Travel agency asked to pay Panchkula resident Rs 42,000 for ‘harassment’


The Consumer Dispute Redress Commission of the district, UT, ordered a travel agency to pay Rs 42,000 to a resident of Panchkula for harassing the complainant while on tour in Switzerland.

Varinder Kumar Jain alleged that during the first week of February 2019, the branch in charge of SOTC Travel company approached him and his friend Dr. Ravi Ghai regarding a seven-day trip to Switzerland.

Jain deposited Rs 2,68,916 and embarked on the tour from 16th to 22nd May 2019. According to him, he was guaranteed a trip from the Golden Pass Line Ride which traveled a scenic route from Gstaad to Montreux. However, the ride was not executed correctly and he was told to disembark after two stations at Château-d’oex and was provided with only 18 minutes of ride, which was otherwise supposed to be 1 hour and 21 minutes. The travel agent did not offer a 3-star hotel, but instead offered, via email, a studio in Patong and similar budget hotels while demanding additional funds for an upgrade.

SOTC Travel Company replied that the plaintiff undertook the scheduled tour and paid the total amount of Rs 2,68,916. However, they denied that the Complainant was ever assured of a Golden Pass Line Ride. They further stated that the Patong studio was a basic three-star hotel and the option of an upgrade was at the complainant’s request, which was not mandatory. After hearing the case, the Commission ruled that the company does not deny that in Switzerland, Golden Pass Line Ride is a major attraction in terms of scenic beauty. It is common to see that when soliciting tour packages, a very rosy picture is painted in front of potential customers, that they believe and book a trip. The commission thus ordered the travel agency to pay global compensation of Rs 35,000 and Rs 7,000 as legal costs. The Commission also allowed a similar complaint filed by Dr. Ravi Ghai, with similar relief.

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