The Thane District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has held a Pune based travel agency guilty of deficiency in service and ordered it to refund the amount taken as advance, and also pay compensation, collectively worth Rs 95,000, to a woman tourist.
The copy of the order, which was passed on December 1, was made available on Sunday. In the order, the commission president Milind S Sonawane and member Poonam V Maharshi, directed Mukesh Dilip Ahire of ‘Sab Dekho Duniya Tours and Travels’ to refund the advance of Rs 75,000 he had taken from the complainant, a resident of Dombivali,along with 10% interest from the date of payment (of the advance amount).
The complainant's counsel, advocate Ashwini Sarjine, said the commission also ordered payment of Rs 10,000 each towards physical harassment and cost of proceedings to the complainant. In her complaint,the woman had said that she had booked an eight-day tour package to visit Darjeeling, Gangtok, Peeling-and Lachung in June 2018. The cost of the tour package was Rs 80,000, of which she had paid Rs 75,000 as advance.
The complainant alleged that when she reached Darjeeling with her husband, the hotel rooms were leaking and not clean. Besides that, no food was provided by the hotel. In addition to that, the tour operator changed their itinerary without informing them, due to which they suffered hardships.
Due to that, they had to pay extra money. When they raised the issues with the tour operator, he did not pay any heed, she alleged. The complainant then approached the commission seeking a refund of Rs1,04,290 along with Rs 70,000 towards compensation for mental agony and Rs 30,000 as litigation charges.
In the order, the commission observed, “The perusal of the complaint filed by the complainant at Gangtok Police Station shows that the opponent changed their tour itinerary and when inquired about it, did not respond well, which disturbed the complainant's tour completely, causing harassment to her and her husband."
The commission further said, "The evidence produced by the complainant on record remained unchallenged. We find that the opponent has not only caused deficiency in service, but also adopted unfair trade practice in dealing with complainant."