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Chon Buri

Quarantine hotel threatens to sue over complaint about cockroach in food

Maya Taylor

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PHOTO: Wikimedia

A quarantine hotel in the eastern province of Chon Buri is threatening legal action after a Thai returnee lambasted the facility on social media. It is the second Thai hotel to appear hyper-sensitive to criticism. In October 2020, a hotel on Koh Chang threatened to sue an American guest if he did not apologise for his negative review of the property.

Dunyawit Phadungsaeng, who recently returned from San Francisco, opted to spend his quarantine time at the Ambassador City Jomtien Hotel and then posted a catalogue of photos and videos to document his ‘challenging’ experiences.

“It was probably the most terrible 14 days of my life. Don’t call it quarantine as it’s better called imprisonment. People said that (state quarantine) is okay and habitable. I didn’t expect it to be a fancy 5-star hotel, but have you ever been disappointed even when you had no expectations?”

Among Dunyawit’s complaints were poor WiFi, a TV that didn’t work, fungus in his bed, and a persistent smell that lingered even after he’d changed rooms 3 times. He also wrote about the cockroaches and mosquitoes in his room, adding that the hotel made him pay for insect spray to kill them. The post also mentions water leaking from the ceiling, but the real tipping point was the food, which he claims was not just bad, but unsanitary. He says that at one point, he found half a cockroach in a pasta dish.

His rant has now gone viral, forcing the hotel to issue a statement. However, the response, when it came, was not an apology, but a threat of legal action. While not naming Dunyawit specifically, the hotel says it has filed defamation suits against people it accuses of spreading lies about the property.

“Ambassador City Jomtien Hotel wants to notify any related agencies to stop any kind of actions that will defame (the hotel) and violate the law. Or else, we will have to take maximum legal action.”

Despite the threat, Dunyawit is not backing down.

“If you think I lied, please come and show people what’s going on. Don’t come to apologise later, because I won’t accept it from people who don’t sincerely mean it.”

Coconuts reports that phone calls to the hotel have gone unanswered and it’s understood to have suspended operations. Meanwhile, opinion is divided among former guests, some of whom agree with Dunyawit’s criticism, others who say they had a good experience. However, most are in agreement that the hotel has failed the crisis management test, with one Facebook user slamming the property for tarnishing the entire industry.

“You are an embarrassment to the hospitality industry, dragging the reputation of hoteliers all around the world down with you. If you don’t understand crisis management, you’d better close your business.”

Quarantine hotel threatens to sue over complaint about cockroach in food | News by ThaigerQuarantine hotel threatens to sue over complaint about cockroach in food | News by ThaigerQuarantine hotel threatens to sue over complaint about cockroach in food | News by ThaigerQuarantine hotel threatens to sue over complaint about cockroach in food | News by ThaigerQuarantine hotel threatens to sue over complaint about cockroach in food | News by Thaiger

Photos were posted on Topp Dunyawit Phadungsaeng’s Facebook page.

SOURCE: Coconuts

 

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27 Comments

27 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Grumpy John

    Thursday, February 18, 2021 at 11:33 am

    Dunyawit must be a bit of a softy! Around here bugs are consumed by the bag full! Not by me I might add…which makes me a bit of a softy too!

    You might laugh, but until you have eaten a bag of bugs you can keep it to yourself.

    • Avatar

      Susan

      Thursday, February 18, 2021 at 12:00 pm

      What has this got to do with anything about the story?

      • Avatar

        Das

        Thursday, February 18, 2021 at 7:02 pm

        The headline literally reads ‘about cockroach in food’.

  2. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Thursday, February 18, 2021 at 11:52 am

    I’m delighted.
    This is not an easy threat to a ferang, who will likely be disadvantaged in court because he is a ferang. A ferang who will be a target of big fines because he is a ferang.
    This is a Thai, who has photographs!
    The last excellent review on Trip advisor for this hotel was in March 2019, before that December 2018.
    My opinion was the hotel thought they had trapped quarantined guests, and lowered their already low standards.
    I look forward to see what happens.
    This is like a car driver that screams at another driver, and when they stop cars, the other driver is a giant!

