Failure to do so can incur heavy fines, with the law against price gouging even including jail terms, the office has warned.
Officials were deployed to conduct inspections of food stalls at shrines from Saturday through Monday, Phuket Commerce Office Chief Premmanee Subchokchai told The Phuket News.
The first food stalls inspected were at the Choor Su Gong Shrine (or Naka Shrine) and the Tekun Guan Ou Shrine in Nabon, Wichit, she added.
“We urged all vendors to clearly display their prices and not to overcharge their customers, and we will keep conducting inspections until the festival has ended,” Ms Premmanee said.
Pichet Kiitihonkul, Trade Officer at the Phuket Commerce Office, said that so far no vendors have been charged for either offence.
“The inspections follow the Ministry of Commerce’s consumer protection policy, in order to prevent unfair advantage being taken through overpricing, as well as to create a good image for the festival as ‘quality products, good price’, and to be fair,” he said.
“No people have been charged from our inspections so far. The vendors agreed to use the price signs that we have created to post at their stalls, plus we made a record of all the stalls that we have inspected,” he added.
Mr Pichet pointed out that the penalties for not displaying prices are stern.
“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.
“If anyone feels that they have been unfairly taken advantage of either by being overcharged or by a vendor not clearly displaying their prices, please contact the Phuket Provincial office of the Ministry of Commerce. An official will go and inspect the vendor,” Mr Pichet said.
“People can inform our office by calling 076-219586 or the Department of Internal Trade hotline 1569, or they can report their complaint at the Phuket Provincial Damrongdhama Centre [the provincial ombudsman’s office] by calling 076-213203 or their hotline 1567,” he said.