Why did BookMyBai put a blanket-ban on providing a maid to Bollywood celebrities

Saturday, April 08, 2017

(4 out of 5 based on 1939 Ratings)

Note: I am not a good writer. Bear with me for the detailed article. However this was important.

 

I am a big fan of Bollywood movies. I also admire a lot of actors for their acting skills. However this admiration takes a huge U-turn when it comes to deal with some so-called “Bollywood celebrities” and providing them with a service.

 

BookMyBai is in a very high eye-ball business. Almost everyone needs our service. There is a common saying – “Maid – You cant live with them, you cant live without them” – We started BookMyBai with an aim to permanently disrupt this industry and become the go-to service whenever a family need a domestic help. After a lot of hard-work and innovation, we proudly claim that our hard-work is starting to pay-off and we have provided a good and reliable domestic help to over 10000 households. Most of the maid agencies in India are fraud and fly-by-night and due to this we are becoming the preferred service to hire a maid.

 

Fortunately, out of the 10000 households that we have served, we have not come across even a single case of harassment/exploitation. But this figure comes to a rest when it comes to providing a domestic help to a “Bollywood celebrity”.

 

We all are fans of some celebrity or other. We look upto them. They become role-models. Some of them also get prestigious national awards for their work. BookMyBai has worked very closely with a lot of Bollywood celebrities and provided them with  a  good domestic help in Mumbai and other cities and our experience has not been less than horrendous.

 

This piece that I am writing is to bring awareness of how some of these Bollywood celebrities exploit services. I know that I am generalizing and weighing them all in the same scale. But I am only talking out of my personal experience of providing a domestic help to over 20 bollywood celebrities in Mumbai. This is also to put in a word of caution to other buddy-startups who might fall into the trap and end up losing that precious revenue. As a matter of fact, now BookMyBai has a blanket ban on all Bollywood celebrities and we have instructed our team to not provide domestic helps to any of them.

 

Let me explain my experience by detailing some of the cases that has happened

 

1)    Celebrity 1

 

She came to us looking for a male helper at a budget of Rs. 4000 per month! This is even lower than the minimum wage of Maharashtra. We refused and told her that we wont be able to provide a helper in this budget (wonder where does all the money go which earns through her movies). After a lot of negotiation she finally agreed upon Rs.10000 per month (which was still on the lower side considering she has a 4-bhk home and the helper needed to clean the home 6 times everyday! Yes- 6 times!) – We went ahead and provided the helper and all was going well. Unfortunately the mother of the helper passed away. The helper was from Bihar and he wanted to go back to Bihar to perform the last rituals. He promised to be back after 15 days since he wanted the money to support his family. The “celebrity” called us and told us that she wont let the person go till the time we send in a replacement. This was at 5.45pm on a Saturday evening. Our office is shut on Sundays. We promised to send a replacement on Monday and requested her to release the helper since he has to go for his mothers last ritual. Guess what! She did not. She could not care less. We did give a replacement on Monday. But the helper missed out on her mothers last ritual. I have no words to the extent of disgust I now have for this lady

 

2)      Celebrity 2

 

She is a unique case altogether. She has a huge home in Mumbai suburbs and she hired a maid through us. BookMyBai has a 6-month replacement clause with the employers which means that if any domestic help leaves within the first 6-months, then we would provide a free replacement. The extent of torture and harassment to the maids was so high that we replaced maids 7 times. Each maid worked for 7-10 days before giving up and quitting. She drives a 3 crore car. Doesn’t give food to her domestic help. NO FOOD!!! Really!! Drink tea and eat bread 3 times a day. Wow!

Finally we gave the full-refund to the lady since she threatened us that her brother will send in a few bouncers to our office and “fix” us up. I didn’t want this atmosphere in my office and chose to part ways

 

 

3)      Celebrity 3

 

This experience actually convinced my team that we would not deal with celebrities anymore. Physical abuse of the maid was almost a daily affair. As soon as we got to know, we asked the maid to leave as soon as possible. When she came to our office, we could see physical marks on her body of physical abuse. We supported her and wanted to file a complaint in the local police station. But she asked us to let it go. She didn’t have the time to run to the police station every time the police calls her. Every time she would be summoned she would have to miss work and not get paid. We understand her concern. Without her support the police refused to take a complaint and we we couldnt file a case against the employer. 

