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Travel agency held guilty of deficiency in services

Told to pay relief, litigation cost to Panchkula resident

Travel agency held guilty of deficiency in services

Tribune News Service

Ramkrishan Upadhyay

Chandigarh, February 19

The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Chandigarh, has directed a travel agency, M/s SOTC Travel Limited, Sector 8, Chandigarh, to pay a compensation of Rs35,000 to a Panchkula resident for not providing the services as promised.

The commission also directed the firm to pay Rs7,000 to the complainant as cost of litigation.

In a complaint filed before the commission, Varinder Kumar Jain, a resident of Sector 15, Panchkula, said a representative of the travel agency approached him with an offer, “The Summer 2019 Budget Tour 2019 Best of Switzerland 7 days”.

He deposited a sum of Rs2,68,916 with the firm for the plan and undertook the tour from May 16, 2019 to May 22, 2019. He said he was promised about Golden Pass Line Ride and about its scenic beauty from Gstaad to Montreux. However, the ride was not executed properly and he was told to disembark after 2 stations at Chateau-d’oex. He was provided only an 18-minute ride, which otherwise was supposed to be of 1 hour and 21 minutes from Gstaad to Montreux.

Varinder said he sent emails to the company and received cash back of Rs4,200 after a delay of more than two months. He also alleged that other facilities were also not provided as promised.

Alleging that the act amounts to deficiency in service and unfair trade practice, he filed a complaint.

The travel company denied all charges. The company said denied the complainant was never assured of Golden Pass Line Ride from Gstaad to Montreux. Pleading that there was no deficiency in service or unfair trade practice on their part, the company prayed for the dismissal of the complaint.

After hearing the arguments, the commission, comprising of president Rajan Dewan and members Surjit Kaur and Suresh Kumar Sardana, held the company guilty of the deficiency in service.

“The complainant is basically aggrieved at not providing Golden Pass Line Ride from Gastaad to Montreux by the company. Since he was told to disembark just after two stations at Chateau-d’oex, he was robbed of the chance to experience the beauty. Thus, the company indulged in deficiency in service. No doubt, nowhere in the documents of the company it was mentioned that the ride was to end at Chateau d’oex or at Montreux. However, we are of the view that the opposite party, SOTC, is a prominent name in the field of arranging tours and travels and was, therefore, duty bound to provide each and every detail to the customers to avoid any anomaly at a later stage. Hence the act of the travel company in not clearly mentioning the exact route (e.g. boarding and disembarking stations) or the duration of the journey on the scenic Golden Pass Train in itself is sufficient to prove deficiency in service as well as unfair trade practice on its part,” said the commission in the order.

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