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Phuket's Jet-Skis: Insurance Deal Ends Crisis

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This Phuket Forum seems a bit short on posts. Hopefully it's Ok to report local news (I've read the rules). Here is a current hot topic in Patong about the jet ski operators scam of charging tourists very high prices for damages ....

Phuket's Jet-Skis: Insurance Deal Ends Crisis

By Chutima Sidasathian and Alan Morison

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A DEAL was signed today that makes it compulsory for all Phuket jet-skis to be insured. The signing ends a series of crisis meetings that followed claims that tourists have frequently been scammed over jet-ski ''damage.''

Yet to be resolved is the case involving one jet-ski operator, Winai ''JJ'' Naiman, in which he was caught on film in two separate incidents demanding large sums of money from British marines and US marines.

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Today's Provincial Hall meeting of about 30 people, mostly jet-ski operators, looked on as the Governor, Wichai Praisa-nob, Ayuthaya Insurance representative Saiwalee Sakomjib and Phuket Jet-Ski Association President Anusorn Saley signed the agreement.

Full report link here ...

http://phuketwan.com/tourism/phukets-jet-skis-insurance-deal-ends-crisis-11675/

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People don't want to rent cause they fear being scammed.

If they have insurance against any damage, then they will feel better about renting a jetski and having to pay the alleged damage.

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The insurance sounds like a good idea. I hope it solves the problem.

No way will the jet ski guys give up this lucrative money makers, the jet ski guys will still try to stick the rentor for damages. I'm sure there will be some clause in any insurance scheme whi will not cover the first x,000 baht of any claim, and that's the excuse that will be given to the punters.

And do you really believe these guts are going to shell out thousands of baht per jet ski for an insurance policy. Dream on baby...

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I have rented Jet Skis in Phuket 20 times or more and never had an issue. I wonder if it is a certain group they target?

I would guess first-time visitors. Newcomers are usually easy targets.

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I have rented Jet Skis in Phuket 20 times or more and never had an issue. I wonder if it is a certain group they target?

I would say it's just anyone that looks like they a. can be intimidated, and b. look this they can pay the money demanded.

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An interesting update to this story from Phuket Wan ....

Jet-Skis, Rip-Offs: Phuket Resort CEO Speaks Out

By Chutima Sidasathian and Alan Morison

Monday, October 12, 2009

THE CEO of a Phuket group of resorts has called for a greater variety of tourism activities, more control over development and an end to corruption on the island.

Javed Shaikh heads Horizon Hotels and Resorts, which has two establishments in Patong and a third in Karon.

''Do we have to wait to talk about our island's problems only when they appear on the BBC or CNN?'' he asked during an interview with Phuketwan ''When will we wake up?

Rest of the story ----->

http://phuketwan.com/tourism/jet-skis-rip-offs-phuket-resort-ceo-speaks-11671/

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While I am on-line, here is an update to the original insurance story ...

Phuket's Jet-Skis: Insurance Deal Ends Crisis

By Chutima Sidasathian and Alan Morison

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A DEAL was signed today that makes it compulsory for all Phuket jet-skis to be insured. The signing ends a series of crisis meetings that followed claims that tourists have frequently been scammed over jet-ski ''damage.''

Yet to be resolved is the case involving one jet-ski operator, Winai ''JJ'' Naiman, in which he was caught on film in two separate incidents demanding large sums of money from British marines and US marines.

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Today's Provincial Hall meeting of about 30 people, mostly jet-ski operators, looked on as the Governor, Wichai Praisa-nob, Ayuthaya Insurance representative Saiwalee Sakomjib and Phuket Jet-Ski Association President Anusorn Saley signed the agreement.

