PANAJI: Discovering that a booked vacation property doesn’t actually exist can turn a dream holiday into a nightmare. The unfortunate incident occurred with an X user named Saurabh from Mumbai, who found out through a local friend that the luxurious villa they had booked in Goa was non-existent.
The person who had booked the villa, took to social media and accused the travel booking company Homestays and Villas, along with its founder Siddharth Bakaria of fraud.
According to Saurabh’s social media post, he even paid Rs 1.2 lakh to Bakaria to book the villa in Goa for the last week of December, only to face disappointment in the end.
The X user revealed that they had booked a Goa villa on December 12, by paying Rs 1.2 lakh. Luckily, a friend checked the location days in advance and informed him that the place doesn’t exist.
The user shared a screenshot of the company cancelling the booking, along with promising an Rs 40,000 refund by December 27, while the remaining amount will be paid within 14 days. However, the user further claimed that they only received 40,000 and criticised Bakaria for ignoring calls and delaying payments with excuses.
Saurabh then claimed that Bakaria informed him to proceed with a legal complaint.
In response to the post, a user shared a similar experience with the company, claiming that Siddharth Bakaria provided them partial information for a Himachal trip, leading them to believe it could be a scam.
Another, who was considering Homestays and Villas, decided to avoid the platform after reading about the fraud.
According to a Money Control report, Homestays and Villas do not even have their own website and operate through social media, allowing users to view properties and connect them via WhatsApp. The social media page indeed promotes a Goa villa for Rs 2,000 per night. However, Google search identifies the villa as Casa Rio 2 in Siolim, Goa, with bookings starting at Rs 3,000 on Makemytrip, for the one bedroom apartment with a pool.