    • Avatar

      Michael

      Thursday, February 18, 2021 at 2:12 pm

      I stayed there some years ago. It reminded me of an old Soviet hotel from the seventies in Moscow where I stayed several times.

      Even the service and customer friendliness of the reception was the same as in the Soviet hotel.

      Nostalgic feelings in a place where you don’t expect it.

      Although the hotel was old, it wasn’t so bad as in the photos. The swimming pool was ok, and the view was very nice.

      I understood that the Thai prisoners are in another wing 😉

  3. Avatar

    EdwardV

    Thursday, February 18, 2021 at 11:58 am

    They never learn, and I mean the hotels. Hopefully Thai law enforcement has and won’t be arresting anyone over a bad review again. Nothing good can come from suing over a bad review. The guy documented everything as it happen, how stupid can you be to think you can sue at that point.

  4. Avatar

    Susan

    Thursday, February 18, 2021 at 12:02 pm

    The problem is that reviews for hotels or restaurants etc are own experience and are usually hyped up if it’s a bad experience. The sites like Tripadvisor etc have an open platform so anyone can say anything. That’s the problem. Reviews have to be taken with a pinch of salt.

    • Avatar

      Toby Andrews

      Thursday, February 18, 2021 at 5:48 pm

      Except this review has photographs . . .
      Check out trip advisor, there are similar photographs

    • Avatar

      James Pate

      Thursday, February 18, 2021 at 7:39 pm

      Susan: That’s a good point. I read reviews when thinking about a new hotel. If most of them are above average, I may give it a try. There are some jerks who expect a 5 star experience in a 3 star hotel (often Indian or French) and some backwoods folks who don’t leave home too much that have the time of their lives. I disregard both extremes.

    • Avatar

      Simple Math

      Sunday, February 21, 2021 at 7:00 pm

      “Anyone can say anything” That`s outrageous! To say what you want? That`s unheard of! It`s strictly forbidden to say what you want (in North Korea).

  5. Avatar

    Issan John

    Thursday, February 18, 2021 at 1:12 pm

    That’s pretty damning for what used to be a decent hotel, thirty years ago.

    • Avatar

      Nipral

      Thursday, February 18, 2021 at 1:50 pm

      30 years ago you were probably pretty decent too !!!

      • Avatar

        Geoff

        Thursday, February 18, 2021 at 2:09 pm

        30 years ago we were all pretty decent! 🙂

      • Avatar

        Phuket Tony

        Thursday, February 18, 2021 at 2:36 pm

        haha…

  6. Avatar

    Ray

    Thursday, February 18, 2021 at 2:40 pm

    This is pretty much standard in many low budget guesthouses and hotels in LOS. And then the population complains about dirty backpackers. You just get dirty from staying in such lodgings, not the other way around. Thailand should raise the standard in budget hospitality and weed out the bad ones. These run-down places are operational because they can. Get rid of them and the dirty faring on a budget will look much more like a normal tourist. In many western cities are travelers on a budget and they don’t look like scumbags. When the same people go to Thailand they look differently after being in the country for while.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Thursday, February 18, 2021 at 6:29 pm

      It’s not a “low budget guesthouse” though, Ray, although it is a weird place.

      It’s seriously massive, with something like 4,000 rooms and “conference rooms” everywhere.

      It’s about 20kms from U-Tapao airport and back in the 80’s /90’s it was about 15 kms from Pattaya with no public transport on Sukhumvit – now maybe 10kms from Pattaya as Pattaya’s grown.

      The rumour was that it belonged to someone “important” and had been built to be Thailand’s Macao with Chinese flying in to U-Tapao, hence all the “conference rooms”,but someone “more important” didn’t want any gambling so it just became a massive white elephant.

