Sterling Holiday Resorts Misselling cancellation and abysmal customer serviceReport
Please briefly explain why you feel this question should be reported .
Another kingfisher (Vijay mallya) in making would be the best title to this grievance of mine. Hi! I am nimesh from mumbai who was mis-sold sterling membership (White season and studio apt… Membership id 1232935) in december 2017 by imran khan (Sales executive bearing mobile number [protected] and email id email@example.com). One of the feature he explained which provided edge over mahindra holidays was that member can opt for higher season anytime without any waiting period before check-in date. This was unlike mahindra holidays which permitted this but with waiting period applicable and availability would be known 15 days before check-in date.
Seeing this a salient feature i was attracted to opt for the membership. I twice cross checked with imran on correctness of this feature and he assured me of the same. He told that he was employee of mahindra holidays in the past and so can list down the additional benefits without being wrong. He told that there would a verification call where verifier would mention this as well.
My membership kit arrived (After delay of 2 months almost). Yesterday when i tried to book hotel for different season for darjeeling for 16th and 17th may on their call center[protected] the lady caller informed me that she will forward my request but the availability would be disclosed only 40 days before check-in date and not before 1st april 2017. I explained her that imran khan, sales executive, had clearly informed me that there is no such clause or waiting period for availability. But the lady instead of taking my complaint or transfering to complaint department told me that she is not suppose to take complaints and terms and conditions are mentioned in the envelope dispatched. Obviously nobody can read entire tncs printed in micro font size. I also told that this was not disclosed to me in the verification call as well. After taking a pause, she told me that as i have not availed any holidays so far and this being my first booking, she can book the resort for me for higher season as available now. When i asked her what about the next year, she informed that waiting period would apply if i try booking higher season. When i told that this is misselling and i would cancel the membership, she instead of pacifying me or escalating or going through and sharing the recorded verification call, she directed me to write email to firstname.lastname@example.org to know cancellation process and expected refund. There is no way a member can give cancellation request or refund query on phone. This is nothing but a way to harrase members applying for cancellation and delay the process.
Even the assigned rm, shweta, was not coming on the landline[protected] shared by her inspite of repeated attempts. The guy picked up the call and told me that shweta would call me back.
Sales executive, imran khan, was neither taking my call or reverting to my message
In the evening when i tried calling him from my other mobile number used by my wife, he picked up the call. He was not expecting me.. Obvious. When i narrated my experience of booking and waiting period of 40 days, he told that this may be new feature introduced but obviously not applicable to me. He promised me to get back after checking with his head office. He never came back so far. Nor he picked up my calls or reverted to my msg.
Every promise of this sales executive has been false and questions the service level and standards of this organisation.
First promise that was broken was that i would receive verification call in 10 days time. After my 50% down payment getting cleared, sterling was least bothered to keep this promise. Imran had an excuse that call center and email team are not functioning due to chennai floods. Also they are behind schedule. Another promise was broken that i would receive call in another 2-3 days as he has placed my request on priority. When i threatened that i would cancel the membership proposal as i see indefinite delay and i wanted to book holidays for january, he told he would assist me another customer care number as because number on website was not functioning. He never shared the alternative number. Infact cancellation policy was also not explained on recorded verification call also.
Now when i want to cancel the membership and take full refund on the ground of misrepresentation, misseling, false promises and abysmal service levels and standards, they are not reverting to my mails nor picking my calls.
I insist of complete investigation on this organisation and a thorough independant audit on their policies and a csat on each and every member at every stage… New membership, 1st booking, subsequent bookings, cancellation and refund, call center and email experience, different service experiences etc.
Infact this industry should be governed by a regulator to act like watch dog and should standardise policy and clauses which should be readily visible and available on website for propsects and members to read.
Name, email id, mobile number and landline number of higher management staff including ceo within the organisation for escalations should be available on website.
At present the website and customer support standard of sterling holidays give a picture of nothing more than a fraudulent company and management.
Worst of all and shocking is to know that this fraudulent methods are happening in a subsidiary of thomas cook.
Sterling holiday went through trying times with high debt till bay capital took it over in 2009. Bay capital investment’s siddharth mehta took over as chairman of sterling holiday and brought in ramanathan from mahindra holiday resorts to run the company. Is the company trying to cover the past debts by cheating the members? Where is the watch dog appointed? Why aren’t there any regulators? Why is management silent when this website and fb is full of bad experiences of members. Is mr ramanathan sleeping?
This questions not just the standards but moral of thomas cook and all the companies where fairfax financial holdings has a stake.
My next escalation would be to respected prime minister office. Company has to refund 100% on misselling and overhaul their entire selling and customer service process. Website should clearly disclose terms and conditions in detail just like policy wordings of insurance companies.