A group of ten people, who could not undertake a tour to Dubai following lapses in services by a travel agency, have been awarded a compensation of Rs 8,000 each besides refund of the tour fare along with 8 per cent interest by the District Consumer Forum here.
Forum President Sneha Mhatre and members Madhuri Vishwarupe and N D Kadam found fault with the Ratnagiri-based tour operator Saffron International Holidays Pvt Ltd, and said there was deficiency in its services as it had not intimated the tourists about the cancellation of the tour.
In their complaint, the ten claimants from three families informed the Forum that it was in December 2012 they had booked a Dubai tour to be undertaken between May 15 and 18, 2013 and also made a payment of Rs 20,618 each which included service tax also.
After the payment of the booking amount, the tour operator obtained the photographs from them on several occasions for getting the visa. However, he never got the visa and also did not pay any heed to their queries about the tour.
Finally, they were informed that the tour had been cancelled and they would get their money back in October 2013 which was never refunded and hence the complainants had to approach the Forum seeking compensation.
In the complaint, they claimed an amount of Rs 20,168 paid as advance and interest at the rate of 10 per cent for the period December 2012 to June 2014 (when they filed the complaint) and also Rs 10,000 as compensation for mental suffering and Rs 5,000 towards legal expenses to each of the ten persons.
They also said that some of them had drawn the money from PPF, and they had lost interest on the amount so withdrawn due to cancellation of the tour. Some others stated in their submission that they had taken leave for the tour which went waste completely.
In their order, the Forum observed that the tour operator had not given any written information about the tour to the clients, and did not organise the tour as per schedule and did not abide by the advertisement relating to the refund of the booking amount which itself amounted to deficiency in services which need to be compensated.
The Forum thus ordered refund of the fare amount along with interest of 8 per cent on it.
At least six of the claimants are senior citizens who had drawn money from their PPF and some others had taken leave which had gone a waste which also needs to be compensated, the Forum felt.
It also ordered payment of Rs 5,000 towards mental suffering and Rs 3,000 towards legal expenses.
( Source – PTI )