Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Thotupola Adventure

The people from my previous office which went bust decided to have a small get together, mainly as a treat for the individuals who worked to get the settlement, and to keep old friendships alive. So on the 8th of September we all got together at the Thotupola in Piliyandala for the bash.

After a democratic voting process a date and venue was chosen. Unfortunately the place chosen initially was fully booked on the 8th so we had to settle for the second option, which was Thotupola. Our friend who organized the event had earlier talked with them on the phone and was informed that the price for the buffet only was LKR 750.00 per person. All additional activities, including the use of the swimming pool was at a charge of LKR 350.00 per person. This seemed reasonable since most of us were going there for the buffet so we decided on this spot. Even if anyone wanted to do activities they could pay separately and do it.

So we all met up on Saturday for a day of fun. Some of the guys decided to do some of the activities like canoeing in the lake, while some spent the day doing much more important things like getting drunk. You can guess as to which group I belonged to.

Anyway, by the end of the day everyone enjoyed themselves and all were happy and it was time to go. That’s when the real fun began. They had gone and charged us at a higher rate, as opposed to the rate quoted earlier to us for the buffet, and I think they tried to charge more for the activities as well.

Well anyway, this is what happened as told by our organizer CB


Please broadcast this message to as many people as you possibly can, and help make more people be aware, about bogus charges and artificially inflated bills at the Thotupola Retreat in Delthara, Piliyandala, yes it is the same place that often carry a full page ad in the Hit Ad section of the Sunday Times.

The practice is to lure in clients by lying about their prices, when you are looking to get a quote over the phone, which, the girl who answers the phone (to me it was somebody by the name Nadeeka) mentions as RS 750 for the buffet and RS 350 each if you want to engage in any other activities on offer.

Since it was just a gathering of friends, who were actually more interested in spending some time together and have the buffet after, than engaging in any of the other activities, tempted by what seem to be a reasonable price, I booked this place initially for 20 people and said to Nadeeka that it was just a ball park figure but more people would come at the time of the event, and as said, the number grew until it was 32 people.

After enjoying the outing, when it was time for us to pay the bill, we were amazed, when we were asked to pay RS 1325 each, for the same buffet I was told costs only RS 750 at the time of making the reservation. When inquired why the inflated price, the answer we got was there is no such thing as buffet only but we have to pay for the entire package including all the activities, which was never mentioned to me before.

We were also charged RS 100 for a welcome drink that was never even served to us in the first place! Plus though we never requested for one, we were given a room under the pretence it was for free since we were a large crowed, as this is normal practice with any hotel, some used the room to get a change of clothes before going home, only because it was thrust upon us. And at the time of settling the bill we were asked to pay for a room that we never even asked to be kept reserved for us!

When we refused to pay for these bogus charges added to our bill, the manager rushed his security guys to lock the gates, thinking we are trying to escape without settling the dues! The manager feeling secure with the presence of his security guys beside him, suddenly turned arrogant and started arguing and threatening us, trying to force us pay this bogus bill. Since there were many ladies amongst us, it was getting dark out side and everybody was tired and needed to go home ASAP, in the end, we agreed to pay for a room that was supposedly given to us for free and RS100 each for a drink that was never served. Since we at least agreed to do that, the manager said it was due to some miscommunication between the head office and him that we were asked to pay more than the previously agreed RS 750 for the buffet, and now we don’t have to pay the difference of RS 575 each that was charged as the activity fee though we never engaged in non!!

As you can see, this place is run buy a bunch of thugs who inflate the bills of their guests with bogus charges, these guys will even go to the extent of holding their guests hostage till they are willing to pay at least part of it, simply because they just want to get out of the premises! Avoid going to Thotopola and avoid getting robbed by a bunch of thugs.

Thank you


This type of behavior is very unprofessional, especially for an establishment in the hospitality industry. Companies can’t expect clients to pay for their mistakes. They finally claimed it was a miscommunication between offices, but that is not the fault of the client is it? That is their internal problem.

You can find another instance of their unprofessional behavior here. Check the second comment .

The best way to avoid this type of situation is to always get a written quotation. Then you have some kind of proof if there are any problems later. That's my advice to anyone who is planning to go there.

Anyway it was good to see the guys again and we did have a lot of fun no matter what :D. A big thank you to the organizer CB.



Outstander said...

What a Shitty Place? How dumb is these people!

Is there any way that we can prove what happened there? Anyone got a video recording on this incident? any pictures? So that we can do something under civil law.

I think there could be more places like this and we need to stand against and stop these black hotels and thugs who run them.

Mia said...

Unscrupulous operators dupe the customers for a quick buck. If they think of the long term affect on the business they won’t do such things.

Jack Point said...

Typical Sri Lankan hospitality. No wonder our tourism industry is always in the doldrums.

I vowed never to step into a local hotel again in 1996 and have not done so since. (Have been to a couple of buffets at the Blue Water which were not bad but never stayed overnight anywhere again)

Boycott these guys.

Lady divine said...

I didn't know about this place.. but good you blogged about it.....

i read it out to my dept people.... thanks a lot...

Anonymous said...

My sister had too had a weird experience at Thotupola.

She was the person who called and got the prices for her company outing therefore she had to give them her office phone number in oredr for them to confirm the place.

After the outing she started to receive phone calls from one of their facilitators.

We decided not to go to the police at this instance as most these facilitaors are ex-army. My advice to folks out there do not go to this place. I fully agree, the place is run by a bunch of thugs.

Anonymous said...

guys guys, try Borderlands next time. a bit expensive but much better service and emphasis on safety! www.discoverborderlands.com check it out. awesome, highly recommended.

pissu perera said...

heh..sounds like sri lanka..good thing you posted this..*makes a mental note to scratch out thotupola from any future plans*

Leiselb said...

Woah that freaking sucks! It's like you had to use the entire settlement on this one, fraudulent get-together!

Azrael said...

Outstander - Well nobody was in a good mood to take pics at that time he he

Mia - Yep they never think about the long term effects. I've seen this in other places as well. For example some sales people in shops are never helpful and has this "don't care, you want to buy, then buy otherwise leave" attitude. You never want to return to that shop ever again.

Lady D - Your welcome :D

Anon 1 - Wow that sounds like stalking...

Anon 2 - Thanks for the info...

Pissu - I hope this is sort of thing doesn't happen in a lot of places.

Leisel - Yeah it sucks :D

Nadiyya said...

Hey, just a little bit off-topic, I love your blog, and I have been wondering a bit about your nick... Will you tell me about that choice?

Srinatha said...

Dear Ladies & Gentlemen,

Please note that I will look into these issues and correct them. But I require your e-mail contact details. I appriciate that these concerns were brought up. I will take each of these concerns very seriously which had undoubtadly tarnished our brand name.


Vini said...

Hey thanks alot for this post...we were also planning on going here for an outing but after reading this blog we changed our mind.

Hope the management of Thotupola has seen you post and learnt the valuable lesson of not dissatisfying a customer.

Thanks again.