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tips to avoid scams in phuket ?

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posts: 181
reviews: 6
tips to avoid scams in phuket ?

I have heard so many scams n phuket - jetskis, tuktuk etc. What can we do to avoid them ? Wish that I chose koh samui instead of phuket at first place. :-( ( just cranky me)

We have decided not to use jeskis. How can we avoid paying tuktuk at rocket high price ? can we use taxi instead ?

We will stay at le meridien hotel. How much should we expect to ay tuktuk or taxi into town?

Can we hire jetskis at the hotel's beach ? is it safe ? how much should we pay ?

Thanks alot.

58 replies to this topic
Brisbane, Australia
posts: 505
reviews: 136
41. Re: tips to avoid scams in phuket ?

The sellers in markets in Egypt make the Patong guys look tame, got grabbed a few times, had shawls draped over me, they stand in front of you and won't let you pass.

We loved shopping in Phuket (and Thailand in general) cause we felt that if you said no, they pretty much left us alone. Haven't been to Bali, so can't compare, but all the ones we came across were friendly and quite funny, we must have shopped at different places.

posts: 944
reviews: 18
42. Re: tips to avoid scams in phuket ?

Jupitor60 says "Phuket is so corrupt I feel dirty being here" Well jupitor60 you must feel filthy in Bali as it would have to be one of the most corrupt countries in the world!

Bali is definately not friendlier than Phuket, if anything it is the other way around.

I have travelled to both places numerous times and find Phuket much safer and friendlier than Bali. During my times in Bali I have been abused, had young kids try and steal money out of my hand and been literally pulled into shops. Nothing like that has ever happened in Phuket (and we stay in Patong).

I dont think I will ever go back to Bali, Thailand is much nicer!

Edited: 5:30 am, November 01, 2012
Destination Expert
for Thailand
posts: 17,404
reviews: 3
43. Re: tips to avoid scams in phuket ?

jupiter60 - please don't judge Thailand on what happened in those areas, Yes it must be very upsetting but very few if any places in Thailand are like that by any means. I think if you went shopping even as nearby as in Phuket Town you would notice a very different atmosphere.

Unfortunately the huge costs of rents / property plus high living costs means they are all chasing every Baht they can to make ends meet.

I know it is no excuse but sales spots in Patong can cost 10 times what they costs elsewhere, it's like getting around, to get 500 meters in Patong could cost B 200, same in many other places in Thailand could cost B 10.

When I read about people parting with $6 to 10,000 for some timeshare weeks I am thinking, don't you know for $35k elsewhere you could Buy outright a holiday condo for life.

Unfortunately that is the way it is. There are quieter areas of Phuket and shopping in Phuket Town is enjoyed by many.

Edited: 5:34 am, November 01, 2012
Nelson, New Zealand
posts: 5
44. Re: tips to avoid scams in phuket ?

While holidaying at Kata Beach, Phuket in June, 2013 we were subjected to the following deception by Gary Harman, Club Tropical manager, and Peter Thatcher, Club Tropical client contracts manager. In the well documented approach of an Englishman on a motorbike with a scratch card, we were snared into a supposed ninety minute presentation, which then took considerably longer, of what we were assured was a “travel club”, and not a timeshare, presentation. Not only would we be entitled to a free week a year's accommodation in one of Club Tropicals eight Resorts, with the ninth one under construction, but our membership would provide us with considerable discounts on a range of accommodation around the world, air travel, cruises, packages etc. Our membership to the “Club” would in effect provide us with our own personal consultant through Club Tropical's association with Dial an Exchange (DAE), who would be able to arrange all future holiday trips for us at a greatly discounted rate. When asked how this was possible, we were told that the unutilized space on flights, accommodation etc, which they had the ability to access, made this possible. We were told that through their association with DAE and I.C.E. Vacations we would be able to get access a diverse and comprehensive range of discounts on airfares, accommodation, cruises etc. We paid a deposit for at three year membership, with the balance to be paid on our return to New Zealand.

On our return we were alerted to the possibility of this being a scam. As Thatcher was the person who had made the presentation, I sought confirmation of Club Tropical “owning” eight resorts. A post on Tripadvisor had alerted us to the fact that it was more likely that they had access to availability of units in resorts owned by other entities. Also, for the third time, I sought clarification from Harman on the three examples provided to us of the cost of a travel itinarary through them to Thailand, Europe and Canada. I had asked him twice prior to our departure from Thailand, and was assured that it would be waiting for us when we got home. It wasn't. At the end of the presentation, as I had remained slightly wary, I had asked for, and received, Thatchers presentation notes in his handwriting, as well as Harman's quotes in his handwriting. We then received an Email from a third party, Ivo Vanefeld, whom we had never met, who claimed that Thatcher was too busy to deal with our enquiry. He also phoned us from Phuket on three occasions, speaking to me once only. I refused to deal with him, and eventually received a response from Thatcher.

Dial an Exchange (DAE) are a company who deal in timeshare exchange, with the New Zealand office based in Taupo. I called them to verify the Club Tropical benefits as conveyed to us. The woman spoken to stated emphatically that their business was time share exchange only, and that they were most certainly not a travel consultancy offering discouted travel.

Despite now asking Thatcher three times for evidence of their Resort ownership, I have received just the one Email, with my query being largely ignored. Given that we have obviously been misrepresented to, I have now asked on three occasions for a refund of our deposit. We have been waiting more than a week for their response, and are still waiting.

Phuket, Thailand
Destination Expert
for Phuket, Kata Beach
posts: 4,489
reviews: 17
45. Re: tips to avoid scams in phuket ?

And you can keep waiting, they won't refund.

Contact your bank and cancel the credit card and ask them to make it a fraudulent transaction.

Search the forum here, there are more people with similar experiences.

posts: 25
reviews: 25
46. Re: tips to avoid scams in phuket ?

you have been scamed 100% get bank to cancel transaction straight away...leave it too long and YOU WILL LOSE OUT. If it sounds too good to be true it sure as hell is a scam!. (travelled to Patong 12 times and wouldnt go anywhere else)

Destination Expert
for Livigno, Lombardy
posts: 39,242
reviews: 139
47. Re: tips to avoid scams in phuket ?

Don't waste your time trying to get the refund, it won't happen as the others have said the only thing you can do is have your credit card cancel the charge.

Gold Coast...
posts: 510
reviews: 34
48. Re: tips to avoid scams in phuket ?

I just returned and here's the heads up. Don't let all this crap spoil your holi.

1 if someone approaches your on a motorbike or on a corner with a scratchie, put you hand up and just say NOT INTERESTED and keep walking.

2 DO NOT hire a jet ski at all, you will end up at the local cop shop. (Hire it here instead)

3 AGREE on the tuk tuk before you get in and on average it was 200 baht to go from one end of patong to the other.

4 if you get a taxi, use the ones with yellow rego stickers (they r registered taxi drivers) agree on a price (4 of us had a driver for 4 hours and it cost 1000 baht)

Enjoy your holi and don't read into too much.

Edited: 12:25 pm, July 24, 2013
49. Re: tips to avoid scams in phuket ?

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50. Re: tips to avoid scams in phuket ?

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