Restaurants stick it on, travelers need to become “smart”

After having meals, a lot of travelers felt exceedingly astonished when receiving the bills. They were stung for millions of dong for the dishes worth several hundreds of thousands of dong.

The black list

The competent agencies in Vung Tau City have decided to punish Huong Viet seafood restaurant at No. 94 Hoang Hoa Tham Street for its behavior of overcharging tourists.

On March 26, a group of 7 tourists, including 4 Japanese, 3 Vietnamese, who stayed at Vung Tau Intourco Resort, were carried to Huong Viet by a taxi driver. The customers ordered 6 kilos of small lobsters, 3.5 kilos of crabs, 1.7 kilos of cuttlefish  and oysters.

The restaurant gave more than the amount ordered by the customers. After having meals, the tourists were asked to pay VND16.6 million dong.

This was not the only case of this kind happening in Vung Tau City so far. The restaurants here have 1,000 tricks to rip off travelers. The waiters deliberately did not give the menus to the customers, or gave the menus with unclear information.

If the customers queried about the big sums of money they were told to pay, the waiters would show other menus with the unit prices much higher than the prices they informed to customers before.

In most cases, customers had to pay the sums of money the restaurants asked for. They had to “swallow the bitter pill,” or they would have to fight with the workers at the restaurants, who always got ready to apply the “law of the jungle.”

The disreputable restaurants have been boycotted by local residents and travelers, or punished by the local authorities. Many of them had to close down. However, in fact, they only changed hands or changed the names. Tung Ngoc Thuy restaurant has been renamed into Phuong Vy, or Nhu Y into Thu Mai.

Two months ago, a traveler from HCM City denounced Thu Mai of ripping him off, charging him VND3.6 million for the lunch.

Nguyen Tung Nghia, the traveler, said he and his 5 family members had to pay VND1.26 million on average for every dish. Nghia said that each black tiger shrimp served was not bigger than a thumb, but the restaurant owner affirmed that it weighted 1.4 kilos, for which he charged VND900,000 per kilo.

On February 6, the Thang Tam Ward People’s Committee received a complaint from a group of 20 travelers from Hau Giang that they were cheated by the Bac Lieu restaurant on Hoang Hoa Tham Street.

The travelers complained they were charged VND9.23 million for a frugal meal.

The black list of the restaurants and hotels overcharging tourists has been prolonged. In Hanoi, 9 men were caught red handed when they tried to rob the assets of the two customers at the café at No. 32 Tran Quoc Toan Street, as the two refused to pay VND2.1 million for two bottles of beer and a pack of chestnut.

Heavy punishments imposed

Forcing the restaurants to close down after imposing fines is believed to be the heaviest punishment over the violators.

The Vung Tau City’s authorities have asked the local planning and investment  department to inspect the business premises before licensing, to be sure that the newly set up restaurants are not the disreputable ones which have changed names.

However, travelers have been told that they would be better to become smart to protect themselves instead of relying on the intervention of the competent agencies.

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