Overpriced drinks scam

Bangkok-scam-overpriced-drinksThis rip-off is also known as the Ping Pong show scam, because you are lured in by promises of girls performing an X-rated show with pingpong balls. It’s not necessarily limited to Bangkok, as Pattaya is famous for this rip-off as well, and other cities around the world (check the Istanbul bar scam as well).

The Thailand version of the trick goes as follows: Male tourists who ask their taxi or tuk-tuk driver to take them to a bar are taken to a local strip club in Patpong, regardless of whether they actually meant a strip club or just wanted to drink a couple of beers. Once inside, the tourists are quickly served their drinks, before they can change their mind about the place. If they order subsequent rounds of drinks, they don’t need to pay for every round but can work up a tab instead. This can prove very costly! When the tourists are ready to settle the tab, they’ll find out that the drinks are outrageously expensive: prices of 3.000 Baht (75 Euro’s or 95 US Dollars) for a single beer are not uncommon in these places. And before you can even think about protesting against these ridiculous prices, a couple of muscular bouncers are breathing down your neck, demanding a swift payment of the bill. This can become very intimidating and as a result, most tourists end up learning a very expensive lesson. By that time, the tuk-tuk or taxi driver has already cashed in about 400 Baht commission per person.

Also read: Scammed and extorted at Bangkok bar

Bangkok-scam-ping_pong_showHow to avoid this scam: Always ask for the price of the drinks before ordering (although some are even as bold as to tell you a reasonable price upon ordering, only to multiply that by tenfold when you are ready to settle your tab), and pay for every round immediately when it is served, so you don’t work up a tab and can’t be surprised by the prices.

If you do get into a similar situation, and there are other customers inside, it sometimes may help a little to speak up while you complain, hoping that the staff will want you out the door quickly before the other customers find out what’s going on, and giving you a discount off the extravagant bill. But evaluate the situation first, sometimes the wisest thing to do is to just swallow your loss and pay the bill.

Find experiences from real victims or post your own story in our Bangkok and Thailand Tourist Scams Forum.

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