Miami Beach quiere mandar “clientes misteriosos” para atajar el abuso de precios

El plan se debe a “algunas manzanas podridas que se aprovechan” de los clientes que acuden a las terrazas de arterias como la icónica Ocean Drive, según dijo a Efe este miércoles el comisionado Mark Samuelian, autor de la propuesta que ya ha salido adelante en la comisión financiera de la ciudad.

“Tenemos que estar seguros de que están haciendo caso y mantienen buenos estándares”, advierte el comisionado Samuelian sobre los propietarios de estos comercios, muchos de ellos con camareros que anuncian las ofertas a los transeúntes.

“La meta es que los clientes tengan la mejor experiencia posible, eso incluye tanto residentes como turistas internacionales”, afirma Samuelian, quien cree que el plan a base de “clientes misteriosos” permitirá identificar con precisión los problemas a los que se enfrentan.

July 7, 2019 | Hoy | Miami Beach quiere mandar “clientes misteriosos” para atajar el abuso de precios

That tourist sipping a $55 mojito on Ocean Drive? He may actually be a secret shopper

“Our goal is to make sure that all Miami Beach customers are having the best experience possible and unfortunately we have had some problems with bad apples with these deceptive business practices,” said Commissioner Mark Samuelian, who sponsored the proposal.

Although commissioners have only allocated funding for undercover shoppers to patrol the entertainment district, they said they would consider additional funding to expand the pilot to Lincoln Road and Española Way. If the secret shoppers are successful, Samuelian said, the program could eventually be implemented citywide. Miami Beach already has six part-time employees who pose as customers to secretly evaluate trolleys, parking garages and other city services.

July 1, 2019 | Miami Herald | That tourist sipping a $55 mojito on Ocean Drive? He may actually be a secret shopper

Miami Beach to explore making Ocean Drive a one-way street

…Commissioner Mark Samuelian, a member of the Ocean Drive Safety, Security and Infrastructure Subcommittee, said, “I think it’s prudent that we proceed… there will be a lot of opportunities to review it.”

March 30, 2019 | RE: Miami Beach | Miami Beach to explore making Ocean Drive a one-way street

Mayor Names New Panel on Ocean Drive

Mark Samuelian, the other Commissioner named to the group, has spent a lot of time focusing on Ocean Drive since his election along with Gelber. “I’m really excited about what we’re doing on Ocean Drive and where we’re heading and I think this Panel is going to be a very important contributor. I think it’s fair to say that what we want to do is really enhance the overall experience and environment on Ocean Drive.”

Samuelian also cited progress including the adoption of his menu ordinance requiring disclosure of restaurant meal and drink pricing prominently displayed. “That has really, I think, begun to elevate the game of some of the operators. Some of the operators with problems with customer service are no longer operating or are not operating with sidewalk cafés,” he said.

He also noted the off-duty police program operated in conjunction with the Ocean Drive businesses for a pilot period, the recent noise ordinances sponsored by Gelber, and the plans for the Business Improvement District.

“All those things are steps in the right direction,” Samuelian said, “but I still think we have more to do.” The new panelists, he said, will consider ideas that have been considered before as well as “some new ideas about how do we take Ocean Drive and bring it back to its glory,” a place where tourists have a good experience and that residents want to frequent.

Like Arriola, he noted the potential of the G.O. Bond to infuse significant investment into the area to upgrade the infrastructure and improve public safety.

“I think Ocean Drive really is the heart of Miami Beach in a lot of ways. It’s certainly the place that’s recognized, that a lot of people come to. I recognize the importance of it.” That said, Samuelian added, “I was not comfortable with the experiences that certain customers were having. I saw it with my own eyes and ears. I heard it. And I saw it online and I was not comfortable… We have a lot of good operators on Ocean Drive but I think it’s fair to say we had some bad apples.”

November 2, 2018 | RE: Miami Beach | Mayor Names New Panel on Ocean Drive

Miami Beach vigilará los menús de los restaurantes para evitar sablazos en la cuentas

Aunque la noticia general fue dada a conocer a inicios de abril, cuando los comisionados votaron a favor de la ordenanza propuesta por el comisionado Mark Samuelian, durante una reunión de la Comisión de Miami Beach ayer lunes fueron aprobadas las pautas concretas de diseño que deberá tener cada menú.

“Estamos tratando de garantizar que el cliente tenga claridad sobre lo que está a punto de pagar y que lo sepa”, dijo el comisionado Mark Samuelian cuando se se aprobó la medida en abril, y sus palabras van camino de convertirse en realidad.

10 Julio, 2018 | Ciber Cuba | Miami Beach vigilará los menús de los restaurantes para evitar sablazos en la cuentas

After Years of Ocean Drive Restaurant Ripoffs, Miami Beach Now Legislating Menus

“We’re trying to ensure that the customer has clarity on what they’re about to pay and that they know,” Commissioner Mark Samuelian said when the measure was discussed in an April meeting. “That is the basic principle.”

July 6, 2018 | Miami New Times | After Years of Ocean Drive Restaurant Ripoffs, Miami Beach Now Legislating Menus

More Police Officers for Ocean Drive

Resolution sponsor, Commissioner Mark Samuelian said, “It’s a wonderful collaborative opportunity with the Ocean Drive Association.” He told his colleagues the action will be easily measured in terms of its impact on crime and the willingness of the business community to continue to pay for the additional officers.

May 19, 2018 | RE: Miami Beach | More Police Officers for Ocean Drive

Misleading specials and $55 cocktails could be a thing of the past on Ocean Drive

The regulations come in response to complaints that some Ocean Drive restaurants trick customers into ordering expensive food and drinks at outdoor tables or fail to include prices on menus, hitting unsuspecting tourists with hefty bills. At a few restaurants on the popular South Beach street, a single cocktail can cost more than $50 and food specials can stick tourists with checks in the hundreds of dollars, the Miami Herald has found.

The rules aim to “improve the way some bad apples have been treating our customers on Ocean Drive,” said Commissioner Mark Samuelian, who sponsored the amendment. “We’re trying to ensure that the customer has clarity on what they’re going to pay,” he added.

April 11, 2018 | Miami Herald | Misleading specials and $55 cocktails could be a thing of the past on Ocean Drive

Diners felt ripped off and misled. Now this Ocean Drive café is closed until July.

“The few bad apples on Ocean Drive need to clean up their act,” said Commissioner Mark Samuelian, who is sponsoring an ordinance that would give the city more power to crack down on businesses that do not clearly advertise prices at sidewalk cafes. “This ruling shows the consequences will be severe.”

Some Ocean Drive restaurants attract customers to sidewalk cafes using misleading food or drink specials or fail to include prices on menus, the Miami Herald has found. A tourist hoping to take advantage of a 2-for-1 drink special, for example, might unknowingly end up ordering a $55 fishbowl-sized cocktail.

The sidewalk cafe ordinance sponsored by Samuelian, which is up for a final vote at the Miami Beach commission’s April 11 meeting, would enable the city to revoke restaurants’ permits for sidewalk cafe tables if they don’t clearly advertise prices.

The ordinance “will be another step toward improving Ocean Drive for residents and visitors,” Samuelian said in a text message.

April 4, 2018 | Miami Herald | Diners felt ripped off and misled. Now this Ocean Drive café is closed until July.

Are you paying too much for your margarita? Miami Beach wants to put a stop to it.

City Commissioner Mark Samuelian is proposing an ordinance that would empower the city to revoke restaurants’ permits for sidewalk cafe tables if they don’t clearly advertise prices and display the city’s consumer protection laws on tabletop information cards. The city manager could even have the ability to strip away violators’ business licenses.