CHENNAI: The State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has ordered a popular online travel portal to refund the advance amount paid by a resident for a cancelled Europe trip, and directed it to pay `7,000 as compensation for refusing to repay the amount.
S Nagarajan, a resident of G N Chetty Road in T Nagar, had approached the Nungambakkam office of MakeMyTrip for booking a family trip to Europe. He paid an advance of `90,000 towards the trip.
However, he could not proceed with the trip as some of his family members were not able to get visas and subsequently requested the company to cancel it. But the company refused to refund the advance amount of `90,000 citing a term in its offer that no refund will be made for any trip cancelled within 30 days of the scheduled travel. It claimed that the amount was already spent on booking hotel rooms for Nagarajan’s stay in London and other places.
Nagarajan’s petition seeking the refund was turned down by the District Consumer Redressal Forum — Chennai North, accepting the travel company’s argument on its terms in the offer. Nagarajan had then filed the petition against the district forum’s order with the State Commission. In its verdict on Nagarajan’s petition, the State Commission, presided by R Regupathi, held that the particular term of the travel company is arbitrary.
“The condition that the money paid will not be refunded if the trip is cancelled between 30 minus 11 days prior to departure is arbitrary, and the condition cannot be applied mechanically.”