The Rajarhat, Additional District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission allowed the consumer complaint regarding unfair trade practices and service deficiency. The consumer was disappointed as the hotel rooms didn’t meet the advertised standards.
The Commission led by Mr. Sankar Kumar Ghosh and Mrs. Sagarika Sarkarand has directed the leading travel booking brand Goibibo and the hotel to refund the booking amount of Rs 14,550 and other expenses.
The complainant Lokesh Rustogi booked a hotel through Goibibo for the Kumbha Mela festival in Allahabad. On 28th February 2019, he booked the 4 super deluxe rooms for himself and 10 other people.
On their arrival on March 1st, 2019, the complainant noticed that the hotel rooms were not as they were shown on the website. The rooms were smaller and in a very bad condition. They tried to communicate the concern to the hotel who asked them to contact Goibibo instead. However, the complainant was not able to reach out to anybody. They travelled 130 kilometers to Varanasi to seek alternative accommodation.
While finding Goibibo as well as the hotel at fault, the Commission directed both to pay a total of Rs 60,550 which covers the booking amount, travel expenses, boarding charges, compensation for inconvenience caused, and litigation costs.
Mr Rustogi filed a complaint on March 4th. Initially, the travel booking company Goibibo agreed to refund 50% of the amount but refused later citing its limited responsibility for the hotel services. On March 7th, Rustogi received an email from Goibibo regarding their offer to refund 50% of the amount but he didn’t receive the amount.
In the end, the complainant resorted to sending a legal notice to the Goibibo on April 30th. The travel booking company denied all the allegations and blamed the hotel. Consequently, Mr Rustogi filed a consumer complaint.
The West Bengal District Commission delivered a verdict in the favour of the plaintiff, determining that both Goibibo and the hotel were at fault for subpar services and unethical business practices. Consequently, the Commission ruled that Goibibo and the hotel are jointly and severally responsible for the following payments: Rs. 14,550 for booking amount reimbursement, Rs. 11,000 to cover travel expenses, Rs. 15,000 for boarding charges, Rs. 10,000 as compensation for the inconveniences caused, and Rs. 10,000 as litigation costs. The companies were granted a two-month window to fulfill these financial obligations.