There has been a sudden spurt in the complaints against a particular job portal. All the complaints pertain to money collected but no service provided. Complaints also relate to money collected by unfair means without disclosing the full costs involved. The modes operandi adopted by this portal is definitely questionable. First the portal approaches the gullible prospective job seekers. There are plenty of job seekers who are desperate to get a job and are willing to pay a price for it. The job portal places a telephone call to these job seekers and informs that jobs are available to their expectations. It will always be the case that the portal will have the exact nature of job that the client is seeking. They offer jobs at MNCs and some of the brand names thrown up are Amul, HCL, Cognizant, Yes Bank, HDFC and the likes. But there is a condition. The client has to pay a nominal sum for registration. Job seekers pay this amount without demur as they are unaware, at this point, of any other charges, and hope that paying the registration amount would land them in a lucrative job. Once the registration money is paid by way of bank transfer, the prospective client is told that there will be verification call and other formalities. However, the job seeker is not told that s/he would be required to pay further sums at various stages. The various stages of payment that would follow are verification, documentation, service charges to the company, social media charges, career ladder, career combo option and so on. Job seekers become alert once the so called registration money is paid and they encounter issues with the job portal’s services. The job portal warns the prospective clients that they cannot back down at this stage as they stand to lose the money that they have already paid. The aspiring candidates are often told that they will get refund of all the money paid by them except the registration fee and the refund will be paid by way of adjustment in the salary. From the data that we have, the total amount lost in the cases reported is about Rs.4,98,000 with an average sum of Rs.17,000/-. The minimum money lost is Rs.1,725/- and the maximum is Rs.53,000/-.
It is clear that money has been collected by unfair means by the above job portal. There are many such job portals who take undue advantage and exploit the gullible job seekers. It is for the general public to be cautious and prudent while opting for such services, and the following should be borne in mind while availing employment services:
1. No money should be paid simply on the basis of offers made over phone.
2. We do not think there is any firm that can assure jobs simply on payment of various charges.
3. There are many job consultants and reputable job portals who provide leads free of cost or for nominal registration charges. Job seekers can avail these services.
Steps to be followed when one becomes a victim of such unscrupulous job portals:
a) Collect information about the job portal concerned.
b) Make a record of all the sums paid to the portal including the beneficiary details (this can be obtained from the bank)
c) Whenever a dispute arises, immediately lodge a written complaint. Emails communication to these job portals cannot be relied upon therefore preferably send your grievances to their business address.
d) Keep sending reminders to get your grievances resolved.
e) If you are not satisfied with the resolution then you will have to initiate legal steps.
f) You should also file a complaint with police / cyber cell.