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RubyConf India – Hospitality was anything but pleasant at The Lalit Goa (ajeygore.in)
90 points by IndianGuru 947 days ago | hide | past | web | 30 comments | favorite

I've run events like this for over 10 years now, a couple pointers;

* Negotiate payment terms that require a deposit, but for which the balance is paid after the event.

* Always have a meeting with hotel management pre-event, review the contract, make sure everything is correct.

* Double Check your BEO's as part of the setup process - again, verify to contract.

* In the event of a dispute, have a copy of your countersigned written contract at hand, and hold them to it, with all the yelling, screaming and waiving of arms required - and by all means, escalate, escalate, escalate (to the most senior person the hotel can muster).

Make them stick to the contract terms, I've had hotels many times try to change the game before it was done being played, I've had 10k plus credits to us before.

@Aloha + The minimum room requirement amount (as per contract) was paid a week in advance to the hotel already. So, we held good on the contract terms - this was 28.4 Lakh INR!

+ The actuals, incidentals and additional costs (which were about 8.45L) would have been done via RTGS settlement after the event. However, Hotel refused to let us even check-out! After paying 28.4L, to be threatened for the balance is ridiculous!

+ The Hotel double-booked events - they admitted it was their fault as asked us for our help. Once we had extended our help to save them from a huge liability, they simply shunned us away - we should have been duly compensated for this mess (not to mention the inconvenience at the conference - blasting drums, lunch in the hot sun etc.) But they refused to even MEET us the next day, the moment we helped them avert the disaster!

#Fail #Fail #Fail - we were treated as mis-creatants instead of guests!

Dude - I can't believe they held your family and wouldn't let you leave! I was shocked at the way they treated Zak and I when we left, but never expected anything of this magnitude.

At least you pulled off an amazing conf despite all the following bullshit.

yeah man - cannot risk any confrontation with family around! I heard about your checkout and their goof-up in billing. Jokers had the audacity of telling me that our attendees were rude and abusive!

Glad you had a great time. I wonder when I am going to say - "Hey we nailed it - the conference was successful without a hitch" ;)

I was one of the speakers at this event and I have to say that the organizers really made a heroic effort to ensure we had a good event. Anyone not talking to the organizers did not even realize the stress they were under...they did an amazing job covering up the failures of the hotel. I am friends with many of the organizers, and the looks of pain on their faces when these problems came up really hit me hard. I applaud the organizers for taking such good care of us speakers (even to the point of going through our hotel bills individually) and the attendees (going to bat to ensure they were unaware of the problems).

I had an amazing time...thank you for your hard work.

Agree to @headius fulliest. Hats off to organizers covering up failures of hotel, for taking care of all attendees and making conference a success. Really sad that they had to suffer because The Lalit goof up.

Thanks dude - this really helps feel that this was at least worth it. Glad everyone had a great time!

The pain is all part of the deal I guess :)

Ditto that. The Organizers made this event amazing regardless of some of the logistical issues they were presented.

Do this:

1) Approach a good lawyer to send a legal letter to the hotel putting in all the problems and demand a huge compensation.

2) File a case in the consumer court of Goa, if no proper response from the hotel.

3) If the lawyer finds no issues then approach local and national news/press agencies and get your story published there. Anything that comes in the news papers has a far greater impact and makes such businesses get down on their knees.

4) Do not delay in filing the case. Do it ASAP.

I wish you get a decent compensation though Indian courts are not known for that.

5) Do not delete any mail/written communication you or your peers had with them. Do not give the originals to anyone except the court no matter what reason they give.

Doing 4'th one will at the least help any other tech-conferences avoid Lalit and not face the same issues ever.

4th point is most important, as it's been 2 days gone since conference. Need to hurry!

Please please atleast file a consumer court complaint.

Well, here are a few things-

1) Put it on facebook also on their page.

2) Give them a solid ripping at all online boards like tripadvisor that you can find.

