We booked a 3 day Mekong Delta Tour in Saigon. When we got to Chau Doc the receipt was taken away from us. As part of our tour we stayed at the Thanh Nam 2 hotel.
When we go up in the morning the lady said that the slow boat had been cancelled so we would have to take a bus for $10. I told Duyen that I suspected a scam but decided to wait for reinforcements in the form of the German couple. When they arrived I informed them of what had transpired and got stuck into the receptionist that had informed us of the cancellation. I politely asked her for her name which she gave me. I then asked her for her identity number but that was not forthcoming. I informed her that we had a contract to go to Phnom Penh at the booking company's expense. She said that was not her problem. I pointed out that her company had been paid for the trip. She acknowledged that but said that they would not give us transportation to Phnom Penh other than by the bus which was going to cost us $10 each. Duyen later told me that some Vietnamese people came into the office and asked what it cost for a bus ticket to Phnom Penh and were told it was $6. So her company was going to pocket the money paid for the slow boat by us, get the normal commission on the sale of the bus ticket then $4 for each bus ticket. That is a nice little earner where the average wage is about $5 a day. I was not going to take this lying down so I informed her that I was going to inform Lonely Planet, Trip Advisor and Travelfish of their scam. After that I told her I was going to inform the minister for Vietnamese tourism as well. I still intend to do all of that. Then Duyen and the German couple got on their mobile phones. This must of worried her as she was shaking. She got on her phone and after about 20 minutes the slow boat was operational again.
We did our scheduled tour of the fish farm then about 12 tourists were taken to the border where a ce man took our passports and got Vietnamese exit stamps for us. He then informed us he had to go by motorcycle for 25 minutes to the Cambodian border to get our passports processed. When he came back it turned out that everyone had been charged $5 extra for his 'services'. He made 12 times the average Vietnamese wage in an hour. After that we had to walk to the Cambodian border and complete the process. We could have done it all ourselves. People in our group who had paid for a 'fast boat' to Cambodia got a bus ride instead. Instead of the 8 hour slow boat ride we got a 2 1/2 hour bus ride proceeded by a 2 hour boat ride. Everyone with us was scammed at least once but some twice.