Indore: When the popular travel booking portal ‘Make My Trip.com’ failed to book the hotel as promised, District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum Indore-2 ordered it to pay total compensation of Rs 80,458 with interest including reimbursement of charges of another hotel.
“The case is most sighted and trending case of the consumer forum over travel dispute,” consumer forum president Omprakash Sharma said. The case was filed by advocate Vaibhav Prafful Bargav, who suffered the pain of booking through the online portal.
“We had booked four rooms in Hotel Siphiyang Phong, Bomdila, Arunachal Pradesh for May 23 and 24, 2018,” he shared.
Showing availability, the portal charged Rs 13,953 for four rooms at the hotel. The payment was made via net banking by the plaintiff.
‘Make My Trip’ confirmed the payments and allotted confirmation number of the booking. However, when the plaintiff reached Bomdila with his friends, the hotel refused any such booking.
“We were in a new place with no contacts hunting for a hotel last minute for four hours,” Bhargav told the court. Finally, at 9 pm, the plaintiff found four vacant rooms in a hotel 2 kilometres away from their booked hotel. “Since, it was last minute we had to pay Rs 34,500 for four rooms,” Bhargav said.
After reaching the hotel, the plaintiff called Make My Trip helpline and told them about the issue.
Further, an email was sent to the official id of the portal. Sadly, none was entertained by the portal.
“Finally, left with no choice, I sent them a legal notice on June 7, 2018 about the issue faced by us due to their failed services,” Bhargav said.
To which, Make My Trip replied, “The customer did not like the room and hence, the booking was not used.”
In his defence, plaintiff presented a letter from Hotel Siphiyang Phong on their letterhead stating that there was no booking made by the portal under the name of Bhargav.
Convinced by the evidence, Sharma ruled the case in favour of plaintiff, which has motivated many other victims of online portals to seek justice.
Make My Trip must return the charged Rs13,958 for booking. Further, the amount paid by plaintiff to book another hotel last minute Rs 34,500 has to be reimbursed by the defended. Hence, a total of Rs 48,458 must be paid to plaintiff with interest at the rate of 9 per cent per annum from May 23, 2018. For mental harassment to plaintiff, the forum ordered compensation of Rs 30,000. Defended must settle consumer forum cost of Rs 2,000 as well.