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Beware of online websites which try to lure customers by offering vouchers and discounts for New Year’s bash.

Our staff member Akshay Redij had made an online booking at groupon website for participating in the new year concert scheduled to be held at 7 pm on 31st December 2015 at 25 Paraganas, Sahara Star Restaurant, Vile Parle (E). He had paid Rs 7,500, exclusive of applicable taxes for event which also included alcohol buffet brunch, delicious regional Bengali 3-Course set menu meal and performance by DJ Chetas. Prior reservation was mandatory for the event and customers were instructed to carry age identity proof.

When Akshay went to Sahara Star restaurant and inquired about the programme he was surprised to hear that no such event was arranged there. He was informed by Sahara Star officials that they don’t possess any information about whether any new year programme is being organised there. Staff members then inquired about this issue with their seniors and they too were unaware about it. Akshay then produced the online booking voucher to substantiate his claim. Subsequently, officials took the screen shot of the voucher and also forwarded an email regarding this issue to their seniors. They assured Akshay that they will get back to him within 24 hours. Both of them also exchanged each other’s visiting cards. We have sent an email to groupon but are yet to receive any reply from them.

Thus our staff member has been cheated by the organisers of the show. How can one trust online websites and organisers which try to lure customers by offering special offers, vouchers and discounts for new year’s bash?

Rahul Roy Rakesh Roy, Manager of Sahara Star Hotel said, “We were not aware of the offers available on Groupon hence our staff was confused about it. The restaurant is closed for some reasons since last 2 weeks, it was kept open only for the 31st night. I have forwarded this issue to my seniors and will get back to you regarding the same as soon as possible. I assure you we are looking into this matter on priority.”

Customers too need to carry out an inquiry to verify the genuineness of such offers made by websites. Many of them are interested in earning money by cheating customers who fall prey to such lucrative offers. Once customers pay money it becomes very difficult for them to claim the refund of the sum paid by them. Most of the website also mentions that money once paid is not refundable which creates further troubles for customers.

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