Court orders travel firm to compensate consumer for cancelling Europe tour
The consumer disputes redressal forum in Indore has ordered Thomas Cook Limited (India) to compensate a customer for cancelling a Europe tour. In April 2007, businessman Deepak Kumar, 25, a resident of Triveni colony, had booked his tour to Europe under the ‘Hallmark of Europe Tour’ package for 18 days from Thomas Cook (India). As per the package, Kumar and his family had to join the Euro tour from London to Nice (France) for Rs 146,835 (Euro 2,259), which the Indian tourist paid. Deepak had paid Rs 17,000 in advance as against total cost of the tour to get his seat booked.
Deepak had submitted all the required documents for the tour, the receipt of which he verified through email. The travel firm then assured him that he would be provided proper service. However, when Deepak cross-checked as to whether his documents reached for visa verification and other permissions through emails, the travel firm dilly-dallied. After persistent prodding, the travel firm sent the documents to government offices for the process on 15 May 2008. However, the verification was not done due to government holidays on May 16 and 17. Meanwhile, he had to join the tour on May 18, which he could not. As Deepak failed to report in London office, he had to bear losses to the tune of Rs 122,400 as against his office work. He then moved the consumer forum in Indore against the travel firm, asking them to pay Rs 153,835 as compensation for cancellation of the tour package and Rs 122, 400 for the loss he suffered due to cancellation of the ticket. Meanwhile, respondents in their reply claimed that it was not their duty to arrange air tickets, overseas travel insurance and visa. The travel firm claimed that they had informed the consumer’s father Mahesh Rajpal about the norms of the tour package, in which they did not provide the said facilities.
After scrutinizing the documents of both parties, the forum directed the company to pay back the advance of Rs 17,000 along with 8 per cent interest and also pay Rs 6,000 for mental harassment and litigation expenses.