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Meru Cab fined for making newlyweds miss flight

Press Trust of India  |  Thane 

A Consumer Forum here has asked a cab service provider to pay over Rs 22,000 as compensation to a couple who missed their honeymoon flight as their luggage could not be retrieved from the car's locked boot in time.

The order against Ltd was passed by bench of M G Rahatgaonkar and Jyoti Iyer on a complaint filed by Amit Vartak, a Thane resident.

On October 28, 2009, Vartak and his newly-wed wife had hired a for taking them to Mumbai Airport from where they were to board a flight for Kochi. The couple had planned a honeymoon in Kerala.

The cab took them to the airport in time, but on reaching there, the driver could not open the boot in which luggage was kept, as the lock had jammed.

According to Vartaks, the maintenance department of Meru did not respond to calls. When eventually a company mechanic succeeded in opening the boot, their flight had left and they had to book themselves on another Kerala-bound flight, coughing up around Rs 11,000.

On return, Vartaks sent a notice to Meru seeking compensation, and as the company did not respond, they moved the Consumer Forum seeking to recover cost of the airfare plus Rs 50,000 for the stress and mental agony that the episode had caused.

In the order, the Forum said that lack of a tool kit in the cab (which is mandatory for every vehicle on the road) and calls to Meru's maintenance department going unanswered was a clear-cut instance of deficiency in service.

"In view of the above facts we are of the view that complainant and his wife must have gone through immense mental agony and torture," the Consumer Forum said.
"The opponent company should bear in mind that being in service industry, that too in the 21st century, they cannot exercise such kind of deficiencies," it said and ordered Meru to pay Vartaks Rs 22,088 in compensation.

First Published: Fri, January 13 2012. 14:36 IST