Continuing adventures of a new PADI Instructor running a dive center in Phuket, Thailand during 2006 – 07, the updates are in the form of emails sent to the dive centre owner, these are pretty confusing to read but give a few useful bits of information and also hopefully tells you how important it is to keep on top of the work permits / TAT licence / paperwork / accountancy when running a dive centre in Phuket / Thailand
From Dive Centre Owner: First thing: please wait two days or so before you ask the other PADI IDC about Simon’s course. The German Course Director confirmed that he will do his PADI IDC with Dive Community (with some German students). I already asked him if is ok for him if we add another student (I would do the PADI IDC together with you and you will get the PADI IDCS (Staff Instructor) rating at the same time. Also better to have two students in for the presentations.) Start would be around the 22nd, IE Date 2nd of March. If this is ok for Simon we would get all the money for our dive centre and it would be the first “real” Dive Community IDC. I am just waiting for the other Course Director to answer my request but I think it is ok for him.
Can you please check if the Kata Beach Resort has a room available for the Course Director. He wants to stay there and book via us. The candidate will stay in the Divecenter and will pay 10.000 for it. assume thats OK?
I transferred 2000 Euro to your account to cover the deposit for Kata delight and the Similan trip for the two Germans.
Glad to hear Nitrox is alive! Cats like to be free.
I think we should seriously think about moving the divecenter to another location. The construction area, the noise, no walk in and the high rent.
Good idea to have some info-packs for hotels / Tour operators. I have a German couple arriving on the 13th of Feb. They want to dive with us and maybe do a course (she is open water / he is advanced open water diver). They are return customers – they were diving with us about one year ago.
I will go to the Thai embassy on Friday to ask about Visa things. I will ask them about yours as well and if they have any idea I will let you know soon.
Can you please pick up the two Germans living in Kata delight on the 1st of Feb. As soon as I have the flight dates and a picture I will send it to you.
Keep your fingers crossed: This week I expect the notification about my acceptance status for the PADI Course Director Training Course.
I think you should look at the kata beach resort prices as the cheapest room is about 8000 THB, want me to enquire ?
I put the contract with Phuket Muai Thai camp for diving (20 % courses / 10% diving) and within 2 hours got a DSD that I did this morning
Pretty busy at the moment (still in dive centre at 2230 and got here at 0900 for EFR course)
Currently got two people (friends of friends) going to the Similans for two days and on Thursday got a guy going on Sea Bees new overnight to Hin Daeng (walk in customer)
Got Simon EFR / Rescue / DM and on Tuesday got 2 more DSDs from PhuketDeals, its wrong that the dive centre isnt being staffed when I am away and im sure we have lost business, so have asked lots of people to stay here when they can and at the moment Simon is the only one that can stay here when I am not here
On top of this tomorrow I have to sort out more documents for our TAT licence and then get with a Sea Bees girl in Phuket town for the TAT licence and Work permit stuff, I also have to think about getting a new visa as mine runs out on the 2nd Feb and dont think i can get one from KL anymore
Do you know how many Seeman Sub Regulators we have ? as Beet told us that one of the two that I took to him for service (as they were both leaking) belonged to Sea Bees. I think that they must have got mixed up somehow, Sea Bees do not have any spare ones apparently so I dont know what has happened to our one or how we managed to get their regulator, Perhaps it got exchanged when I was working for them or when Simone / Rolf / Barney dived with them or during the Beach Clean up with Rolf / Simone ?
Beet also told me that we have a certain amount of kit from him (BCD / Computer / Torch etc) that hasnt been paid for and that we will need to pay for it (approx 50,000 THB) that was a bit of a shock as you can imagine. What should I do about this ? He was asking when you are back but told him you wont be back for a while.
The Swedish PADI Instructors was a bit upset with the lack of work and has been working for poseidon recently, he said that he wanted to be fairly paid for his work when he brings his customers to us and we agreed that he would get 25% of course costs when he brings his customers to us, obviously I am very happy with that as 50% would have been more ‘market rate’ for people bringing their own customers to us. Think he will be happy with things as he has a lot of friends coming soon and will work with him to get him to the beach / poseidon and ensure I do the courses he cannot teach (Nitrox)
Dive Centre Owner: Two divecenters are interested in the dvds for their christmas-business. And if I don’t sell all of them I will bring them to Phuket. Barney paid in the meantime.
About the Swiss Student: her name is Regula, she will arrive on the 27th and come to the shop ont the 28th. She paid already for her OWD and she stays in Kata Palm Resort. She comes following a recommendation of one of Rolfs friends that’s why I told him he can do the course (I told him before they arrived in Phuket.).
I am glad to hear it is ok for you that I am doing all the stuff here at the moment. I really do think it is good for the dive centre and I think its gonna be quite successful. And when I go back I will stay in Phuket for a while so it is better to sort things out now.
Next week I have another meeting with the Divecenter owner from Menorca – he has already confirmed he wants to work with me from next ear on. Maybe this is something interesting for you as well – he has a lot of english customers and he use to have some Instructors in high season (which is the Phuket-low season). If you are interested in something new and in very nice divesites in the Mediterranean I will ask him.
I found a very professional webdesigner who will make some proposals for us. I have a good feeling about him. I hope I can show you something quite soon.
