Taking advantage of legal technicalities, some companies

are taking people

for a ride, writes Marri Ramu

Lure people to hotels by announcing that they won gifts, persuade them to join some holiday package and make them sign agreement papers of the packages.

On the face of it, everything related to sale of holiday packages or any other schemes based on tele-marketing looks perfect. But problems crop up when the benefits assured orally by the marketing executives are not included in the agreement papers and the people who signed it approach law-enforcing agencies alleging they were cheated.

Police officers say that selling a package — whether related to resorts or real estate business through tele-marketing or offering some gifts is not forbidden by law. It is the duty of the person to read thoroughly every clause of the agreement before signing it. After voluntarily becoming a party to an agreement, a person cannot backtrack from it.

Taking advantage of these legal technicalities, some companies are taking people for a ride. They call up individuals announcing that the person got a surprise gift from their company during a random sampling and invite him or her to a hotel to collect the gift along with life partners.

On reaching the place, the company executives bombard them with different holiday packages offered by their companies, give an enormous list of advantages of interest on the deposits, free stay at resorts and discounts.

With so many offers, anybody gets tempted, readily issue cheques or pay cash and sign the agreement papers immediately as insisted by the marketing persons.

Legally right

But no one takes pains to read the agreement papers completely before signing them.

As per law, the companies would be legally right. They would promptly deny the offers orally made by their executives.

Though approaching the police is an option, it would take years for them to secure back their money, would be forced to move around courts and lose valuable time in the process. Hence, police advise, it would be better not to get trapped for baits of free gifts thrown by tricksters.

The Hyderabad Detective Department has recently arrested two employees of such company on cheating charge. But the DCP, R.S. Praveen Kumar, maintains small precautions would go a long way protecting interests of people. Don’t give your mobile or landline phone numbers on any gift coupons, lucky dips or vouchers at exhibitions. Data collected thus is sold to unscrupulous companies.

Never sign any paper before studying it properly and get it checked up with lawyers. Before buying a holiday package, inquire with members who joined the scheme earlier. Approach the local police in case of any suspicion.