Thomas Cook Ordered to Refund Rs 3.20 Lakh to Customer Over Cancelled Europe Trip

A Mumbai consumer court has ordered Thomas Cook to refund Rs 3.20 lakh with interest and compensation to a customer, Sunil Dhakad, for failing to obtain a visa for a Europe trip due to the company's negligence in handling his documentation. The ruling sets a precedent for travel companies to take responsibility for visa procedures and prioritize customer satisfaction, highlighting the need for transparency and due diligence in handling customer documentation." This description focuses on the primary topic of the article (the court ruling and Thomas Cook's negligence), the main entities involved (Sunil Dhakad and Thomas Cook), the context (Mumbai consumer court), and the significant actions and consequences (refund and compensation). The description also provides objective and relevant details that will help an AI generate an accurate visual representation of the article's content, such as the setting of a court and the theme of travel and documentation.

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Aqsa Younas Rana
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Thomas Cook Ordered to Refund Rs 3.20 Lakh to Customer Over Cancelled Europe Trip

Thomas Cook Ordered to Refund Rs 3.20 Lakh to Customer Over Cancelled Europe Trip

The South Mumbai district's consumer dispute redressal commission has ordered renowned tour and travel company Thomas Cook to refund Rs 3.20 lakh with 6% interest to a customer, Sunil Dhakad, for failing to repay the cost of a cancelled Europe trip due to visa disapproval.

Why this matters: This ruling sets a precedent for travel companies to take responsibility for visa procedures and highlights the need for transparency and due diligence in handling customer documentation. It also serves as a warning to companies to prioritize customer satisfaction and avoid negligence that can lead to financial and emotional distress.

Dhakad, a resident of Prabhat colony, Santacruz, had booked a Europe trip with Thomas Cook and paid extra money for visa procedures. However, three days before his departure, he received an email from the travel company informing him that his visa was rejected citing 'incomplete documents'.

Dhakad claimed that he had applied for a Schengen Visa and not for a UK Visa, and therefore, there was no reason for his rejection. The commission held that the company was responsible for the visa rejection due to their carelessness and lack of vigilance in following the visa process.

In its orders, the commission directed Thomas Cook to refund the entire cost of the trip, excluding visa charges, amounting to Rs 3.20 lakh with 6% interest from 2014. An additional amount of Rs 50,000 was levied on the travel company towards Dhakad's mental agony and depression caused by the visa rejection. Rs 10,000 was also levied towards litigation costs.

The commission remarked, "Consumers had to be made aware by the company about the possible outcomes of the visa refusals, as the company was authorised to process the same. " It further stated, "The company had the highest responsibility to address this issue with the utmost care."

The consumer dispute redressal commission's decision in favor of Sunil Dhakad serves as a strong message to travel companies to exercise due diligence and transparency when handling visa procedures on behalf of their customers. The substantial compensation awarded not only covers the financial loss but also acknowledges the mental distress caused to the consumer due to the company's negligence.

Key Takeaways

  • Thomas Cook ordered to refund Rs 3.20 lakh with 6% interest to customer for visa refusal.
  • Company responsible for visa rejection due to carelessness and lack of vigilance.
  • Additional Rs 50,000 awarded for mental agony and depression caused by visa rejection.
  • Travel companies must exercise due diligence and transparency in handling visa procedures.
  • Ruling sets precedent for companies to prioritize customer satisfaction and avoid negligence.