The Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission at Punjab, has upheld an order penalising a holiday club for unfair trade practices. Genial Holiday Club offered holiday accommodations at various locations.
In September 2019, the district consumer forum had (in an ex-parte order) ordered Genial Holiday Club of Chandigarh to refund Rs95,751 paid by the complainants, Bhupinder Singh Batra and his wife Kawal Jit Kaur, both residents of Patiala, towards membership of the holiday club.
The consumer court had also ordered the club to pay Rs10,000 as compensation for litigation charges and harassment while terming the matter an unfair trade practice.
The complainants alleged that after collection of the membership amount, they were informed that the club would charge an annual maintenance from them, though no such information was mentioned on the company’s website.
Genial Holiday Club was unwilling to refund their money hence they requested the company to book two studio apartments in Manali. However, the couple said the apartments were substandard.
The complainants claimed that the company changed the hotels after repeated reminders but those too were not good enough. Feeling harassed, they demanded a refund of their membership fee, which the company rejected.
The couple then moved the district forum for redressal of their grievance.
Genial Holiday Club while appealing against the order in the commission, argued that the order passed by the forum in allowing the complaint was illegal, void and without appreciation of the facts, documents and evidence on record.
The company further said that it had nowhere mentioned about the star rating of any property in the memberships and that studio apartments were never rated by any hotel association of India.
While upholding the order, the commission noted that the club had failed to list its owned properties in the membership certificate. It added that no contract or agreement was executed with the consumers and that the membership certificate was an excuse to grab their clients’ hard-earned money. The commission thus found Genial Holiday Club deficient in rendering its service. The commission also pointed at the company’s casual behaviour and observed that it failed to respond to emails sent by the complainants.