[Resolved] Country Holidays Inn & Suites Pvt. Ltd. — false commitment, cancellation of membership and refund of money
This is my worst experience with a Country Holiday Inn & Suites/CHIS (don’t confuse it with Country Inn). The sweetness and the gesture the sales team will show while selling their membership, you will be bound to fall into their trap and once your card is swipe, they will give you an agreement to sign stating that this is the written commitment of what we discussed showing the amount paid. They will not let you read the other conditions saying that you can read it later.
Following is the description of the incident that I have gone through with “Country Holidays Inn & Suites Pvt. Ltd, 2045/1, IInd Floor, Street No.6, Chuna Mandi, Paharganj, New Delhi-110055”.
I have filled one coupon at HP Petrol Pump, Subhash Nagar, New Delhi on 20th May 2018 where the person told me that ‘Country Inn’ has opened new hotels at few locations including Shimla, Jaipur, Goa etc. and they will provide you 2 nights/3 days stay at their new hotels if your names comes in lucky draw.
Immediately on next day I received a call from a girl informing that I won the lucky draw for free vacation along with bookmyshow. I was not willing to go as I don’t trust in these offers, so I denied. But she kept on convincing me that I just have to visit the TDI Mall with my wife for collecting the freebies. I finally said okay, I will come. They sent me a text message from mobile number – [protected]
(Welcome Country Holidays inn & Suites India Pvt. Ltd.
Today u and ur spouse invited from TDI Mall Rajouri Garden.
Congratulations, We Are Offering holiday Voucher For 2nights/3days In Country inn India Pvt. Ltd.
It's Free Accommodation Voucher.1 year validity.
2nd Voucher is PVR Movies ticket For Couples
Entry Code -Ad0091vs
(Entry restricted to couples only) 45 minutes time required for detailing.
Shop No. 23, Ground floor,
TDI Mall, Vishal Cinema Besides, Rajouri Garden, New delhi.
Regards - Lavi sharma)
I did not go for collecting the same as I was not so interested in these types of offers. But, they kept calling me again and again to collect the gift. Then I said I would not be able to make it on weekdays. So they said, they can arrange it for weekend. I counter questioned them whether there are any terms and conditions to accept the offer which they denied. I then said okay, I will come (as I anyways need to visit Westside in the same mall for exchanging some stuff). They again sent me same message with a new entry code – DV23AL25VL from a new mobile number – [protected] (Rahul Sharma). I thought it’s the same person as surname of both the persons was ‘Sharma’.
I finally decided to go there on 26th May, 2018 at around 8:45 PM after exchanging my stuff from the Westside. As soon as I left from the store, I found that County Holiday Inn office is just adjacent to it. I reached there and enquired about Rahul. Then a person shared a form with me asking the entry code to collect the vouchers. I was then asked to attend a presentation about company’s promotion to get the free vouchers. There were few more couples sitting there, thus, out of curiosity, I also agreed for the presentation. A well-dressed person came to me and started introducing himself as “Zaib” from Model Town, New Delhi. He then asked that please introduce yourself so that we are comfortable with each other for next half an hour. He then asked you must be having some questions in your mind why any company is providing any free vouchers, which was right at that moment. He then said it’s for your time for promotion of company’s new app “CHIS”. He then started that you must have heard about Country Inn and I was also under the impression that it is related to Country Inn hotels as the name is similar to that only and the text message also mentioned the same. He then asked me about my last vacations and said that he will offer some plan only if it is relevant to you, else you will be provided the voucher without spending further time. He then said that offer would be valid for today only. He then said this is unlike other membership plans where they sell life time plans for 5-10 lakhs rupees. I started losing my interest and said that I am not interested in buying any plan. He then convinced that he is not at all selling any plan to me and started showing some five-star properties (hotels). He then said what if this hotel will be available to you at 2 star hotel price etc. I said yes it would be a great deal. He then said we have a 10 year membership plan for INR 1, 80, 000 lakhs. I straight away denied the offer since I cannot afford to pay it. Zaib then called his manager and the they started bargaining with the price. They asked me that they will provide some cashback if few digits are appearing on my credit card. (I think they wanted to check whether I am carrying a credit card or not) They brought it down to 1, 35, 000 for 10 years and talked about various EMIs with many further freebies including 2 weeks of extended nights. They said no company will provide such kind of offer costing less than Rs 2, 000 per night for such kind of hotel stay. I completely denied their offer and started leaving the office as it was around 9:45 pm. They then very politely said that please collect your free voucher before leaving the office. I will take only 5 minutes.