 

The best part is this – We have a very strict abuse clause in our contract and the employer is not given a replacement if there is any form of abuse. The celebrity called us and told us that she has 4 lakh followers on twitter and she would post bad tweets about the company if we don’t give her a replacement. We enquired with the building security guard who says no one stick in this home for over a week since she beats them all.

 

4)      Celebrity 4

 

She has all the money in the world. Yet she couldn’t solve her maid issues. Her P.A. reached out to us and told us about the requirement. Initially we were very excited since this would open up avenues for future round of funding for the company too. She was also paying well. Atleast more than Mumbai market rate. However her attitude towards the staff was not less than someone who is uneducated. Verbal and physical abuse was a part of her daily routine. The maid got so fed up that she just absconded to her village and never came back. This left such a huge scar in her mind that later she told us she would never want to come back to any city. Now this left us to wonder. How do these people abuse their domestic helps as slaves. Again – we were threatened with legal cases and obviously a small startup of mine cannot deal with legal notices from lawyers who charge Rs. 25 lakhs per hearing! We refunded and closed the case.

 

5)      Celebrity 5
 

This one is a classic. She took a maid from us. Everything was fine and the maid was happy. No abuse/harassment whatsoever. However she refused to pay us our service charges. BookMyBai charges about Rs. 15000 for a live-in maid. Initially when we were calling her for our payment, she stopped taking our calls. Later she flat-out refused to pay and said –“jo karna hai karlo!” – If I am not wrong, she got multiple crores as alimony from her husband. She infact told us that if we call her again then she would file a case of harassment and extortion with the crime branch. CRIME BRANCH! Wow!

 

These are just a few cases which I have listed out. We have never come across cases like this with our not-a-bollywood-celebrity clients. Even if there is a deficiency of service, we mutually resolve the issue and come to an understanding. However these celebs have shaken our trust in all of them and we have now issued a blanket-ban

 

Fellow-startups – Beware! I have listed only one case where the celebrity has refused to pay us. However there has been over 6 such cases where they have threatened to spoil the company's name by filing false complaints. 

 

All these cases disturb me. They also give the team a very good perspective.

 

For BookMyBai the safety and security of our domestic help is the highest priority. We are fine if we do not earn money from a certain employer. The least that we expect is that he/she can treat a person like a human should be treated. I also hope the legal system of this country improves for the better so that these ladies who work as a domestic help feel empowered and do not feel scared to report a case of abuse. 

 

I hope some of you might be able to share this post with your friends and family to spread awareness about these inhuman celebrities and the way they function. Maybe after reading this post they might want to change the way they treat their support staff!

Comments (32)

Thank-you for highlighting these shocking and disgusting attitude of Btown celebs. It's absolutely shocking and unbelievable. And all new low for them. You should totally take names of the celebrities so that their SICK attitude and two-faced nature comes out in public. "The celebrity called us and told us that she has 4 lakh followers on twitter and she would post bad tweets about the company if we don’t give her a replacement. " Startups like Bookmybai.com don't have the kind of following as these bitch celebrities; all the more reason to name them in public so that they will be shamed and lose their power to harass honest ethical companies.

Nikhita Prabhudesai

Pathetic! Not surprised though. Pity those citizens who treat them as god/goddess/role models.

Deepak

All the examples were 'SHE' .... & I may be stamped as sexist now!

Vivek Goel

My question is for so-called feminists who always advocate on Patriarchy....If the case of violence against women by men, many feminists definitely say that it is all about Patriarchy. What are their views ...all maids are abused by women ???..Feminists blatantly assumed that men can’t be tormented and violence against men is a joke to crack upon. Patriarchy has sublimely portrayed men as an epitome of masculinity without emotions. In fact, it shows no concern for genuine men. As a chunk of crime and acts of violence against women are supported and conceived by women themselves; patriarchy disapproves itself. It has in fact no gender.

R Khanal

Why dont u make their names public??

saswat samal

Any male celebrity anecdotes?

S

I agree. They are the worse

Ramesh

Oh god these people are monsters; no respect and value for other persons work and life. This proves money can't buy you basic etiquette and principals.

US

Bad people every where... where to go now!!!

Amir Khan

You should disclose there names so that all should know the real faces of these B-town celebrities. What they think about themselves, are they GOD or what?

Nitin Gonnade

I never had any respect for these guys any day. Since I can not use any vulgar language here to define them, we need to find out a method to name and shame them. There has to be a campaign to boycott such characterless people's movies or whatever.

