Consumer Court Orders MakeMyTrip and OYO to Compensate Customer ₹42,000 for Sudden Goa Hotel Booking Cancellation

Consumer Protection Law Insider

LI Network

Published on: November 03, 2023 at 15:34 IST

The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission-I in Chandigarh has recently ruled that MakeMyTrip, OYO Rooms, and a Goa hotel must collectively pay a Chandigarh resident ₹42,000 in compensation after abruptly canceling his hotel reservation despite his advance payment.

The bench, presided over by Commission President Pawanjit Singh and including Members Surjeet Kaur and Suresh Kumar Sardana, has directed the parties at fault to provide the complainant with ₹35,000 as compensation, in addition to ₹7,000 for litigation costs.

In its ruling, the Commission found that the primary motive of the parties at fault was substantial profiteering, and their actions were designed to inconvenience the complainant and his family at the last moment when they were about to embark on their journey.

The sudden cancellation of a pre-booked room on the eve of the trip, without any clear justification, undoubtedly caused significant physical and mental distress to the complainant, according to the Consumer Court.

The complainant, Vineet Marwaha, had reserved The Essence Retreat in October 2021 through GoIbibo, a subsidiary of MakeMyTrip, for a five-day stay in December 2021, for a vacation with his wife and daughter.

However, just three days before his check-in date, his reservation was canceled on the grounds that the hotel was “non-operational” and the room was unavailable. An amount of ₹10,432 was refunded to him.

Interestingly, the complainant discovered that the same hotel rooms were available for the same dates, but at exorbitant rates of ₹27,207. This prompted him to seek redress from the Commission.

In response to the Commission, MakeMyTrip claimed that it merely acted as an intermediary and a facilitator between the complainant, the hotel, and the hospitality service provider Oyo.

Similarly, Oyo asserted that its role was limited to arranging the booking through its platform, and the hotel owner bore the operational liability.

After hearing all parties involved, the Commission determined that the price of the room was being increased daily due to high demand at the hotel, with several customers vying for the same room at a higher price.

“However, in our opinion, the complainant engaged the services of OPs (opposite parties) in advance precisely for the reason that during the peak season, it would be impossible for him to stay within budget,” the Commission stated.

Concluding that MakeMyTrip and the 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 granted the complaint, along with directions for compensation.

Advocate Vageesh Marwaha represented the complainant, while Advocate Gazala Parveen, acting as a proxy for Advocate Nitin Bhasin, represented MakeMyTrip. Advocate Kartik Parmod Goyal, acting as a proxy for Advocate Puneet Tuli, represented OYO Rooms.

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