Consumer Court orders MakeMyTrip, OYO to pay ₹42k to customer for last minute cancellation of Goa hotel booking

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The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission-I in Chandigarh recently ordered MakeMyTrip, OYO Rooms and a hotel in Goa to pay a sum of ₹42,000 to a Chandigarh resident whose hotel booking was canceled despite advance payment.

The bench headed by the Commission’s President Pawanjit Singh and comprising Members Surjeet Kaur and Suresh Kumar Sardana ordered the errant parties to pay the complainant ₹35,000 as compensation, apart from ₹7,000 as litigation costs.

While doing so, the Commission concluded that huge profiteering was the sole motive of the errant parties and that their actions were meant to harass the complainant and his family at the last moment when they were set to travel to their destination.

The cancellation of the already booked room at the eleventh hour of the trip, that too without any concrete reasons certainly caused immense physical harassment and mental agony to the complainant, the Consumer Court said.

The complainant, Vineet Marwaha had booked The Essence Retreat in October 2021 through GoIbibo, which is a subsidiary of MakeMyTrip. The hotel booking was for five dates in December 2021 for a vacation with his wife and daughter.

However, just three days before he was set to check in, his booking was canceled on the ground that the hotel was “un-operational” and that the room was not available. An amount of ₹10,432 was refunded.

Interestingly, the complainant found that the same rooms of the hotel were available for the same dates but for exorbitant rates of ₹27,207. Thus, he approached the Commission.

MakeMyTrip in its response to the Commission said that it was merely an intermediary and a facilitator between the complainant, the hotel and the hospitality service provider Oyo.

Similarly, Oyo said its role was only limited to arranging the booking through its platform and that the rest of the operational liability was on the owner of the hotel.

After hearing the parties, the Commission said it was evident that due to heavy rush at the hotel, the price of the room was being increased every day as there were a number of customers in line to get the same booked room even at a higher price.

“But in our opinion the complainant hired the services of OPs in advance just with this reason only that at the peak season it will be impossible for him to meet the budget,” it added.

Finding that MakeMyTrip and other opposite parties failed to justify the cancellation of the complainant’s booking and the subsequent availability of the same room at exorbitant rates, the Commission allowed the complaint with directions for compensation.

Advocate Vageesh Marwaha represented the complainant. Advocate Gazala Parveen, proxy for advocate Nitin Bhasin, represented MakeMyTrip Advocate Kartik Parmod Goyal, proxy of Advocate Puneet Tuli, represented OYO Rooms.

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