SoftBank-backed OYO launches in-app platform for booking modifications and refunds

By: |
January 3, 2019 6:16 PM

The company claims OYO Assist to be a first-of-its-kind consumer product in the hospitality industry offering an end-to-end automated resolution.

OYO, solo bookings in OYO, OYO Travel Index 2018, solo travellers, cold destinations, winter holidaysOYO Assist will act as a personal assistant to fulfil requests for services and answer queries.

Popular hotel chain OYO has launched an in-application support platform called OYO Assist for customers to do booking modification, enquiry for claiming refunds, etc., the company today said in a statement. OYO claims it to be a first-of-its-kind consumer product in the hospitality industry offering an end-to-end automated resolution to customers.

OYO Assist will act as a personal assistant to fulfil requests for services and answer queries on hotel policies, cancellation, and modify bookings, to bring transparency in issues raised by customers, the statement said.

“With OYO Assist on our mobile app for customers, we can now resolve concerns faster and improve the overall guest experience at every touch point,” said Anil Goel, chief technology officer, OYO. Through OYO Assist, the company hopes to encourage repeat users and boost its loyal customer base.

“The escalation directly flows to Property Manager tablet and if he is unable to resolve the issue in 30 minutes, OYO will provide them with automated resolution. In addition, the application also provides various booking modifications including a change in date, occupancy, number of rooms, early check-in, late check-out, cancellation or no-show charges,” the company said in the statement. It also helps automatically shift or upgrade a guest to a different hotel in case of any issues in the hotel originally booked, the statement added.

OYO is currently facing flak from Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI). The industry body last month warned OYO of action alleging breach of contracts, and violation of laws, as per a PTI report.

“Such positioning/endorsement is not only misleading but also a potential guest safety hazard,” PTI quoted FHRAI in its letter to OYO founder Ritesh Agarwal.

An OYO spokesperson quoted by PTI in response to the letter said, “We believe that the allegations are misguided and misplaced, and depict cartelisation by certain groups of people (not necessarily by franchisees and lessors associated with OYO Hotels) with vested interests, which is not in the best interest of the consumers.”

OYO entered into the unicorn club in September last year when it raised $1 billion from SoftBank Vision Fund at a reported valuation of $5 billion.

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