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Naming and shaming: Jack from Circle Pub in Chiang Mai

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Haven't been active on this forum for a little while now, but thought I'd give everyone a heads up, esp. those of you who have plans to be in Chiang Mai and will be on the hunt for some R & R. If you find yourself at Circle, steer clear of the guy calling himself Jack. (Pic below.)

It's the first time that something like this has happened to me in about a decade or so of hitting the bars. Was at Circle with a couple of friends last week, incld. a local, and ended up offing Jack. The bill came up to 250 BHT for his drink, 400 for the off fee, and 1500 for his tip. (Unusually, the tip was paid to the bar directly.)  The group of us headed out for supper, and my Thai pal was curious about his background so had a long-ish exchange with him. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary. At first he seemed perfectly nice, even bordering on friendly, but it was after we got back to my hotel room that matters went south quite quickly. I asked him if he would like a beer, and he insisted several times that he would go out to get some. I thought that was strange, so said I'd just get some from the hotel bar. He then changed his tune, insisting that he had to leave at 1 am; it was already ten to. I was taken aback, to put it mildly. I repeated several times that I had paid out the tip, but he kept mumbling something about the mummy not allowing him to stay. At least, that's what I thought was said ... I asked him to text/call mummy - it didn't make sense that he had to cut and run before business was finished - and finally, after about 15 mins of texting and a call, he finally said that mummy agreed to him staying overnight till 6 am for an extra 1000. I didn't have much choice at this point, so gave in. He asked for the grand up front. I handed it over like a fool, then headed down to the bar to get the beer.

What happened next seems almost predictable in the telling of the tale, but, as mentioned, this is virgin territory for me. When I returned with the two cans of Chang, he'd disappeared. Without finishing what he'd been paid for, and with the extra thousand baht that he managed to swindle me out of. At first I assumed that he was just out for a puff, but when I went downstairs I discovered that the little shyster's motorbike was gone. It is deeply, deeply unpleasant to be taken for a ride by someone you've been nothing but nice to .. 

While the money wasn't a big deal, the principle of the matter certainly was. I returned the following night with Thai pal and had words with Circle's mummy. She summoned a sullen-looking Jack out, and according to what my friend summarized for me afterward, he told her that our business had been done by 1 am, and that I had given him the grand as a bonus. Friend promptly set the record straight. She made Jack hand the 1000 BHT over, who did so with some reluctance, then disappeared without so much as an apology or look of contrition. I informed mummy that, since business had not been conducted either, I would like the 1,500 BHT tip back as well. (The off fee I was willing to forgo, seeing that he did at least spend the time having supper with us.) To her credit, the refund was promptly transacted. I then told her exactly what I thought of the crooked, two-faced fraud she calls an employee, and that if he could do this to one customer, he could certainly do it to another, and she best let him go. She appeared, unlike the boy, sincerely apologetic, so that at least provided the satisfactory conclusion that had eluded me the previous night. 

TL; DR. Jack from Circle in Chiang Mai is a liar, and a cheat. Avoid. 


Jack Circle.jpg

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While I am sure all of us can understand the frustration, I think this post is unnecessary. If all of your tip money was returned, then it seems quite likely that he will face severe repercussions at work. Also, it may be that if you're paying it all to the house, that they are keeping such a large portion of the guy's income that he feels he needs to play such games in the hopes of salvaging something.

Hard to know, but whatever the case, "Jack" is likely to feel the full weight of the event.

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I would also add that if a bar has a significant number of Japanese customers, it will make sense to collect the tip upfront. This is the practice in Japan, and so, Japanese customers would be more comfortable about it because it signals to them that the bar management takes responsibility for the quality of services provided. It's kind of opposite to the situation where a bar says, what happens after you leave the bar is between you and boy (both in terms of service and remuneration) and we wash our hands of it.

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