The post on TikTok claimed the restaurant charged exorbitant prices, which are not shown on the menu. “When you eat, you say it’s delicious, when you pay, it’s expensive," said the post.
The post recognised that the order placed was large and included special dishes, but maintained the prices were too high. “We ordered crayfish, shrimp, fish, crab, scallops, which are seafood and we know that the price may be expensive. But it’s unbelievable how expensive it is,” the post added.
In addition to dishes such as Gaeng Som Pla costing B500, the prices of dishes listed in the post included fried crayfish with garlic and stir-fried fresh chilli, 3kg for B3,000 as well as baked shrimp with glass noodles (without black pepper), Stir Fried Prawns with Tamarind Sauce B1,800 and a fillet of fish served fried, all costing B1,800 a serving.
Lesser dishes such as Fried Rice with Chicken + Fried Egg cost B220. However, a serving of plain rice cost B150.
The total price of the bill was given as B10,460.
The owner of the restaurant, Boonserit ‘Ko Song’ Chongrakwittaya, dismissed the post, saying the prices reflected the quality of the dishes served, and the size of the servings, of which he claimed that some of the dishes suit parties of six to nine people.
“I don’t want to explain. I’ve been selling for 40 years, until my head turned grey. I’ve never met a customer like this,” he said.
“What should I do to meet such an idiot who wants to eat good things but doesn’t dare to pay?” Mr Boonserit told reporters, adding some disparaging remarks about the post.
“Our dishes are not expensive, but you order expensive things. You want to eat signature dishes. If you want to eat good dishes, we sell dishes like this,” he said,
“I never think of taking advantage of customers. Let customers eat to be full and think according to the price. There are many people like this in society, but he never showed manners because he is an unkind person,” Mr Boonserit continued.
“I am an elderly person, how can I take advantage of customers? I set my prices according to the quality of my dishes…
“Of all the reviews posted on social media, I have never had customers say it was expensive. They say that it’s worth the price and delicious, That’s all I’m going to say,” Mr Boonserit concluded.
NO PRICES ON MENUS
However, Mr Boonserit gave no defence for the menu at his restaurant providing pictures of the dishes, but no prices.
The practice is deemed illegal by and often acted on by the Phuket Commercial Office.
Phuket Vice Governor Pichet Panapong has previously warned food vendors during the annual Phuket Vegetarian Festival against not clearly and openly displaying their prices.
“Vendors found not displaying their prices face a penalty of a fine of up to B10,000 while those who charge customers prices not according to those displayed face a fine of up to B140,000 or even up to seven years in jail, or or both, depending on the severity of the offence,” he explained.
Woranit Aphiratjirawong, Chief of the Phuket Provincial Commerce Office, earlier this year called on people to report any price gouging in their areas.
“Any person who sees someone taking advantage of the situation to unfairly increase prices or who have not received a fair trade can report or make a complaint at the Phuket Provincial Commercial Office by calling 076-219586 or or the 24-hour hotline 1569,” Ms Woranit said.
The Phuket Provincial Commerce Office in April investigated the Little Tiger restaurant beside Tri Trang Beach for allegedly charging ‘foreigner prices’.
The investigation, conducted literally within one day of the claims spreading, found no evidence of price gouging and cleared the Little Tiger of any wrongdoing.
So far the Phuket Provincial Commercial Office has not reported any action to investigate the claims against Mr Boonserit’s Kohn Boran restaurant in Phuket Town.