Rest of this story from Phuket Wan ---->

http://phuketwan.com/tourism/phukets-jet-skis-insurance-deal-ends-crisis-11675/

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on my first trip to patong i was scammed by the jetski guys me and a mate crashed into each other not a wise move not recomended anyway we smashed them up pretty good but in honesty i work on aircraft and do a fair bit of work with fibreglass and carbon fibre and i could have fixed the demage myself with half a day and about $200-$300 but they wouldnt hear of it they charged us 80,000 baht just under $3000 australian we argued for about 30 minutes but all we could do was pay now comees the other problem you can only get 20,000 baht out of a machine a day which was hard because there was only the 2 of us and we only had 1 card each we tried to explain this to them but again they wouldnt have it in the end a passer by came over and asked us what the problem was we told him and he lent us the extra money didnt know him from a bar of soap but he still gave us the cash we paid him back the (next day) later that night we were talking to some people about it and they tell us that the tourist police would have come and sorted it out for us but we didnt know they were there

i travle to patong atleast twice a year and i still hire jetskis from the same guys we just have a laugh about it now and i dont ride near anyone i stay well to myself i gues the moral to the story is dont crash into your mate

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Here is a follow up Phuket Gazette story to the jet ski scam ---->

Phuket jet-ski woes continue

PATONG, PHUKET: Despite the mandatory insurance scheme for rental jet-skis that went into effect last month, problems between jet-ski operators and tourists persist and scores of unregistered jet-skis continue to operate in Patong Bay.

Marine Transport Department officer Songchai Na Nakorn told the Gazette forty-one jet skis in Patong are currently out of service because their insurance applications are still being processed.

“There are currently 219 licensed jet-skis with insurance, 126 in Patong and the rest in Kamala, Kata-Karon and Bangtao. Patong has 41 that are still unregistered. The owners haven’t brought their jet-skis into the system yet because ownership documents were lost or damaged in the tsunami [five years ago].

"After the Phuket Governor issues an official letter, ownership documents can be re-issued and the owner(s) can apply for the insurance. In the meantime they are not allowed to operate on a rental basis,†he said.

Despite the insurance scheme, tourist complaints about being scammed by jet-ski operators continue unabated.

Phuket Jet Ski Club vice president Singthong Charoensap said there were over 75 jet-skis operating in Patong Bay that were completely outside the registration and insurance system.

“Right now there are over 200 jet-skis being rented out in Patong, but just 126 legal ones. The 200 include the ones that are [supposed to be] out-of-service pending receipt of the Governor’s letter,†he said.

If the renegade jet-ski operators don’t cease after the letter is issued, the owners of the legal jet-skis will pay a visit to the Governor, he said.

Operators who register are currently at a competitive disadvantage compared to their renegade counterparts, he said.

“We have to pay the insurance costs of about 8,000 baht each and bear additional expenses, such as registration renewal fees. Meanwhile, the illegal ones don’t pay anything but continue to operate. It’s not fair,†he said.

There are still some complaints from tourists being overcharged by operators, including those who do have insurance, he said.

“Recently one foreign guy damaged a rental jet-ski and the operator asked him for 1,000 baht to repair it plus 15,000 baht in additional compensation, saying the jet-ski would need to be out of service for five days while the repairs were carried out. In fact the jet-ski was rented out again the very next day, so the tourist filed a complaint with the Tourist Police, who came to help work out a solution,†he said.

Like tuk-tuk drivers, jet-ski rental operators have been at the center of an endless stream of harsh tourist complaints over the years.

Hundreds of such complaints have been posted in the Gazette Online's Readers' Fourm over the past three weeks alone. While most of these are currently focused on the tuk-tuk problem, many draw parallels with the damage done by jet-skis to Phuket's tourist industry. The complaints in question can be seen at the bottom of our stories of Dec 12, Dec 20, and Dec 29 (here and here).

In a Gazette reader’s poll taken before the jet-ski insurance scheme was put in place by Phuket Governor Wichai Phraisa-ngop, 53.8% of those casting votes wanted the skis banned outright with immediate effect, while another 19.4% called for a gradual phase-out. It was hoped that the mandatory insurance scheme, the first of its kind in the world, would minimize the number of tourist complaints about jet-skis.

It's common knowledge that most of the people engaged in renting out jet-skis and big bikes at Patong Beach are marginal at best, with most of them members of gangs. The police seem reluctant to enforce the laws already in place.

Source ---> http://www.phuketgazette.net/news/detail.asp?id=8180

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