Just travelled with my wife through Bangkok using the Suvarnabhumi (BKK) airport. Prior to our trip. we got warned by friends to be careful when procuring duty free items such as cosmetics, etc. The warning outlined that it seen to be common that they surf you very fast, add or even forget items you did not or did like to purchase. The stories we were told went as far as some visitors got arrested at the airport because they did not declare an item to the cashier at the time they realized, that the item wasn't added to the bill but packed with the other goods after payment. Obviously, you would think that this is a simple mistake by the cashier, but we learned, that this seems to be practice. It seems also common, that they charge you twice for a single item, due to the fact that some people just pay without checking their invoice.
As we did hear stories more than once, we were especially careful. Of course we went through the shops to kill our waiting time between checking-in and actual departure. My wife decided to purchase some cosmetical products which she cannot get in Europe and so we went through the purchasing process. We were amazed how good we got served, how quick and straight forward.
As we were standing at the cashier, we were verifying the invoice which was handed over to us with the respective goods, we were astonished, the most expensive facial cream was added twice and the smallest item a lip palm wasn't even added, also the discount voucher which we should automatically get wasn't added to the invoice.
We were paying 2000 bath more than the actual invoice should have been while not paying for a 300 bath worth lip balm.
We called the cashier, showed him the issue and the whole procurement process started from scratch. At the end we paid for what we got but we can confirm what is rumored around.
I was wondering why this happens and what the purpose maybe of it, I can just suggest that the airport responsibles should have an eye on this and look behind the scene and figure out what motivates duty free sales ladies to cheat or trouble foreign tourist with such unnecessary actions.
Neither is it helping the airport to attract tourists to buy things nor is it any benefit to the Thai image which is already stressed enough with the long lasting political instability.
Best to you all and take good care. D