Thursday, March 06, 2014

CC Fraud -- Club Group of Hotels


Recently, we got conned into 'buying' a time-share holiday scheme from a company called "Mountain Club Resorts PL, New Delhi", Club Group of Hotels.

Their game was pretty simple -- and beguiling. First they dangled a "free holiday" at the end of an hour-long marketing pitch. When you decline to take up their offers, the smooth-talking gets smoother, and the prices keep going down until you take the bait on the basis of "zero interest" payments of multiple installments spread across a couple of years.

Then they take your credit cards and charge you the full amount saying that the CC company would be converting them to 'easy installments'. You are hurriedly made to sign at the bottom of some legal papers. It is only later that you kick yourself for being so gullible -- especially when you notice that the legal doc has blanks spaces that have not been filled, and the bill from the credit-card company is for full, upfront payments!

A rather belated internet search reveals that RBI had banned "zero interest" many months ago.

You desperately contact the company. The smooth-talkers are Mountain Club Resorts now feign ignorance. "Is there a new RBI rule? They must've introduced that after you signed up". When that line fails to convince, a new offer comes up - "We'll pay up the interest charged by the CC companies". When you ask them to send confirmatory emails, they just dissappear. Phone calls go unanswered; emails are ignored.

Is it too late? What do you do?

First, inform the credit card companies. In our case, the process with Citibank was a lot easier than HDFC bank. Citi just blocked the credit card, issued a new one and then initiated a "dispute" inquiry. The very next day, there was a follow-up call to assure us that no payment was required for this transaction. HDFC was a lot more cumbersome. They wanted to have a written application, signed and submitted to a local branch. Customer-care service was tardy and a test of patience.

Next, inform the Reserve Bank of India. The RBI Ombudsman page had officers listed city-wise to take up the complaints . Our case has now been forwarded to the Department of Non-Banking Supervision (DNBS).

What happens next? Watch this space.



---------------------------------------------------------------
LINKS

* RBI bans zero-interest payment schems (26 Sep., 2013) -- http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/business/india-business/RBI-bans-zero-interest-loans-on-EMI-to-credit-card-holders/articleshow/23065529.cms

* Fraud membership offered by Club Group of Hotels -- http://www.icomplaints.in/fraud-membership-scheme-offered-by-club-group-of-025237.html

* Complaints registered online -- http://www.complaintsaboutbusiness.in/tag/club-group-of-hotels/
and http://www.consumercourt.in/product-services/110075-cheated-club-group-hotels-gold-star-hospitality.html  (Club Group of Hotels / Gold Star Hospitality)
and http://www.consumercourtforum.in/f29/club-group-hotels-just-behind-your-mollah-don-t-fall-prey-them-84052/

* ...and  more! -- http://www.complaintbox.in/cheating-by-club-group-of-hotelsdestination-resorts-india-pvt-ltd/ (Club Group of Hotels / Destination Resorts PL)

* RBI -- http://www.rbi.org.in/commonman/english/scripts/departments.aspx#DNBS
- http://www.rbi.org.in/Scripts/bs_viewcontent.aspx?Id=159

* Banking Obudsmen - RBI - http://www.rbi.org.in/scripts/AboutUsDisplay.aspx?pg=BankingOmbudsmen.htm


13 comments:

bs said...

SO TRUE

NO RESPONSE FROM THEIR AGENT IN AHMEDABAD
NOR IMPERIAL VACATIONS PVT. LTD.
NOR MR GHANSHYAM
NOR MR AJAY KAUL

some officers of the company
NOR RCI

ALL MAKING A FAST BUCK

BHAVESH SHAH 079 23223351

Iesha Sharma said...

hi,

i faced the same thing this saturday 11th july 2015. Can you please help me to get things sorted

Dinakarr said...

Hi Iesha, Since our transaction was on two credit-cards (Citi and HDFC) we just had to be persistent with the CC companies that the transaction was faudulent. Please remember to retain the copies of all the receipts as well as contact details of the salesmen and their managers. Citi was much more efficient in dealing with this. Keep going and don't give up!

Anonymous said...

Hi Dinakarr,

COuld you share ur email address?

In my case its HDFC and these ppl taking years to solve it. I have not received a single call from them. When i first called them, they said since the transaction was done in ur presence so we cannot do anything. Very weird they r?

I have all proofs, contact no of everyone whol fooled me. I hope i get my money back soon

Himani said...

Hey hi ,
Can you help me i have the same issue.

Dinakarr said...

Hi Himani,
Please keep all the docs you received from the scamsters carefully, as well as names and contact details of the sales guys...and chase them down till you get your money back.
Its easier if you've paid using credit cards. Citibank was super efficient and prompt in reversing the payment, HDFC was a pain-in-the-neck, but thanks to the lead taken by Citi, they too followed suit after a few months.
All the Best!
- D

Iesha Sharma said...

After 6 months my issue was finally resolved by HDFC. They took a lot of time but finally decision was taken in my favor. m relived now n will never look for any such crap again.

Dinakarr said...

Congrats, Iesha! :)
Another victory against the fraudsters!

Unknown said...

hi lesha...i have been duped for Rs 2 lakhs by the same sompany in delhi...problem is it was in month od Dec 15 and have already paid 4 emi instalments to the bank in addition to rs 20000 paid to the company through debit card...have not availed any s3rvice from them...not even the free holiday...really dont know wat to do ....anil

Anil Kumar said...

hi lesha...i have been duped for Rs 2 lakhs by the same sompany in delhi...problem is it was in month od Dec 15 and have already paid 4 emi instalments to the bank in addition to rs 20000 paid to the company through debit card...have not availed any s3rvice from them...not even the free holiday...really dont know wat to do ....anil

Anil Kumar said...

hi...same issue..have been duped for rs 2 lakhs by same fraudsters...

Anil Kumar said...

hi Dinakarr....have been duped for Rs 200000 by the same company...have paid rs 17000 by debit card and rest all through sbi cc with emi option....4 emis paid till now bringing the total to 57000. can i complain now and stop paying emis?...pls advise....regards...anil

Dinakarr said...

Hi Anil, The time-lag and mode of payment (debit card, SBI) may work against you. If you have all the relevant documents, along with names & contact details of the fellows who sold you this lemon, please approach the Consumer Court ASAP. A police complaint along with stoppage of payment may also help. Either way, please take action without further delay.