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Beware Renting Motorbikes In Chiangmai


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Not just CM or Thailand, this scam is run everywhere in SE Asia.

Very good point, this is scam run all over Thailand.

1. Never ever leave your passport , a copy of 1st page and visa stamp is enough. if they refuse a copy of passport move on to a dealer that will.

2. Be sure the motorbike is 100% insured for accident or theft, get this in writing. not 50%

3, Inspect the bike for defects or damage, scratches and dents, take pics

of any damage.

This is info for anyone anywhere in SE Asia who wants to rent anything.

You must protect yourself from becoming a victim, this is a tourist scam

that can ruin your holiday. The wolves are out there so be aware. Chok Dee

I don't think you can get a motorcycle insured against accident damage in Thailand, and the theft insurance one can get only covers it for a percentage of the new cost and not the whole new value, (In the first year).

This percentage drops in the second year if theft insurance is renewed.

Saying that you can not get accident cover is not 100% accurate (Come to think of it) as i managed to find a company in Pattaya that would cover a new motorcycle i bought but the snag was it would be over 8000Bht which put me off

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Sounds like a Popular trick to me?

Many years ago another shop did this with a Honda Wing 125 & the customer paid for the replacement value of the bike.

I had all the details of the bike & two months later when the bike reappeared on the rental row I went down with a lawyer & the police to claim the bike as it had been paid for. The shop refunded the money & I returned it to the customer.

PM me the details of the bike & I will attempt to follow up for you.

Smart! Very smart! Of course, if you are a tourist there for 3 weeks, you are scr*wed! Did the police or the lawyer pursue the matter after this, against the owner of the shop?

Like others mentioned, get your own padlock, but even that can be defeated rather easily, especially if the bike is out of the beaten path.

BTW, I have used an old passport successfully as proof of identity, although I like the idea of copy and moving on if they don't like it.

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this exactly same thing happen yesterday to my dutch friend.

motorbike was rented from a well known medium size mb rental couple hundred meters from Thapae Gate (inside the mote). After we left mb parked on the quest house only 100m from the rental shop it disappeared between 5-7pm yesterday!

What makes this even more strange is that there where dozen bikes parked there and this one was only one double locked!!! but with locks provided by rental shop...

after we called the shop owner he was there in few minutes and quickly wanted the 20.000 baht as it says in the "fully covered" contract. He didnt want to bother us with police but he would take if further. We asked to see tourist police and several different guys shoed up some in uniform some not, but none of them tourist police. We where also threaten with some big police chief and how he will course us problems if we dont take care of the issue.

I walked to thapea gate to talk to tourist police and they said sounds like very familiar case indeed and asked us not to go to the local police station but we are going today to tourist police office.

The shop has my friends passport. If anyone feels like give a hand or would know the shop by name where similar cases has happen would be very kind to call me today at 081 304 8038. Ozzi

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I wonder if the "Tourist Police" in that area are more trustworthy than the regular police?

Sorry about your troubles and good luck!

Simply, No. They can speak English, but that is the only thing they are good at, in my experience.

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Not only this, but they get old 100cc Honda dreams that I could pick up for under 10k and on the contract they require you to pay 50k! that's the price of 125i Wave!

Ya, I really like this one.

Last time I was on that hole of an island, Phuket, I was going to rent a bike from the hotel where I was staying. The bike she was offering was pretty old and rough looking, but I noticed on the contract that I was obliged to pay 45,000 baht if the bike was damaged or stolen. In reality, the bike was maybe worth 10K. To me, this just absolutely reeked of a scam, and the owner of the small hotel nearly blew a gasket when I pointed out the ridiculous replacement charge and refused to rent the bike. She was nearly livid, screaming "You say you want bike - now no want - must take bike." ( I guess she had already paid somebody to steal it. - lol)

Fortunately, that was about 9 o'clock in the morning, so I quietly went to my room, packed, paid the bill and left (after originally planning to stay longer). This put the owner over the edge, and as I was waiting for my taxi, I could hear her ranting and throwing things in some room behind the counter.

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Like i said before there is no such thing as 100% bike cover for accidents in Thailand just ask your self if this was the case then why are so many renters asking for these huge deposits.

Also it is a requirement by the Thai authorities for foreigners (Technically) to have their passport on them at all times ( Yes i no who does but that's how it is) so why would any one leave there passport(A copy yes)

Car Insurance is the same with the exception of the big boys like Hertz etc but in general most Thai Car rental companies do not give 100% fully covered insurance.

Thais will always say yes 1st classinsurance cover for every thing...but

Usually in the rental contract it says if the car is damaged and has to be in the garage the renter will have to pay the rental cost of every day it is in the garage, i recently had to wait 10 days for Toyota to repair some damage to my car, that would have cost a hirer between 8-10K it would be in the renters favor to have it in for repair as long as he could as he is getting the rental money every day and not loosing a been .

It pays to be careful and read contracts and make sure the contracts are in English if they are not then they should be as foreigners are their main market Thais don't like renting to Thais because the Thais wouldn't put up with some of their nonsense .

Just be careful

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I wonder if the "Tourist Police" in that area are more trustworthy than the regular police?

Sorry about your troubles and good luck!

Simply, No. They can speak English, but that is the only thing they are good at, in my experience.

from my experience today I have to agree, dont expect to get help from the tourist police.