3) If you want to really, truly fuck them, register a case with consumer court. Indian consumer courts are very vigilant and they will make it worth your while by ass fucking Lalit resort.

In most cases merely the mention of filing a case in consumer court gets them at your feet.

I really feel for you. I know how it feels to pay through the nose and still get treated like shit.

My experience was amazing this year, good organization, good service, and luxurious facilities! This time it was far better than the previous year's conf held at Hyatt, Pune. But when I heard that organizers of conference faced so many issues because of management at LaLit, I really felt sad about whatever bad happened there. We should have other good options instead of such nasty hotels, IMO.

Ruby community is with you, fellas!

I didn't make it this year, but I really enjoyed RubyConf India last year. Everything went super smooth. So it sucks to hear it was so hard for them this year. :/

So, the conference was bigger and better -- even with an improvised stand-up comic making up for an electrical failure (yeah - electrical failure for a paid-for banquet hall hosting 400 ppl).

Beach party rocked - the community really "met" each other at length. Everything was awesome, till the management showed their true colours after we helped them resolve their mess with a double-booking!

I sympathize with you and hope the story reaches more ears. I can believe how unprofessional hotel staff can be despite their own mistakes. That's especially true for hotels that are run as a family business and lack corporate culture & ethics. They'll throw around the word 'sorry' freely but they rarely mean it. I'd suggest you to take the legal route, or atleast get plenty of press coverage on this. Let's also hear out what they have to say.

For future reference: would there be benefit in hiring a reputed event management company, if so what would be the overhead?

Reasoning is three fold. The event management companies: (i) know which places work, (ii) they give repeat business, so less likely to be brushed off, and (iii) their boss (even if not onsite) has been in such situations before & knows what to do.

An event management company would definitely have helped.

However, since this was the first time we were handling accommodation in the tickets, rooming etc. we could only guess the numbers but had to give the hotel an upfront minimum room guarantee! Next year - we will surely outsource the effort to an event management company.

Lesson learnt but unfortunately - the very very hard way!

Great work at organizing an amazing event @IndianGuru. I still cant believe that a renowned hotel like 'the Lalit' can take a risk to upset an online community. They probably have no idea of the power of ruby/internet community. Let's submit shit loads of reviews on tripadvisor and other places that teaches them a good lesson.

Ah so much of white text on black background. Is there a web app I can paste the url and it will make it readable for me?

Add this as a bookmarklet:

javascript:(function(){_readableOptions= {'text_font':'quote(Palatino Linotype), Palatino, quote(Book Antigua), Georgia, serif','text_font_monospace':'quote(Courier New), Courier, monospace','text_font_header':'quote(Times New Roman), Times, serif','text_size':'18px','text_line_height':'1.5','box_width' :'30em','color_text':'#282828','color_background':'#F0F0F0','c olor_links':'#0000FF','text_align':'normal','base':'blueprint' ,'custom_css':''};if(document.getElementsByTagName('body').len gth>0);else{return;}if(window.$readable) {if(window.$readable.bookmarkletTimer) {return;}}else{window.$readable= {};}window.$readable.bookmarkletTimer=true;window.$readable.op tions=_readableOptions;if(window.$readable.bookmarkletClicked) {window.$readable.bookmarkletClicked();return;}_readableScript =document.createElement('script');_readableScript.setAttribute ('src','http://readable-static.tastefulwords.com/target.js? rand='+encodeURIComponent(Math.random()));document.getElements ByTagName('body')[0].appendChild(_readableScript);})()

There should be easier procedure to file cases at consumer courts. To prevent such things from happening again.

They are dysfunctional & your complaint would go down a blackhole. Never to be seen or heard again.

Maybe we should file a complaint here - www.akosha.com/onlinecomplaints1.html

They won't be of any real help. It's better to get to popular blogs in India like nextbigwhat, trak.in, etc. A coverage on TOI will get you a lot of mileage.

They must be made to regret this bullying behaviour : file a case please.

fuck u lalit for treating a community like a shit ... how can we sue them .. im really feeling bad for our organizers :(

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