Then he casually started talking that what resists you to take the offer so that he can provide feedback to the company. I said it might be useful but it takes time to decide before spending such a huge amount for a middle class like me and I may opt for it if you will provide me one day’s time after exploring about the hotels. He then said it was already informed in the beginning that any offer would be valid for today only and he is not feeling great that we have wasted an hour. He then offered me another plan for 5 years stating that though it is for senior citizens only, but he will somehow manage for it. He additionally offered me one-night stay at Fortune Hotel with my mother along with free breakfast and dinner. He additionally offered me 2 nights with breakfast at either Jaipur or Shimla and 2 bonus weeks making a total night of 47 nights at INR 90, 000. I then also denied that I can’t pay such amount at once. I told that I can confirm it over the phone at the later part of day but they forced us into this by saying that this is an exclusive offer for few selected families which would expire the minute we step out from the room. He then said he will arrange EMI plan exclusively for me and I can take back entire amount refund in 30 days if I will not enjoy my stay at Fortune Hotel. He showed some of the membership bought recently and said people who bought membership plan 4-5 years ago came and thank them for making an asset. He then said I only have to pay Rs 7, 500 per month for such a stay for 5 years. He then showed on calculator that per night stay is costing less than Rs 2, 000. I and my wife also seems convincing as the offer was lucrative, then finally inquired about the cancellation part again where they told us that at any point of time we can cancel our membership. I finally fall into their trap and said them okay. He immediately swiped my card for INR 83, 500 stating that we have offered you discount of interest to be shared by credit card. I immediately got an email with tax invoice for the amount. The other mistake was we told them about our upcoming plan for a trip to Goa. So, they kept on holding me by one or other way and meanwhile negotiating on their offer. He then came with an agreement and while signing when I wanted to go through the agreement but they did not allow us to do so saying that “Sir, need not worry. It has all the information that we have discussed now and you can read it later showing the membership plan details and freebies only. You need not worry, Country Inn is not a small brand, you know”. I also relied on them as it was too late (10:30 PM) and we were feeling hungry as well. We were happy to get this deal and was waiting for membership details.
On 6th June, 2018, I got a confirmation call about the membership followed by an e-mail with login credentials. I then tried login on app to see how it works, but it was not successful. I then tried customer care number for several times but it was not serviceable. Then, I checked google about the company and it seems that it is a scam as the company was registered in December 2016 only. I then related that Country Inn and Country Holiday Inn & Suites are two different companies. There were many such scams mentioned on the internet. I was shocked to realize that a fraud has happened with me and that I have lost my hard-earned money.
I immediately made a request for refund of fee paid. They replied with some mail asking about the preferred locations. On which I again asked for refund. This happened few times and on 13th June, the reply was “We regret to inform you that the cancellation cannot be processed against the specified reason, the membership is non-refundable as per agreement which is mutually signed.”
I then immediately replied with “I was informed that I can cancel my membership if I am not satisfied. Also, website clearly mentions the same as below:
In case of any valid point of dissatisfaction, The member can cancel their membership within 7 days of availing their first holiday after deducting administration charges, ASF and GST.
Please help in getting refund.”
I, then, read the so-called agreement which mentioned things which were totally opposite to what they said. I am a Chartered Accountant and I have studied Indian laws, including Indian Contract Act, 1872. This is a void agreement which can’t be enforceable as it is one sided agreement which doesn’t gives me any right to cancel.
Further to add to this, in the consumer forum Ludhiana (Case No.553, Dt.05.07.2012) the Hon’ble Judge specifically addressed this issue of ‘non-refundability’ – “Further the plea taken by the OPs (Country Vacations) that as per the terms and conditions of the impugned contract, the membership fee once paid is non-refundable is also not sustainable, as the impugned contract is one sided standard form of contract (where the parties are not equal in the bargaining power) which the OPs got prepared according to serve their interest and the complainants were supposed to sign only on the dotted line. For such a view we are guided by the judgement by the Hon’ble Supreme Court reported in AIR1986 (SC) 1571.”
Now the app is also working but it always shows “Sold out” for all locations even in non-peak season. Thus, this is completely a fraud where you will not get booking of your choice. They don’t have their own hotel as mentioned at the time of booking. They have floated a company whose name is like Country Inn just to make people fall into their trap easily.
Please help me to get my money back since this a purely a fraud that has happened to me.
(Spouse of Pratibha Gupta)
Complaint marked as Resolved 2018-07-31 14:00:59
Refunded entite amount to me.
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