New Thai Prime Minister clamping down on rogue Jet-Ski operators in Pattaya and Phuket after years of negative publicity.
Jet -Ski Scams have been highlighted by us before. At last it seems like somebody has taken notice and has decided to take action against the gangs that extort money from tourists on beaches particularly popular resorts like Pattaya and Phuket.
He urged them to deal with the problem at seaside resorts such as Pattaya and Phuket.
The Jet- Ski extortionists reportedly knowingly allow tourists to use unsafe Jet- Skis and when accidents occur they demand exaggerated “compensation” payouts for “damage” caused to the Jet- Ski and sometimes they have even assaulted people or even robbed them of their belongings.
Some of the main Jet Ski Hire scams identified in Thailand were as follows;
– It needs to be determined if a machine was damaged due to a crash occurring because of its poor condition or because the rider was at fault.
– Tourists generally lack experience riding Jet- Skis.
– Operators sometimes charge full price for the hiring even though tourists return the Jet- Ski before the deadline.
– Some operators claim existing Jet-Ski damage has been caused by a customer and demand exaggerated compensation.
– Some tourists have lost or had their belongings stolen after leaving them in the safe keeping of the operators.
This year there have been 54 complaints lodged against Jet Ski operators – 44 of which ended in early financial settlements while the rest ended in court with civil lawsuits. It was reported that most victims were from India, China and Oman.
Pattaya police now set guidelines relating to resolving claims including setting up a settlement room to help support fair negotiations, investigating suspect operators and requiring all Jet- Ski operators to be insured.
A police investigations team will also be set up to handle cases.
New zones for water sports to operate in the central, northern, and southern parts of the city’s beaches will be set up so Jet-Ski operators could regulate themselves. If any zone had a problem, the whole zone would be closed for up to a week.
Officials would register 500 jet skis to ensure good standards.
While the new regulations will undoubtedly help the situation in the short term FCOL warns that initiatives such as these have been tried before and failed. Our advice is not to get involved with the Jet- Ski operators. If you absolutely must hire one make sure you record the condition of the Jet- Ski before you take it out.
Don’t leave your belongings with the Jet- Ski operators and if there is a problem over the price or damage to the Jet- Ski report the matter to the Thai police and resolve the situation with their help and support.
Remember Jet- Ski operation is run by the Thai mafia…. it is organised and Jet- Ski operators back each other up. If you stand and argue on the beach you will not win!
Tip: Never ride a Jet- Ski under the influence of alcohol.
Dont be put off vacationing in Thailand this issue is really a minor one and being forewarned you should not find yourself a victim of this type of scam. Thailand is a fascinating holiday destination well worth a visit but as with so many destinations you need to pack your brain too!