Terming it guilty of deficiency in service and causing mental and physical harassment to a newly married couple on their honeymoon trip, the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has directed online travel company MakeMyTrip to pay Rs 33,000 as compensation to the complainant.
The court also directed the firm to pay Rs 8,000 as the cost of litigation to the complainant, Tanuj Arora, a resident of Panchkula. Failure to pay will lead to an annual interest of 12%.
Arora submitted before the court that he had used www.makemytrip.com to book six nights and seven days honeymoon package in Mauritius from December 9 to 15, 2016, against an advance payment of Rs 1,51,323. The company confirmed lodging at a Radisson Blu resort, besides some freebies, through an email dated August 1, 2016.
“Booking with MakeMyTrip was done well in advance by the complainant to avoid last-minute problem or inconvenience. However, the firm betrayed his confidence by changing the hotel.” — District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum
Arora claimed the booking was done three months in advance to avoid last-minute rush and other booking problems. However, on December 1, 2016, two days before his wedding on December 3, he received an email that his hotel booking had failed due to some technical glitch, and a substitute accommodation was available at Jalsa Beach Resort, which he turned down.
The online travel portal then sent another email suggesting Hotel La Palmeraie as an alternative. Having already paid and left with no other option, he accepted the second hotel.
But after checking in at Hotel Palmeraie, he found it lacking in all respects, regarding which he sent an email to MakeMyTrip on December 9 itself. But the firm took no action, and responded only on December 14, at the fag end of his trip, offering a future travel voucher of Rs 5,000, which he refused.
Finding the travel portal’s conduct unprofessional, the forum observed, “It is not out of place to mention here that the booking with MakeMyTrip was done well in advance by the complainant to avoid any last-minute problem or inconvenience. However, the firm betrayed his confidence by changing the hotel, that too through email, at the 11th hour, when it was not possible for him to cancel his honeymoon tour. More so, the complainant had made the entire payment in advance.”
”Forcing the complainant to accept a lower category hotel, which was lacking in proper facilities and comforts, despite receiving the total amount for the aforesaid tour package in advance, proves deficiency in service on their part, which certainly caused mental and physical harassment to the complainant,” the forum ruled, while awarding compensation to Arora.