Mysuru sisters win refund for canceled European tour | Bangalore News

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BENGALURU: Two sisters from Mysuru have sued a tour operator in Bengaluru after they were denied a refund of more than Rs 3 lakh they had paid for a European tour package they could not undertake after the nationwide lockdown was imposed .
A consumer court in Bengaluru, taking note of the pandemic situation, ordered the operator to refund the full tariff plus interest. He also ordered compensation of Rs 20,000.
Siblings AK Naveen Kumari, 59, and Devika Bopaiah, 43, from Vani Vilas Mohalla in Mysuru had decided to tour Europe in May 2020. Attracted by attractive offers, the women approached Kesari Tours Pvt Ltd in Bengaluru on February 24, 2020 and paid Rs 3,49,818 for air tickets, accommodation and visa fees.
However, when Covid began to spread across the world, the sisters on March 12, 2020 asked the company to cancel the trip and demanded a full refund. But with the nationwide lockdown imposed from March 24, their pleas fell on deaf ears; the company did not respond properly to their phone calls and emails.
Eventually, much to the shock of the women, Kesari only refunded Rs.25,000 (Rs.12,500 to each of the plaintiffs) and issued a credit certificate for Rs.3,24,818 valid until January 31, 2022.
With the pandemic situation lingering and travel to Europe looking unlikely, the sisters demanded a full refund and when the company failed to respond to their demands, they contacted the Consumer Dispute Redress Forum of the 1st Rural District and city ​​of Bangalore on October 28, 2020.
The sisters’ attorney argued that the cancellation was made 70 days in advance and the tour operator had ample time to sue. The firm’s lawyer claimed that the complaint was baseless and denied issuing a credit note. He said the company had booked tickets and hotel stay and paid for visas. The cost per traveler was Rs 2,44,390 and they had offered a huge discount for the benefit of the sisters. However, Kesari representatives did not produce any evidence to show that the reservations had been made.
Considering the arguments of both parties for nearly 12 months, the Consumer Court judges noted that even the deduction of administrative costs for the European tour package cannot be allowed because it was clear that the company had not made any provision for the trip.
Moreover, the Covid-19 had disrupted various operations around the world and the request of the plaintiffs was right. Their refusal to travel later using a credit note had to be taken into consideration because Covid is a life-threatening illness, the judges said.
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