The Vung Tau City People’s Committee yesterday imposed penalties, totaling VND36.2 million (US$1,730), on the owners of two local eateries that have been overcharging tourists over the past few months .
Tran Thanh Huong, who runs the Nhu Y eatery at 306 Phan Chu Trinh Street, was fined VND25 million for distributing the eatery’s flyers without permission, and for “using food additives with dubious origins in food trading.”
Meanwhile, Tran Thi Hue, owner of Hung Phat 2 eatery at 189 Hoang Hoa Tham Street, received to a VND11.2-million fine, and had her business license revoked for charging customers higher prices than registered.
Eateries: daylight robberies
Earlier in February, following the readers’ complaints, Tuoi Tre undercover journalists penetrated the two food establishments to uncover their tricks of ripping off tourists.
Nhu Y restaurant was found to use a weight-adding scale to rob customers. The scale, which was put near the seafood tank for customers to check the food weights, will automatically add 300g to the seafood being weighed.
For instance, on February 5, a group of customers ordered two lobsters at Nhu Y, and was told by Huong that they weighed 750g, while the real weight was only 450g.
With the lobster costing VND1.3 million ($62) a kilogram, the customers had to pay VND975,000, and were thus robbed of VND390,000 for the 300-g “virtual weight.”
Meanwhile, Hung Phat 2 eatery at 189 Hoang Hoa Tham Street has arranged a more sophisticated scam to fleece their customers.
The woman who takes orders at the eatery would invite customers to try the Thai hotpots, a dish that costs only VND100,000 ($5). The hotpot, however, is always accompanied by a dish of seafood, which the restaurant charges an exorbitant price.
On February 7, Phan Duc Tien, from HCMC, and his family went to Hung Phat 2 for lunch, where Hoa persuaded them to order the hotpot.
The waiters later brought out a hotpot with four lobsters, and a dish of cuttlefish.
Upon finishing the lunch, Tien was given a bill of VND1.2 million ($57.6) for the meal.