The double pricing system is pretty common in Thailand. Places like museums and zoos often have different entrance fees for Thai people and foreigners. This even extends to the naughty nightlife. Many soapy massage parlors like Poseidon Massage charge foreigners an extra fee of 1000 Baht or so.
Whatever your opinion on the double pricing practice at least it’s done out in the open. Everyone knows the rates ahead of time and they are free to purchase or decline to purchase whatever the service on offer is.
Scamming is something else entirely. It too exists around Thailand. The jet ski scam in Pattaya is well known. So is the “sex show” scam in Patpong. What isn’t so well known is the practice of some managers in soapies who like to try inflated prices on foreign customers.
It goes like this: a customer walks into a soapy looking like they’ve never been there before. The manager / papasan approaches him and begins rattling off a list of prices that is much higher than the norm. If the customer pays without question the manager scores. If the customer balks and insists on paying the correct fee then the manager gets what they would have got anyway.
It works for a few reasons. One is that many foreigners are afraid to speak up even when they feel or know they are being ripped off. Another is that many foreigners simply don’t know the going rate. Finally, some are probably confused by all of the different categories of women behind the two way glass, sideliners, models, and whatever else the parlor can come up with.
The amount a manager adds to a bill can vary but an extra 500 or 1000 Baht is typical.