While waiting, a Man who came from inside the restaurant (Tall, slender man, wearing a striped polo shirt, slacks) told us to wait, as well. We assumed that this Man is the Manager of the restaurant as he was also chatting with the waiters (wearing a grey shirt/uniform). We ordered our food (6 orders of 99 baht steak promotions+ 1 spaghetti+ 2 jugs of pepsi). Once they've cleared up the tables near the entrance of the restaurant, the Man showed us in, and even asked the waiters to move the other small table and add an extra chair so all 7 of us could fit in.

So then we sat and waited for our orders to arrive. The Man again came
to us and told us that since we ordered more than 650 baht, we can get some discount. So I said ok, that's very good. The Man can speak fluent English. He showed us the menu and asked us if we want to order soup, I said no, but then he said "oh, its free". He again told us that we need to pay our bill (which came out to be 750baht) immediately so we can avail the promotion. So, we gave him the amount (It was 7bills 100- hundred baht + 6 bills of twenty Baht ). All this time, the waiters were chatting to him. He even went to the cashier, which we thought he gave the money to the Woman there (she's wearing a yellow shirt). We didn't ask for the receipt yet as we were expecting to get it when we finish our meal. After giving the money, the Man then told us that we will also get the Banana crepes for free.

So finally our orders came + 2 bowls of soup+ 1 order of banana crepes
(which the Man told us to be free). We had a good meal and we were even planning to recommend the restaurant to our tourist friends who are coming the next day. We didn't notice the Man leaving the restaurant.

When we finished our dinner, we got up and was about to leave the
restaurant when the waiter told us we didn't pay yet. The bill included the 2 soup+ crepes (total 1,024 baht). We told them we paid to the manager already. They told us the Man was not the manager of the restaurant and they did not get any money from us. We got so annoyed and angry about it. We asked for the police and for the CCTV camera recording. The security came with the staff of Century Mall.
The waiter forced us to pay half of the bill. Out of pity to the waiter as he told us he only gets 6thousand baht a month salary, we paid the 500baht.

The extra money we paid is irrelevant. We want to report this incident
as this is very dangerous to tourists and to those foreigners who live and work here. Sta. Fe Restaurant is a proper eating place located in a well-known shopping mall. The staff of the restaurant should be able to protect their paying customers from cons. The waiters should warn they customers about these kinds of people.

I've been working legally here in Thailand for 3 years. I am paying my
taxes monthly to the Thai Government (2,425.00 Baht/month). I demand an action from the management of Sta Fe and the Century Shopping Mall. The waiters/staff of the restaurant will be able to clearly identify the Man who swindled us. The CCTV camera recording will also show this. If they cannot protect their customers from these cons/swindlers, they should not be allowed to manage a restaurant, to run a shop, or a shopping mall.

Hoping for your action regarding this very dangerous scam.

Mary Rosary Caspillo


milai said...

oh wow. glad to have read this as i'll be in bangkok next week. thanks for the info as now i'll be more wary when i eat out.

by the way, nice to see a new post here. :)

Carnation said...

hi milai, yup better be careful. c u nxt wk!

banquet manager said...

I would never believe something like this could happen. How would a "stranger" have such a close access to the restaurant and it's staff unless he the property is in on the scam.
So You Want To Be a Banquet Manager

Carnation said...

you're right!

thess said...

This is a typical practice of a con artist. They easily spot non Thais and yes, easy targets.Some of this cons even carry blocks and pens to take orders, or even 'politely' take visitors coats to be hanged at the back of the restaurants. But this doesn't happen only in Thailand, its everywhere.
No restaurant would ask you to pay first before you can have your food unless it's one of those WOK restaurants where you need to buy your fresh ingredients first then have it cooked.
Unfortunate that the woman and her company experienced this. But there's a lesson learned, when checking out, take the receipt, just walk to the counter and safely pay. Well at least I've been practicing this.

Carnation said...

hi thess thanks for the additional advice. that is very useful... esp in crowded places.