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Sounds like a Popular trick to me?

Many years ago another shop did this with a Honda Wing 125 & the customer paid for the replacement value of the bike.

I had all the details of the bike & two months later when the bike reappeared on the rental row I went down with a lawyer & the police to claim the bike as it had been paid for. The shop refunded the money & I returned it to the customer.

PM me the details of the bike & I will attempt to follow up for you.

Smart! Very smart! Of course, if you are a tourist there for 3 weeks, you are scr*wed! Did the police or the lawyer pursue the matter after this, against the owner of the shop?

used an old passport successfully as proof of identity, although I like the idea of copy and moving on if they don't like it.

Yes it was pursued. I took a lawyer & the police to the shop to either reclaim the bike or the money. The shop refunded the money. But this was 15+ years ago.

BTW if you think you're going to be around for a while & have a local friend who might follow up get a contract to say that you have paid for the stolen bike & should it reappear your friend is authorised to claim the bike or get a refund on your behalf. It worked for me years ago. It should also worry the shop & make them have 2nd thoughts if they are stealing their own bikes.

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I wonder if the "Tourist Police" in that area are more trustworthy than the regular police?

Sorry about your troubles and good luck!

Simply, No. They can speak English, but that is the only thing they are good at, in my experience.

from my experience today I have to agree, dont expect to get help from the tourist police.

I would be interested in your experience at The TPD today. please elaborate , thanks

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Just as a caution...

Thai law is rather touchy about commentary that is even slightly perceived as defamatory, etc.

Thai Visa offers open discourse, but national law here should make one wary about rather serious allegations in posts.

Better to go through private legal channels, I would think.

One definitely needs to tread carefully.

However to help others who could unwittingly fall victim to the outrageous scams, could 'point of fact' posts not be placed mentioning the fact that someone rented a bike from so and so's rental place and they subsequently had their bike stolen. Any mention of finger pointing/allegations obviousely omitted. Surely after a collection of similar posts, readers can 'read between the lines' and word of mouth would be the order of the day.

Don't you just wanna shout.....

he did it!! yes I know you can't, but................

regards Bojo

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I wonder if the "Tourist Police" in that area are more trustworthy than the regular police?

Sorry about your troubles and good luck!

Simply, No. They can speak English, but that is the only thing they are good at, in my experience.

from my experience today I have to agree, dont expect to get help from the tourist police.

I would be interested in your experience at The TPD today. please elaborate , thanks

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hmm let me think this a bit as who knows the TPD might be reading this thread as well. All tough these guys English skills would not be good enough to understand :D

First of as I mentioned earlier I met 3 tourist police at sunday market around 9pm Sunday who where all very nice. They said that case sounds very familiar and asked me not to go to the local police station but to tourist police first.

Monday around 1pm we did go to TPD and there where 3 other guys who's attitude from the very beginning was pretty different. The old guy who seemed to dislike us most told us that we will not get help from there but have to go together with the owner to the local police station near wat prasin. There might have been also a little language barrier but he didn't quit understand the point that the shop owner has already threaten us with the police and "big problems" :D (I love when Thais use that). Anyway he had another case at Wat Pra Sin Police station so we went to ask for the shop owner to come there together with us. We had to wait for about hour for the previous case to be solved and Im not sure if it ever was. As this same TP was there as "translator" and the pour Italian guy was pretty pissed when he pushed to sign something he dont understand. Already then we could see what was coming. The tourist police was very unhelpful and saying phrases like "you not my boss" "I dont have to help you" etc... and occasionally left the farang along with the Thai police officer who didnt speak any English but actually seemed like a ok guy.

Once our turn came the situation was this. The tourist police was there only to translate not to give any advice. Im not sure what is their role but even as a translator he did a terrible job. Not only his English was pretty bad but also he really talked very unfriendly way to us and was pretty easy to see hows side he took in the case. We where not excusing anyone just pointing that it was a pretty weird thing that only that bike was stolen. I tried to ask some questions like "where does stolen bikes usually go?" Answer "I don't know, not my job". Ok difficult to explain the whole story but at one point our "translator" wanted me out of the room to talk only with the 2 dutch guys. I refused to do this as I didnt really see any point there. At this point they already found out that I can pretty well understand Thai and where translating the Thai to the Dutch guys (the tourist police, police and shop owner we speaking in Thai together, even the shop owner spoke really fluent English).

After I refused the shop owner snatch and jumped up saying something like "do not ever put down the Thai people". There where moment before this when I asked my friend not to sign a form that was empty (they wanted to fill it later). Also the Tourist police where saying how this is Thailand this is the procedure here.

Ok when we got out from the police station one other tourist police and our translator stopped me and wanted to see my passport. I didnt have one with me so I showed copy of my passport. Then they asked about how long I have been living here and how long I will stay and what is my purpose of being here etc. Im here as a full-time master student at Payap university so I gaved all those details and they where talking something about knowing the Payap president and getting in contact, I was not told for what reason, but perhaps checking whether my visa and studies are for real (oh and they are).

So yes from my experience yesterday I think the local Police was doing better job or at least less unpolitely.

What is actually tourist police purpose of asking my passport and visa? Are they working together with immigration. I understood these guys only do translating and they not very good in that :)

Ill keep people posted how things will continue from here.... perhaps I make another visit to TPD to find out what was that all about. Perhaps just a bad day?

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