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Check before you pay for a domestic help

There have been a number of instances in the recent past when the agency that supplies domestic help has taken its commission and then just disappear into thin air, reports Nandini R Iyer.

delhi Updated: Jan 12, 2008 01:02 IST
Nandini R. Iyer
Nandini R. Iyer
Hindustan Times

Background verification of your domestic help is a must. But what about the antecedents of the agency that supplies the ‘help’? There have been a number of instances in the recent past when the agency took its commission and then just disappear into thin air.

Last week, S.K. Sinha, a resident of Vasant Kunj, had contacted what appeared to be a bonafide placement agency. His nephew in Allahabad wanted a maid. He lost Rs 8,000 in the fraud. When the Sinhas visited the address the placement agency had mentioned in the “contract,” they discovered that the house belonged to chartered accountant Shailesh Agarwal.

Agarwal says angry victims have been visiting his residence looking for the owners of the employment agency. “It started last month. Someone came to my house and said he had been cheated. I didn’t know anything. Within a week there had been a stream of victims,” an irate Agarwal told HT. “My guards, my RWA, everyone was feeling hassled. So I finally went and lodged a complaint with the local police because I honestly don’t know what to do,” he added. At Agarwal’s residence in Rameshwar Orchid Apartments in Ghaziabad, guards now have orders to show all victims a copy of his complaint to the police and direct them to the police station.

The agency-owner identified himself as Vikas and sent the maid with an escort to Sinha’s residence. “He came with a contract and gave me a receipt for Rs 8,000 (Rs 2,000 was a month’s salary advance and the remainder was the agency’s commission),” says Sinha.

“They told us that we’ll have to pay for the train tickets (to Allahabad) of the maid as well as her escort,” Sinha laments. It was only when the maid never reached Allahabad that Sinha realised that he had been conned.