Any news from Aspasia? Did you finally get the gardener or do we still have a jungle-house
Well… you were right – I was shouting at the screen but let me try to answer everthing…
Barney still didn’t pay but I just transferred 750 to your account.
Your work permit wasnt in that draw but assumed it must be somewhere in your bedroom so looked everywhere and found it in the bookcase (Cordura dive log) but thats the good news I have found it
Good you found it – sorry, I thought I put it in the draw…
Apparently, as a company we are liable / responsible to complete the balance sheet at the end of the year and as we havent done this and a month or two has passed we must pay a 2000 baht fine as well as a 12000 baht charge for Phuket Visa and Accounting (aka the idiots) to do it for us. The Thai girl that is now helping us says that 12000 is a good price as 20000 is a standard price but I didnt know anything about this and was shocked when I took the company invoices / receipts into the accountants today and they gave me a 14315 bill for accountancy services and tax and told me that because my friend ! had disappeared for three months they thought we didn’t want them to act for us ! you are probably shouting at the screen now and you can imagine that I was equally pissed off as we should have left that accountancy firm ages ago, they said we had disappeared for three months even though i go in there every month with the company invoices / receipts and talk to them I cant believe them.
What? I don’t understand at all. The never asked me to come or to do anything.
I had to pay them the 14315 baht for the last 3 / 4 months and told them to get the balance sheet done asap, i dont think we are liable to a fine but according to them we needed to instruct them to do the balance sheet ?
As you are not here and you obviously don’t have a visa and your work permit expired 8 days ago we are in trouble! The thai girl says that as its over 7 days expired you will need to report to the work permit department with her and get a fine / charge sheet that you then must take to the police station to pay! (1000 baht) but you must be here for this to happen, you havent told me when you are coming back and I don’t think it matters now if you are 1 week or 1 month overdue.
True – I havent told you when I will be back. As I told you it seems to me much more important to care for all the Advertising/ travelagency / catalogs / partners / PR/ new web provider etc than being back and have not much to do. And I take the chance to earn some money to cover the gap between our expenses (remember there will be PADI fees and other stuff soon. and the Course Director Training Course will cost about 6000 Euro) and the income at the moment. As long as it is ok for you I concentrate on that and I am quite sure I can report some good news soon.
Please do me a favour and send me a scan of my work permit. I will try to sort this out at the embassy here – at least for m understanding. If I have a work permit does that mean I am not allowed to leave the country anymore? Or do I have to plan my trips around the expiry dates of my workpermit? Anyway – my 12 month multiple visa is valid to 25th July, I will ask them soon.
Tomorrow, after running around for the last 2 days getting documentation together regarding the work permit we can submit the application for my work permit, this thai girl has proved to be excellent and found ways around the fact that we havent got a balance sheet and you not being here. She even come in the accountants office with me and organised stuff and done all the work at the employment office as she acted for me with my power of attorney.
That’s really great. Who is she? Sounds she is really helpful.
One of the other Course Directors just came in and was talking about this with him, he has told me about his accountant (again) and obviously we need to move from them (as we needed to move from them in April) when they almost got me stranded in Kuala Lumpur. On the advice from this Thai girl and the other Course Director I suggest that once the end of year stuff is sorted we move from the accountants.
Agreed. Lets move everthing to a new accountant in January and sort everything out for a good 2007.
Hope you understand my annoyance and agree that we need to get on the ball with the paperwork (work permits / balance sheet ) and then get a competent accountant. I am now very worried that the police will get me again and that these fines are the last thing we need.
I hope with no reason. But maybe that gives me a good reason to talk to the Swedish Instructors about the fact that it is better for them and us not to work for us.
I have given your email to the Thai girl so you can help her if she has any company type questions
I look forward to any news and I let you now what they said in the Embassy.
Have also got a cleaner in dive centre, only done it once but pretty good, got a DMT from See Bees in the main room upstairs (Simon moved in the small room to encourage her to move in) and as such we will give him a discount off his MSDT (see previous email) to take into account the cheaper price of the small room (charging 8000 and 10000 for the rooms)
The idiots (accountants) did remove the invoice from the monthly return I gave them but after telling them to find it and to explain why we paid 14315 in November they produced another Invoice and our salary tax payments for three months up to October (they took 5 days to do this) and the salary tax receipts are all dated from 3 days ago ! so once again (like the work permit they did for me originally they only do the work once you get arrested or chase them !) they were trying to rip us off again !
Somjet says we should remove him from shareholder list, I just said yes of course ! I dont intend doing anything for them again and will do my best to ensure that everyone knows how incompetent they are., but we should learn our lesson in future if we start to suspect or experience poor / incorrect service then we should change / move to someone else. I cant calculate how much hassle and time and trouble the decision to go with Somjet has caused but its a lot !
Have arranged a new Accountants (at the top of our road next to Chalong Business Centre) They are acting for a few Dive Centre’s as their own business accountants and first impressions of them are very good, but due to this taking so long because of the previous company I have to do another visa run to Ranong before a Work permit can be issued ! so here are some important dates
25th Jan Trip to Rangong
3rd Feb 1 year Visa Expires
6th Feb you return
7th Feb you go to police station to pay Work Permit Fine (documents prepared by Nart)
22nd March I go back to UK
25th April My 3 month visa expires and Work permit Expires