me and my girlfriend are currently travelling through vietnam but were scammed a couple of weeks ago into booking 36 nights accommodation for when we re-enter thailand in October.
we were brought to a Thailand Tourist Authority "TAT" by a tuk tuk driver initially to book a bus to cambodia... greeted by a very friendly man "Mr T"... who showed us brochures and discussed us re-entering thailand and spending a month there in october
We realised after having booked this accomodation that we had payed far too much and since learned through various other forums that this is a common scam whereby a tuk tuk driver brings you to a tourist agency to get info and book a bus tour etc. but they push you into what they describe as a "very good deal" claiming that the accommodation will be much dearer if we didnt book it prior to arriving due to season etc.
we realise how foolosh we were, we were jet lagged and recked at the time on our first day in bangkok. needless to say it has put a massive downer on our trip...almost 1000 pounds out of pocket !!!
the money has now been payed, most on my girlfriends credit card at the time, and accommmodation appears to have been bookd as we phoned the places to check. we have been told the tickets for each of the accommodation at the various islands is "non refundable" so i guess were screwed !!
but we would really appreciate anyones advice on whether they encountered this scam before and if it is possible to somehow cancel the accomodation (due to start on 14th of october) and get our money back....????!!
weve come to accept that we willl probly just have to go along now that its booked an hope for the best but if the operators of this site or anyone has some better advice we would obviously rather get our money back instead
#1 kgroarke has been a member since 12/2/2011. Posts: 17
It happens to people every day, despite the efforts of people on this and other travel websites to get the word out about this shameful scam. The Tuk tuk guy is all friendly and sees you're new arrivals jetlagged and an easy target, and before you know it you've paid for a whole month of holiday at double or triple the normal price. It should be known that any agency posing as the TAT selling trips is a big fat lie, but unfortunately people fall for it all the time. Sorry this happened to you.
Your chance of any refund is virtually zero, especially since you've left it so long, and now you're out of the country so can't really accomplish much. The thing is, you were offered something and quoted a price and you willingly paid for it. It's not like they knocked you down and stole your wallet. There's is almost no accountability with tourist police to come to your aid, and anyway whoever is running such scams almost surely has people in the right places to avoid prosecution. At some stage it's best to just accept it and learn from the mistake. Damn I wish there was some way to warn more people in advance. Those people deserve to rot in hell.
sorry to hear it. have you contacted your credit card company? explain to them that you thought you were only making a reservation that could be cancelled as opposed to a non-refundable pre-payment and see if the credit card company can deny/refuse/refund the charges. it won't hurt to ask in any case. most credit cards have international numbers you can use to call, accept collect calls, or can be reached by email. good luck.
thanks for your comments guys,
weve definately learnt that a lot of people try to take you places or do you a "good deal" for you so they get a backpay of the business theyve bought you to.
@captain bob - cheers for the comment, its exactly what we had thought so was just trying this post as a last atttempt at salvaging the money!! hope they do rot in hell
@ exacto will definately try that, cheers for te advice,unlikely that will get too far i would say but worth a try
if anyone has been scammed by the a "thailand tourist authority" before and went ahead with the accommodation that was booked on the islands it would be interesting to know whether the trip went ok with what was booked at least ???
as not only are we pissed about the over charge were now a bit unsure as to whether the trip will go to plan......!!
#4 kgroarke has been a member since 12/2/2011. Posts: 17
Where are you booked into and for how long ? It may be that you have overpaid, but have you checked the prices on each individual website ? If so how much do you think you are being overcharged ? If you feel you have been badly misled have you spoken (or emailed) each of the places you've booked into and explained the situation ? Indeed have you spoken since to the agents and what is their response ?
Look at all the reports here about "Unseen Travel" in Bangkok
Write a letter to the hotels explaining the scam and saying you wish to cancel the booking. Take a copy of those letters and give to your credit card company and they will get your money back. The Catch: this needs to be done asap, not sure how long you have left this but its worth a try.
The hotels will be of no help...they know what happens. Where Are the places? Do you still plan to actually go there? Just go to the places you planned on going to any way. It sucks but don't let is spoil your trip. If you want to use some of it do so but don't feel obliged to use every single night if you don't want to be somewhere.
Man so sick when I hear about stuff like this!! Im saving to go this time next year for 3 months and its things like this that put me off!!
#10 kfchris1 has been a member since 6/9/2011. Posts: 14
Kfchris1 I am not trying to sound insensitive, but in 10 years and many trips I would not have even thought about taken that deal. First off anyone reading this who has properly prepared should know that Tuk Tuk drivers are all scammers. Everyone thinks they are cool and they jump on tuk tuks. I avoid them like the plague. Taxis are cheap enough in Thailand. I would never book that many rooms in advance in SE Asia and would never trust any agent with anything I couldn't back up myself. You can aways leave and come back if the deal is good. Even the booking a bus to Cambodia is told as a no no to newbies on just about every website known. TAKE a government bus from the regular public terminal. There is no government bus that goes past the border so if you are going to Angkor Wat and if you book a private VIP bus all the way then after reading this then that is on you! There may be problems.
If you are worried about scams then read up on them. The information is all over the web. The reason I have been good so far is using common sense and asking more experienced people instead of trying to look like I am cool and have all the answers like many people who have been to Thailand once and want to look good to their friends.
I know what your saying and i have read up on them i think you got the wrong idea of what i was saying!!
I ment that its such a beautiful country and things like this spoilt it, im street smart myself and I have spend ages reading up about all the scams that go on, all i ment was it just leaves a sour taste of such a nice part of the world!!
#12 kfchris1 has been a member since 6/9/2011. Posts: 14
Cool. I just wanted to throw that out there..I agree with you though. Unfortunately if people spoke Thai they would hear that many who are around the tourist industry have contempt for tourists. It leaves a bad taste in my mouth too but I have made connections and learned how to avoid certain things, places and people. When you get of the beaten path people can be so much better but one thing is sure....if you are perceived as rich (as most of us are in comparison) someone will try you...sad but true in every poor place.