Tour firm to pay Rs 1.23 lakh for not providing tickets

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SummarySOTC failed to arrange the tickets and kept the customer "in the dark" about it.

The Indian arm of a Swiss tourism firm has been directed by a consumer forum to pay Rs 1.23 lakh to one of its customers for not providing him tickets along with travel documents and visa for his trip to Europe with his family.

The New Delhi District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum observed that SOTC, group firm of Swiss tourism company Kuoni Travels, failed to arrange the tickets and kept the customer "in the dark" about it rather than taking him into confidence.

"In our view, there is clear deficiency and imperfection in rendering tourism services, by keeping the complainant (customer) in dark till last moment rather than taking him into confidence. If the tickets were not available he could have made alternate plans or withdrawn from the tour.

"We, accordingly, direct opposite parties (SOTC and Kuoni Travels) to return Rs 93,000 collected from complainant (for the tour package) and pay Rs 30,000 towards harassment and legal expenses," the bench presided by C K Chaturvedi said.

The complaint was filed by North Delhi resident Kunal Goel who had paid Rs 93,000 as booking amount for tour package for him and his family for a trip to Europe.

The tourism firm provided him with the visa and documents only a day before the tour was to commence, but it did not provide him the tickets, Goel had alleged.

It also did not reply to his legal notice, he had said.

The company in its reply to Goel's complaint did not dispute the facts and had only raised technical objections, which the forum rejected as having "no force".

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