>> Final Update #6 (20th May’16)
After all this fiasco, what did I learn?
- In India, despite being a startup, no one likes to follow the process. Whether you are applying for a Govt ID, or you want to surrender a postpaid connection or if you want to complain against a mishap.
- Unless and until you make noise on social channels or use a medium which may trigger bad PR for the company, generally no one cares.
- If you are a reader of BitSnapper from a long time, you can obseve the same pattern at my post for Den Boomband, Royal Enfield, MTNL and MTS.
- This platform was supposed to be a medium to share my thoughts and views but instead, it feels like yet another online complaint portal which is a shame as this conveys what an average consumer (me) has to face in his day to day life. 🙁
>>Update #5 (18th May’16)
Yes! I received a call in the morning and Mr Rahul asked me to provide my NEFT details for the Account I would like them to process refund in. I did replied the mail and within few hours, I got the refund.
As much has I am okay with the refund, I really didn’t want it. I just wanted to make a point about the services of a said startup which is considered to be one of the first(s) in the country.
>>Update #4 (17th May’16)
After my post and tweet got a bit traction,
— Jatin (@Silent_freak) May 16, 2016
I was contacted by OYO room’s PR team. Mr Rahul got in touch with me and assured me that they are escalating the matter on urgent basis and asked for a day to get back at me with the updates and resolution. Reminds me of same promise like last time, let’s hope for a better treatment now.
>>Update #3 (16th May’16)
After exactly 1 month of the incident, I have decided to go public with my experience. I tried my best to not write just another blog post about a company who doesn’t deliver on what it promises. I did try all the possible support channels in a proper way but guess it just doesn’t work like it with OYO rooms.
I am using the #SayNoToOYORooms on twitter until this post gets noticed by someone of higher authority who will genuinely understand my concerns. I didn’t want to tarnish brand image or cause PR hustle but this is the last resort now.
>>Update #2 (25th April’16)
After my continuous futile attempt to bring this light to matter, today, one of the customer executive called. He told me that they have sent an inspection team and found some of the “allegations” to be true. When I asked him about the amount I paid for an experience I didn’t even take completely, he replied that I should have called their customer support team instead of emailing. Now, that is really absurd.
Upon further argument, he offered me a Gift card of ₹100 (ONE HUNDRED ONLY), to which I politely refused. Though, impressed by his bravery, I asked his name and guess what? He dropped off the call. This shows the typical Indian “lala” mentality. Instead of analysing what I had to face and mend it to make sure more customers don’t have to face it, OYO CRs just want to get over with one “just another ticket to close”. Such a shame.
>>Update #1 (18th April’16)
On 16th April itself, being a responsible customer, I wrote a big mail stating all below to OYO’s customer support. This is what I got in reply by a certain Mr Anil from Reservations department.
I also checked my Mom’s email to see if she got any reply about this horrible experience, but nope. After the initial reply by Mr Ashish from Guest support team, there was no follow-up.
Cutting straight to the point, it was a long weekend (14th -17th April) and my family decided to pay a visit to Haridwar. We do a yearly trip during Ram Navami, it’s kind of a custom we have. Though we always look for the accommodation post reaching the place, I, being a startup advocate techie, insisted on pre-booking with OYO Rooms based on my past experience in Bangalore and Mumbai. I tech-educated my parents and asked Mom to book a hotel so she can be the pro when they plan something next time.
Had I known it will be a disaster like it did, I would have stuck to the conventional means.
After being satisfied with the fancy banner above on the webpage, we picked up this hotel under booking #PCKB1706 on 20th March 2016 for 2 days (15-17th April 2016). The total amout was ₹2298 out of which we paid ₹344 using OYO money which my mom got as a promo for me to invite her. The rest amount of ₹1954 was to be paid at hotel. We confirmed the booking a day before and reached the hotel on 15th April at 3 PM.
Before you move forward, I urge you to open the property link (https://www.oyorooms.com/4407-budget-hotel-near-har-ki-pauri-haridwar), check the pictures and features mentioned.
So, let’s begin with my experience at OYO rooms, here’s how the room was:
#1. Triple accommodation
NO! Room was tiny for 2 people, let alone 3. What’s the point of pre-booking then?
#2. Extra bed for third person
NO! All I got was a thin mattress on floor to sleep which was -50 on a comfort scale of 0-100
#3. A great stay?
NO! Such a tiny room that hotel had to stuff sofa and table right in front of Almirah, which rendered half of the sections in almirah inaccessible. As almirah wasn’t accessible, there was no hook for clothes on both(room/washroom) door(s).
#4. Spotless Linen
NO! Self explanatory. 🙂
#5. Clean Washrooms?
#6. Free Wi-Fi
NO! The room given to us on on second level, the (single) WiFi router was on Ground level that too on in the reception table. I struggled to connect to WiFi in the corridor let alone room. Also standing adjacent to the router on Ground level, the speed I got was 0.12 Mbps (I couldn’t even load my email).
#7. Breakfast/Good room/staff service
#8. Easily accessible location
Plenty of a list eh? ₹2298/2 ~ ₹1149/day is 1000% more than what I would ideally pay for such an experience.
After going through a great hospitality experience above, we just stayed for less than 12 hours in the room by spending the night, got up in the morning, packed our bags and checked out a day before (16th April) the booking was supposed to end (17th April).
Here’s the proof:
Even ₹100/day is overkill for such experience, I would rather sleep on the ghat.
Thanks to ultimate hospitality of OYO rooms, our trip went berserk. We woke up today – restless and irritated. We decided to switch the hotel but due to Ardh-Kumbh, it wasn’t a easy task to drag a 30 kg luggage bag with 2 handbags from a hotel to hotel. We checked out from this menace at ~10:50 AM, keyed up our car and drove back 220 Kms for Delhi, all dejected.
Disappointment with OYO rooms
This was certainly not how Ritesh envisioned his start up to be.
Anyway, I didn’t sign up for this and all above when I booked a room in OYO’s property. I used to be a big advocate for OYO rooms and was thoroughly impressed with the way Ritesh Agarwal (CEO) has managed to stir up this sector. But now, I have following questions for Ritesh:
1. Did you guys do an inspection of this property before teaming up your brand with them?
2. Did anyone actually stay there for a night?
3. Do you guys just do a one-time inspection for a single (decorated) room for the purpose? Isn’t hotel business about maintaining the standard instead of faking it?
4. Isn’t location a big part of customer experience?
5. What is the meaning of Triple accomodation as per OYO rooms since you charge the same differential as between Single to Double occupency?
6. When something goes wrong as it did here, what is the course of action from OYO rooms?
My ₹2298 went completely down the drain along with the long weekend which was spoiled but what’s worst is the idea of spoiling my family time which was supposed to be relaxed and soothing. You have lost a customer today but I want to make sure you know why, hence all the effort above.
Indian hospitality industry is very sensitive. People expect at least clean and neat basic amenities and proper reply to their queries and complaints. Ignoring customers voice is very big mistake and all the investors will pay for it in due course if not the entrepreneur. Sorry to say with this kind of management future of OYO is extremely bleak and till then, join me on Twitter and use: