A Phuket health spa announced that it will no longer accept reservations from travel agencies after one agency ripped off its foreign customers. The decision was made after the agency in question overcharged foreign customers, causing them to file complaints about the high prices of the spa services.
Phumontra Cafe & Massage is one of the most popular spa spots in Phuket among Thai people and foreigners. Google reviews back this up with Phumontra receiving high ratings, with many reviewers praising the quality of services provided at reasonable prices.
However, some foreign customers complained the service was too expensive but it later transpires that this is because they booked the services via a dishonest travel agency.
The spa went public with the story of the overcharging incident yesterday.
“Phumontra will no longer accept reservations from any travel agency to prevent them from taking advantage of tourists by charging extra fees or seeking other benefits for their own businesses.”
According to Phumontra, a group of nine foreigners had their services booked by a travel agency two weeks in advance, with a specific request not to show them the prices upon arrival.
The agency claimed this was to speed up the process and avoid any complications. The individual who made the reservation was a foreigner who could speak and understand Thai.
On the day of the services, some of the foreigners in the group were happy with the quality of the services and wanted to purchase additional spa packages. However, when they asked to see the price list, they suddenly accused Phumontra of overcharging them, claiming that the prices they paid were twice as high as those on the list.
The group argued with the spa staff and demanded a refund. Upon investigation, the spa discovered that the travel agency had charged the tourists extra fees without their knowledge or consent.
The owner of Phumontra revealed that the travel agency manager scolded her over the phone saying…
“I told you not to show the price to them. Don’t you understand that? Stupid!”
The owner added that the agency manager also swore at her. The owner said…
“At Phumontra, we do not take advantage of foreign customers. You cannot do this in Thailand. If you are not happy with what I have done. You can report it to the police.”
Phumontra posted a picture of a fake service price list on their page to demonstrate how the agency misled the tourists. The actual price for the two-hour full body scrub with aroma oil massage was 900 baht, but the agency charged the foreigners 1,800 baht for the service, while other services were also doubled.
Cases of scamming and ripping-off foreigners have been reported from time to time, particularly in touristy cities in Thailand like Phuket and Bangkok. A few months ago, a Singaporean couple reported their experience with a tuk tuk driver in Bangkok who demanded more money from them despite having agreed on the fare beforehand.
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