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Thai-American Shopper Verbally and Physically Assulted by Store Owner at MBK Mall- June 30th 2008

Posted by MellyMel on 3/7/2008 at 15:29

Greetings all.

I am a travel writer who went shopping and was verbally and physically assaulted by a shop owner 2 days ago at the MBK shopping mall. I am writing this as a warning to travelers and shoppers on the many various levels of customer service in this country. Some shop owners in Thailand are very nice and helpful, while others are very rude and nasty, and to warn against supporting this kind of service, or therefore lack of.

First off I would like to state that I am Thai-American. I am very proud (although sometimes slightly culturally confused) to be 50% Thai and 50% American and respect what both cultures, in all their colorful contrasts, bring to my plate. However it is a sad day when one has difficult interactions with such contradictory behavior so prevalent in other parts of Thai cultures.

The difficult interaction: being verbally (first) the physically assaulted (second) by a store owner at the MBK mall 2 days ago.

The contradictory behavior: the idea of Thais being friendly welcoming people to foreigners - unless of course you look foreign, but can understand Thai you can hear all the horrid things people are saying about you or other foreign shoppers, which is what goes on among the majority of shop owners in MBK.

What started out with me shopping in the same shop more than once and not buying anything fast enough ended in the security office that afternoon. I have tried to write in short, the details of what went on… but after 3 attempts at writing a summary it is impossible.

The shop owner who attacked me is located on the first floor of MBK and is a small store located in the Mini Plaza area next about 3 meters from the Pratumwan Hall where the KFC is. They sells pricy clothes by the brand IO (the store being called TZ or PZ, don’t remember exactly) and will not so much look at you if you are wearing low-quality clothing. I highly recommend staying away from the stores MBK especially the stores in the MINI PLAZA part unless you want to be judged by the clothes you are wearing and then treated accordingly.

If anyone would like to personally hear my story of what happened please email me personally. I will forward you a detailed account of what happened. I am angry because No one came to my aide, and finally when security came they grabbed me and not the store owner. I addition to this they only heard the shop owners story and not mine. I am writing this so that maybe my voice can be heard as a protest to how shop owners are rudely treating tourists these days. This has not been the first account of bed sale practices I have seen in Thailand, but it has been the worst. WHY? Does a million dollar company like MBK not teach it’s sales people how to be nicer to the public? I think I would blame the integrity of MBK on this one.

Thank you for your time in reading this. If you have anymore inquiries would like to see documented photos of my cuts and bruises, or a map to the shop please feel free to contact me through this forum.


-Melissa Sanborn.

#1 MellyMel has been a member since 3/7/2008. Posts: 1

Posted by ChangFai on 3/7/2008 at 18:00

Cant help thinking if you are "half-Thai" and a "travel writer" , you surely must be used to how some Thai stall holders treat customers .

Why you then feel a need to then join this forum , and vent your frustrations here , baffles , and to be honest bores me .


#2 ChangFai has been a member since 10/4/2007. Location: Thailand. Posts: 139

Posted by SBE on 3/7/2008 at 23:05

'If anyone would like to personally hear my story of what happened please email me personally.'

Errr how? No PM function on here (I don't think) and unless I drank too much wine at lunchtime I can't see an email address.

Surprised it ended up in fisty cuffs. I've never seen that happen at MBK ... not that I spend an inordinate amount of time there if I can help it as I hate shopping malls with whole floors of mobile phones etc. Gets a bit much after about 20 minutes and I usually feel an irrepressible urge to leave.

As half Thai, I'd assume you know better than most Westerners the importance of *face* in Thailand so I'm quite curious as to how it ended up in not just verbal but physical abuse.

#3 SBE has been a member since 14/4/2008. Location: Global Village. Posts: 2,037
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Posted by khunwilko on 4/7/2008 at 08:42

Travel Writer??? - in what language? Thai I hope!

#4 khunwilko has been a member since 27/1/2007. Posts: 560

Posted by paulspad2002 on 10/7/2008 at 01:28

mm interesting, maybe they see u as american thai..or is it thai american...cud this potentially be the reason they set upon you....not to be racist but ive heard a few things about GI kids....and the racism abuse they have i now live in bangkok i visit MBK on a more than regular basis.......have never heard nor seen anything like this in 2 sorry for ur mis adventure and hope u get a full recovery soon....was anyone laughing to save face for u at all....maybe not....again sorry for ur troubled times

#5 paulspad2002 has been a member since 8/7/2008. Posts: 21

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