BOOM IN TRAVEL INDUSTRY HAS BROUGHT MANY ONLINE PORTALS INTO AN EXISTENCE. SOME HAVE BECOME THE LEADERS, WHILE REST ARE FOLLOWING THE TRENDS, BUT, THE CUSTOMER SATISFACTION IS SOMETHING THAT ALWAYS REMAINED SECONDARY FOR MOST OF THEM. FRANKLY, NONE OF THE COMPANIES PROVIDE THE SATISFACTORY SERVICES, AND IN THIS WORLD OF CUTTHROAT COMPETITION MANY A TIME THEY RESORT TO CHEATING!!!
In one such case of cheating the consumer forum of Goa has ordered, one of the travel portal company, to pay Rs. 1 lakh as compensation to the consumers, Mr. Pradeep Kankonkar and three others who had fielded a complaint of cheating before the consumer forum in the year 2012.
According to the reports published by the local newspaper, North Goa Consumer Dispute Disputes Redressal Forum has directed Make My Trip India Pvt Ltd to pay the compensation for cheating the consumers. Besides the compensation of Rs. 1 Lakh the consumer forum also directed the company to refund an amount of Rs. 40,326 along with the interest of 12% per annum with effect from May 12, 2015.
According to the sources, Mr. Kankonkar along with three others had lodged the complaint at Consumer Forum on 22nd August 2012, and according to the complaint, they had booked six air-conditioned rooms online through the online portal Make My Trip by paying Rs. 40,325 in May 2012 as they had planned a family tour to Coorg in Karnataka.
But when they reached the hotel, to their shock, the hotelier denied them an Air Conditioned rooms on the pretext of unavailability of the same. The consumers brought this to the notice of a booking company (Make My Trip) and the Hotel Management staff, but, booking company did not provide much help to the consumers and all the four families had to accommodate themselves in the Non AC rooms.
This caused a huge inconvenience to all the families while they had paid to the travel company for AC rooms, said Social activist Kashinath Shetye, who was one of the complaints of the case that went on for five years and judgment was delivered recently.
After going through all the facts, the Consumer Forum held the online portal company Make My Trip responsible for cheating the consumer by not providing what is promised for despite charging them for the same, and further causing a huge amount of tension and inconvenience to the consumers (complainants).
In its order, the forum said that the failure to pay the compensation within 30 days will lead to an additional interest of nine percent per annum from the date of order. It also directed the booking company and a hotel owner to jointly pay an amount of Rs 50,000 as the cost of the litigation.
The above order comes as lessons to all those companies who cheat their customers for the little gains. What is your opinion on this? Have you ever approached the consumer forum with the disputes, and what was the outcome of it? Please do share with us.