The district consumer disputes redressal forum has penalised a hotel in Panchkula for charging extra on a bill of a wedding function.
Hotel Holiday Inn was directed to pay ₹11,108 to complainant Vivek Berry of New Delhi, along with interest at 9% per annum, and an additional ₹5,000 for causing mental agony and harassment, besides ₹5,500 as cost of litigation charges.
The matter dates back to 2015 when the complainant booked the hotel for two days, on account of his son’s wedding, for December 12 and 13. An agreement was signed between Berry and the hotel, and after the completion of the wedding function, the hotel raised a bill which was paid for by Berry.
A few days later, the wedding photographer visited him and asked for ₹12,000 for the room he stayed in, for which he was charged by the hotel. The complainant alleged that the hotel charging the photographer was in contradiction to the agreement, as the rooms occupied during the function were less than the minimum guarantee of 60 rooms, duly paid for. He verified the bills charged by the hotel and found that he had been charged an excess ₹39,680, without taking into account the minimum guarantee amount already paid.
Berry asked for refund of the excess amount, but the hotel said the revenue was already punched in the system and since the query was raised in April 2016, after financial year closing, it couldn’t be done.
In their reply, the hotel stated that the charges levied against the services were in accordance with the actual number of guests who had stayed. They said the minimum guarantee was deducted before calculating the final bill, and denied that the amount charged to the photographer should have been adjusted there.
The forum said the dispute had been raised in December, much before the closing of financial year. “The complainant has paid for the minimum 60 rooms even when some of the rooms were lying vacant. Therefore, there
was no justification in charging separately for stay of photographers,” ruled the forum.