• Wed. Mar 22nd, 2023

Bali travel: Australian tourist gives warning to avoid bill shock

A tourist’s simple mistake that ended up costing him massively, serves as a stark reminder to holiday-makers to be careful when dining out overseas.

His oversight about a menu item ended up costing him more than his entire holiday.

“I wanted to share a classic ignorant tourist story and my miscalculations when it came to the exchange rate,” the traveller wrote in the Bali Bogans Facebook group.

He went on to explain that what he thought was a $170 bottle of wine ended up costing him nearly $2000 due to menu confusion, because he hadn’t realised that prices on the menu were listed in the hundreds of thousands.

“I think it was my third time to Bali and on this occasion we were celebrating my partners birthday so I booked (a restaurant) for a special dinner,” he said. “We usually don’t drink wine when in Bali due to the cost and average wine on offer but this time I decided I would splash out on a bottle of wine given the occasion.

“Looking through the wine list I decided on a decent bottle of white wine which was $RP1700++. Definitely a bit more than I would even pay in Australia but it was a birthday celebration right?

“$170 isn’t too bad so I said to the waiter, we will have that bottle please. The waiter paused and said, are you sure sir? I scoffed at him and said yup no worries (like how dare he think I’m not good for a $170 bottle of wine).

“Anyway the wine was consumed along with a delicious dinner and at one point the chef came out to introduce himself, which I did think at the time was strange but I just assumed it’s a nice restaurant and didn’t think about it again. The bill arrived, I paid and we left.”

The real surprise, however, came the following day.

“The next morning I logged into internet banking and noticed a charge for $2050 from (the restaurant)! My heart dropped into my stomach and I had a mini panic attack. After rummaging through my stuff I found the receipt and the wine was close to $1700! What I didn’t realise was the prices on the menu was in 100s of thousands.

“That meal actually cost more than the entire holiday, after a few hours of processing what happened we had a good laugh about it and needless to say I’m not allowed to order anything off a menu without getting the OK from the other half!”

Fellow tourists commiserated with the traveller and some also shared their own stories of bill misadventure.

“Friend of mine did something similar,” one wrote. “Went to buy a luggage bag to take back, thought it was a good deal at $100 with her name stamped on it in gold. Checked the credit card when home and was actually $1000. Oops!”

While another said: “I did a similar thing with a lobster in Chinatown Singapore. The price on the photo was $17.00 with a very small per 100g. Ordered two at what I thought would be about $35. When the bill came it was $750. I’ve never had lobster since.”

And a third wrote: “My partner want to a Japanese restaurant and miss read the menu and ended up paying almost 3 million rp for dinner and no wine”.

Others commented: “Stick to Bintang”; “OMG, this story will be told forever with your family” and; “If you don’t have a story like this, have you even been to Bali? I have my fair share unfortunately”.

Another said: “Just last week we caught a family member handing over $RP400,000 (AUD$38) instead of $RP40,000 (AUD$3).”

While another tourist pointed out: “17 million rupiah instead of 1.7m? Some places have ‘all you can drink’ for RP170,000 (just under AUD$17). That’s kinda impressive haha.”

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