      It was virtually deserted in the 90’s until the UN moved into Cambodia and effectively took it over from ’91 -’94 as they used U-Tapao to transit through, but since then it’s been mainly used for little more than Boy Scout jamborees as it’s just in the wrong place.

      ASLQ and LSQ must have been an enormous boost.

  7. Avatar

    Jesus Monroe

    Thursday, February 18, 2021 at 3:06 pm

    What’s this guy bitchin about, It’s definitely 5 star compared to Klong Prem Central……and they throw in a cockroach or two….lucky bastard!

  8. Avatar

    Karsten

    Thursday, February 18, 2021 at 6:17 pm

    This all comes to the FACT that Thai law is a pathetic JOKE; the circus of clowns.
    I speak from the experience; been working for 24 years as an interpreter in the courts around the country.

  9. Avatar

    James Pate

    Thursday, February 18, 2021 at 7:43 pm

    I hope Khun Dunyawit sticks to his guns. The hotel owners are idiots to attract more negative attention by threatening a lawsuit. F them!

  10. Avatar

    Jim kelly

    Thursday, February 18, 2021 at 7:57 pm

    THE HOTEL LOOKS LIKE A TOTAL SHIT HOLE!! don’t go there! Sue me…. FECKERS!!!

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Thursday, February 18, 2021 at 9:23 pm

      It was free!

      Reportedly it’s no longer on the SQ list.

  11. Avatar

    Jim kelly

    Thursday, February 18, 2021 at 8:02 pm

    Yes James, I hope the Covid crisis causes them bankrupcy!! THEY DESERVE IT!!! DISGUSTING PHOTOS..DISGUSTING OWNERS!!!

  12. Avatar

    Remo

    Thursday, February 18, 2021 at 11:18 pm

    Insects are a delicasy in Thailand, didnt you know?

    Rats, scorpions are eaten here, it is part of local diet, especially in rural Issan.

    So, be open minded and do what the locals do.

    Otherwise return to your junkfood eating Farangland.

    • Avatar

      James Pate

      Friday, February 19, 2021 at 12:18 am

      What’s the first and best defense to a charge of defamation? That the statement is TRUE! A picture says a thousand words. Additionally, it is in the public interest. Defamation? My ass! Power on Khun Dunyawit!

  13. Avatar

    Ben

    Friday, February 19, 2021 at 1:35 am

    This situation can’t be reasonably compared to the Wesley Barnes incident.

    Barnes had a dispute over a corkage fee that escalated into him posting a lot of negative reviews over time. He wanted to punish the hotel because it pissed him off. In the west you can post a ton of negative reviews (whether justified or not) without consequence. He was a hothead that went a little too far in a foreign land where he didn’t understand the laws. Both he and the hotel ended up looking bad.

    This situation is a Thai who understands the law in his country and is not backing down. He has evidence to back up his claims so he’s not afraid of being hauled off to jail or sued. Only the hotel looks bad here.

    This also shows you get what you pay for. Some Thai’s pay for a nicer ASQ because they know they’re going to be uncomfortable in state provided free quarantine.

  14. Avatar

    Leo Z

    Saturday, February 20, 2021 at 7:13 am

    As Toby said, yes, the reviews on Tripadvisor are negative for 2020.

    The interesting thing is that their regular rates are in the 3,000 baht/night category, and right now at 1,600/night. But judging from the guests’ photos on Tripadvisor (which interestingly concur with the Thai guest’s photos here), this is a 900 baht a night Pattaya hotel masquerading as a 5-star Jomtien hotel.

    If I were that Thai guest, I would ask them publicly to bring it on, and counter-sue them. Some of these hotels have to learn a lesson.

  15. Avatar

    Nn

    Thursday, March 4, 2021 at 10:23 pm

    I saw the hotel’s facebook posted Dunyawit’s facebook profile picture with his full name and writing a status “please contact us” for 3 days and deleted a post yesterday after many people complained their actions. I cannot understand what are they thinking.

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