DCDRC directs Airbnb to pay Rs 5000 to the parents of the 6-month-old infant who was negligently injured by the caretaker during check- out

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District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (DCDRC), Chandigarh: While considering the instant consumer complaint filed against Airbnb for injuring the complainant’s 6-month-old daughter while checking out, the Bench of Pawanjit Singh (President)*, Surjeet Kaur and Suresh Kumar Sardana (Members) held that due to negligence of the caretaker while cleaning the room, the six month old daughter of the complainant had fell down from the blanket in which she was wrapped, the said act clearly amounts to deficiency in service on the part of the opposite parties. Therefore, the Commission directed the opposite parties to pay Rs 5000 to the complainant along with interest at 9% per annum from the date of institution of the consumer complaint.

The complainant had booked a room for vacation in Goa in the resort named ‘Sky Villa’ through the Airbnb’s website with check-in date as 2-3-2022 and check-out date as 6-3-2022. The complainant, along with her husband and six months old daughter, stayed in the booked room and on the day of the check-out, they were ready with bags packed and waiting for the caretaker of the resort for check-out formalities.

The caretaker came around 1:00 p.m. and went to the room where the six months old daughter of the complainant was sleeping on the bed covered in a blanket. He pulled the bed sheets and pillows, because of which the daughter of the complainant fell on the hard floor and started screaming and crying. Due to the act of the caretaker, the daughter of the complainant suffered injuries and went in shock, for which the complainant had to take an online consultation from the doctor.

The complainant reported the aforesaid act of the caretaker to the opposite parties, however, instead of taking any action against him, the opposite parties declared him as ‘Super Host’.

The complainant alleged that the aforesaid action by the opposite parties amounted to a deficiency in service. The opposite parties were also requested several times to admit the claim, but with no result. Hence, the instant consumer complaint came into being.

Opposite party 2 i.e., the resort contested the complaint and contended that complainant ‘s husband was informed that the check-out time was 11:00 am but, he sought some time for check out and his request was accordingly conceded totally free of cost without any additional payment or consideration. Counsels representing the resort submitted that when the caretaker reached the complainant’s room, they were still not ready for check-out and when the caretaker started cleaning the room resulting in the complainant’s daughter falling, he immediately apologized for the same. The resort thus averred that the aforesaid act of the caretaker was neither intentional nor was there any deficiency in service on his part.

Perusing the facts and contentions of the parties, the Commission had to consider whether there was any deficiency on the part of the opposite parties and if yes then what relief was due to the complainant.

The Commission took note of email sent by the opposite parties clearly indicating their admission of the mishap and their apology. Perusing another email, the Commission noted that the opposite parties had offered a goodwill, one-time courtesy refund via coupon worth ₹4,320.02 to the husband of the complainant, but the aforesaid coupon amount was never transferred /paid to the complainant.

In view of the aforesaid scrutiny, the Commission held that the complainant successfully proved the cause of action set up in the consumer complaint and the complaint deserves to succeed.

Therefore, the Commission directed the opposite parties to pay the afore-mentioned money along with ₹5,000 as costs of litigation.

[Tanya Sharma v. Airbnb, CC No. Cc/642/2022, decided on 02-05-2024]

*Order by Pawanjit Singh, President

Advocates who appeared in this case :

Appearing for the complainant- Akash Soni, Advocate

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