Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Country vacation directed to refund Rs 71k to Pune woman

25 January 2017

PUNE: The district consumer court has directed Country Vacation, a division of Hyderabad-based hospitality service provider Country Club (India), to refund Rs 71,000 with 9% p.a. interest since July 14, 2012 to a Pune resident for deficient service.

The interest component, so far, works out to more than Rs 28,755 and will continue to grow till actual payment to the complainant. Country Vacation has also been ordered to pay Rs 5,000 as damages to the complainant.

Rashmi Singh, a resident of NIBM road, Undri, had filed a complaint alleging that Country Vacation had collected Rs 71,000 from her towards full charges of members for an attractive scheme of club membership and allied facilities.

Singh complained that despite her paying the full membership fees, the service provider did not gave her a membership card nor did it provide any of the promised services such as hotel bookings during holidays etc.

On its part, Country Vacation had resisted the complaint, arguing that the same was filed against its manager and that, the terms of agreement with the complainant clearly stated that the membership fees was non-refundable. It challenged Pune consumer court's jurisdiction on the grounds that as per the agreement, all disputes were subject to the jurisdiction of a court in Hyderabad.

The bench of V P Utpat and Onkar G Patil, however, dismissed these arguments, observing that it was significant to note that even after collecting the entire membership fees, the opposite party (Country Vacation) did not issue a membership card to the complainant. Nor did it provide any documentary evidence to show that the service provider gave all the facilities and amenities as were assured at the time of making the scheme offer to the complainant.

On the term of fees being non-refundable, the bench said, even though such term was inserted in the agreement, the same was encroaching upon the rights of the consumer. "The payment made to the opposite party is not a gratuitous payment and as the complainant has not availed service, she is entitled for refund with interest," the bench ruled.


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