How Thais understand the concept of TRUST

There’s no trust law on the Thai statute books. A cautious people, the Thais believe strongly in caveat emptor, let the buyer beware. They distrust until they have a reason to trust, not the other way about.

Guarantees are usually only for a short period. Faulty goods must usually be taken back within one week of purchase. Once you have paid for goods you are considered to have fully examined and approved them. The comment below your signature on a credit cards slip reads. “I acknowledge satisfactory receipt of relative goods/service. No Refund. Trusted transaction.”

Taking a dispute to law is costly and slow and even most Thais won’t bother because they know the result.

Many farangs here will, however, tell you that you are more likely to experience deception, cheating, and fraud from the hands of some of the foreign expat community and not the Thai.

One tends to trust people of one’s own nationality or at least any other Westerner. I was caught after buying a laptop from a smooth talking expat. It worked when it plugged into mains electricity and all seemed well. He said he’d had no problems with the machine. After paying and leaving his home, he casually remarked that the battery may need charging. In fact the computer never worked from the battery and eventually stopped functioning altogether. The repairer told me that even a Thai would never stoop that low to sell a product.

In the West, caveat emptor is not a defense if the buyer took reasonable care and relied on a seller’s recommendation. In Thailand, courts take a less sympathetic view. There is little recourse to claim you were misled.

A car dealer may sell you a vehicle that has been welded after a road accident but after painting over the weld to make it invisible. If the weld later proved to be unsafe, your action for compensation would succeed in the West because it would be shown you had not seen the weld. Not so in Thailand.

The Thai forums are full of examples of farangs cheating farangs. Expat clubs can be breeding grounds for financial advisors and others who take advantage of the lack of regulation and law enforcement in the country. Andrew Drummond gives examples.

Tourist rip-offs can occur anywhere in the world, Thailand is not excluded from that. But they are minor frauds compared with the sophisticated schemes that, for example, Drummond and others have highlighted. The website, www.andrew-drummond.com, is now blocked in Thailand, but available on virtual private networks.



MattOwensRees writer on Thai culture and lifestyle

I am a published author on Thai events and how Thais actually live under feudalism. My books are available in eBook and print format. I also publish on Substack