HOLIDAY SERVICE COMPANY CHEATS COUPLE, AND GET FINED Rs 97K.
The District Consumer Disputes Rederessal Commission-II in Chandigarh has directed a holiday service firm to pay a local couple Rs 97,000 for failing to lodge them in any of its resorts and hotels despite multiple requests and visits.
Complainants Sooba Singh and Kulwinder Kaur, who are from sector-47, on September 2, 2018, bought the firm’s membership for Rs 86,000 depositing Rs 71,000 upfront in three debit card transactions. On September 17, 2018 they paid the firm remaining Rs 15,000. After waiting sufficiently for the membership card, they received only a signup detail, saying membership was subject to payment of Rs 5,000 not mentioned in the agreement. The couple had paid Rs 5,000 in cash but received acknowledgement of Rs 71,000 instead of Rs 86,000.
They were asked to pay about Rs 10,500 as mandatory annual administrative charges, irrespective of using any facility. They were eligible for holiday of six nights and seven days under season blue category, which entitled them to a studio room for 2 adults and 2 children under 12 years. The receipt of Rs 15,000 and Rs 5,000 payments were denied on one pretext or another. The couple even tried to use family vacation services in the agreement period but all their booking were denied, until at last they asked the firm to cancel their membership and refund the deposit. That too was denied.
The company on the other hand said that the couple had to pay Rs 86,000 but paid only 71,000 in three transactions and not Rs 86,000 as alleged. It citied clause 10 of the agreement that Rs 10,500, excluding taxes, were to be paid in advance in every year, irrespective of using facility and clause 26 of the agreement provided them with a cooling off period of 10 days from the signing, in which they were free to cancel the agreement and claim refund after the reduction of Rs 3,800. Anytime later, the membership fee was non- refundable.
The consumer court held that the firm had lured the couple by false and exaggerated promises but since there was no documentary evidence of the cash payment of Rs 20,000, the couple could not be held entitled to that amount. It said Rs 71,000 should have guaranteed their stay in any of company’s hotels and resorts, and this failure was deficiency in services, besides their unfair trade practices. The court told the company to refund Rs 71,000 in addition of Rs 15,000 as compensation for mental and physical harassment besides Rs 11,000 as litigation expenses.
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