Seven restaurants at a beach town in southern Vietnam were publicly blacklisted Wednesday for ripping off their customers, the Tuoi Tre newspaper reported.
The Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province Department of Industry and Trade listed seven restaurants in Vung Tau beach town: Phuong Vi, Du Thuyen and Hai Nam; Hiep Ky No.1 on Hoang Hoa Tham Street; Hoa Ba Do and Tay Ho Thuy Ta on Vo Thi Sau Street; and Nhu Y on Phan Chu Trinh Street.
All of them had been punished earlier following customers' tip-offs.
Investigations showed that the restaurants registered high prices at the authorities so that they could legally charge the customers much higher than what they said in the menu, local officials said.
A customer said that they ordered normal prawns at one of the restaurants but were served lobsters, forced to eat and pay for them.
Another customer said they were charged for the seafood hotpot at a much higher price than the menu, and the restaurant said that the listed price was only for the sauce.
When they tried to complain, they were threatened by the restaurants' waiters.
Local officials said in the coming time panels with hotline numbers will be set up near the blacklisted restaurants so the customers can report any wrongdoing as soon as it is spottted.
Concerned agencies will also introduce restaurants with good service, check the registered prices of all restaurants in the area to make necessary adjustments, the department said.
It will also ask taxi firms to have their drivers stop taking tourists to restaurants with unreasonably high prices.
Some drivers received commissions of 20-30 percent from the restaurants, officials found.
Later this month, the provincial government is expected to open a course on career ethics for restaurant operators.
"After all these measures, if any restaurant commits the violation again, it will be suspended and have its business license revoked," said Truong Thi Huong, deputy chairwoman of the Vung Tau People's Committee.
"Restaurants repeating the violations could face criminal charges," Huong said, adding that the city is determined to shut down any business that affects its tourism sector.