Customers often take to social media to share their grievances regarding a certain product they are facing issues with. But a Chennai-based Senior Consultant, who had a rough experience with hospitality company Oyo, didn't want to stop at a tweet or a Facebook post.Recently, Mohamed Najiullah, who was using the hotel service to celebrate his first wedding anniversary in Havelock Island, Andamans, complained that he had such a 'bad experience' that he actually ended up setting up an entirely new website called oyo-ruined-my-anniversary.com.
"Here's a website I created just to voice out how Oyo ruined my first wedding anniversary," Najiullah on his Facebook page.
Since its inception in 2013, Oyo Hotels and Homes or simply known as Oyo has grown into one of the largest hotel chains in the world. With its simple motto of "hassle-free" transparent pricing and online booking, it has become the abode for young couples and vacationing families alike across the world.
That, however, hasn't stopped the backlash. Last month, two hoteliers in from Karnataka filed separate police complaints accusing Oyo of deceitfully increasing commissions. They accused Oyo's 25-year-old founder and CEO, Ritesh Agarwal of fraud.
On his website, the customer detailed how he arrived at the Hotel Lee Meridian resort in Andamans with his spouse and family only to be turned away by the "polite yet furious" hotel manager who said the hotel was apparently dealing with payment issues from Oyo's end.
"I showed him my booking and he responded saying that there were some payment issues with Oyo. Apparently Oyo has been sending guests to his hotel for a price that was unacceptable to him. And he had written to Oyo nearly a month ago regarding this and received no proper answer," the customer wrote.
This was when Najiullah, the customer, contacted the Oyo executive and handed his phone over to the manager to resolve the payment issue in order to confirm his booking at the hotel. Instead, he wrote, the executive put the call on hold and eventually the line went dead.
After the failed attempt, Najiullah got in touch with another Oyo executive. This time, the executive assured that he would arrange for alternate accommodation.
When the customer asked the driver to take him and his family to the suggested spot, the driver chuckled.
"After listening to the hotel’s name, the driver told me that a hotel with that name didn’t exist on the island...Apparently the hotel that the executive was suggesting was in West Bengal, more than 1300KMs away," he wrote.
With several failed attempts and having to explain his query again and again over the phone, Najiullah claimed that he was finally assured of accommodation by the customer care but once again, there was a catch.
"This executive told me he could transfer me to a nearby hotel, Hotel Star Glory Resort and that I had to pay more Rs.1800/- because the rent was higher there. I asked him why I had to pay more because of Oyo’s mistake. He said he couldn’t help me on that aspect and that if I wanted an alternate accommodation I would have to pay more," he wrote on the website.
When the customer and his family finally arrived at the "confirmed" accommodation, their nightmare had only begun. The new hotel's reception desk informed that they had received no intimation from Oyo and after yet another call to the executive only they were allowed to check-in.
But the episode was far from over.
Thankfully, Najiullah had a sense of humour about the entire fiasco, who detailed the entire incident laced with wit, memes, and gifs on his website.On their part, Oyo's spokesperson told OfficeChai that they were investigating the matter and were in touch with the guest for necessary action.
"We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience caused to the guest," the spokesperson said.
"We shall also take appropriate action against the hotel owners that caused the inconvenience."