Samson Chacko

Disgusting. But it is we people who have made them famous. Even if they have headaches it's a headline on media. Recently they started making headlines in having babies by surrogacy. Cheap Indian media is responsible for this. One should see their behaviour after parties. Ladies are worse after drinking. If anything wrong is written above them all their stooges and cronies come out to haunt. Behind screen these are worst creatures. Shameless

Francis

I'm honestly a little shocked. With all the adulation and money that flows in for them with each movie, this is not how we expect them to behave with ppl less fortunate than them. I know you cant make their names public else legal lawsuits may follow, but I'd seriously like to know who these are, so I can, in my own small way, not contribute to their extravagant lifestyle - by boycotting their movies. If you do wish to share those names with me, pls email me n I swear I won't circulate it further.

Taroon

I feel sick about that crazy actress from the suburbs who drives around a 3 crore car. Shows how low-cultured and uncivilised she is. Sickening. I wouldn't serve her a glass of water for all her worth - she's too cheap.

Mrunalini

I am from UAE. There are strict labor laws here to protect maids that clearly state weekly off, providing food, shelter and other standard benefits. Indian labor court should come up with something similar for maids. Reading the story of Bookmybai, I guess we "non-celebrities" are much better of as humans, where our maids shed their tears when they have to leave us or their contract is finished. Thank God I am not a "celebrity" ;-)

Diya

As a lawyer, I would strongly recommend keeping all emails and recording all calls made from/to your service as a normal part of business records. Try taking a credit card authorisation/debit mandate before initiating any service. After completion of 7, 14,30 and 60 days marks, both maid (offline) and employer (online) should fill a service fulfillment form. This way you can keep records which may be useful in the future.

Anirban Sen

Why don't you reveal names of these so called celebrities? While they keep screaming and shouting about equal pay to women, this is how they treat women in their own homes. They have ample money to travel for Women empowerment summits but can't treat their maids as a human being. Hypocrites of the first order. It's time to name and shame them. Just the way they run to police station for every scratch, they should be sent behind bars for so much abuse to these hapless women. I am sure many people will stand by you. I request the owner of this platform to write to Maneka Gandhi and get justice for these maids. Let's see what she does. Also write to Maharashtra State Women's Commission . I really want to see what they do to these celebrity abusers. Psycho women. Gold diggers.

Deepika Bhardwaj

I think most of the Bollywood celebrities are self centered egomaniac's except very few . This is the only thing you can expect from egomaniacs. Part of the reason is we adulate so much that most these egomaniacs take success for granted and behave rudely with others. We should. Stop giving them undue importance .

Nagesh

Celebrities are treated like gods in our country. They take undue advantage over it. Glad that your company took a stand and stood up for basic human rights and dignity. You should have taken their names and shamed these blood-sucking so called gutter celebrities.

Praveen

Yes, If your contract does NOT stop You from making their names Public do that. Or Post on your website. While we worked with them " Once Upon a time". This may make people boycott these Idiots.

ravi

Sorry to know that NO action was taken against these celebrities for such a BIG crime! Hoe dare they beat and abuse helpless and poor fellows? I just request you file a complaint against them and ask for support from common people like us and see the power of mob. Trust me, their money won't help them at all! It's WE who have made them reach where they are.. they must be exposed and must be punished!

Sushma

Also, in your tag line "6 months replacement period - If the maid chooses to leave or you let the maid go, we will replace the maid for FREE. No questions asked!" Add an asterisk to No questions asked and add Conditions Apply.

Anirban Sen

I've always been horrified by the grim lives of domestic help in India. My third book is a novel about the life of a 'servant' in India... Based on a true story... And no publisher will touch it... It's an issue no one wants to address... :(

Sangeetha

These are just morally bankrupt and fake people who just put up a facade in front of everyone. They just happen to have learned how to make a mockery and fool of stupid Indians and have earned crores in the process. This just reaffirms my general disgust for such people.

Blahhh

Bollywood represents a group of people who think of themselves as GODs in a country famous for it's illiterate class who do stupid HERO-worship. Bollywood is an industry filled with Nepotism,nonsensical story lines , casting couches, thugs etc. They invest 100 crore in a movie and reap 200 crores right out of the pockets of the millions of working class-minions of the country.What an easy life for some actors.

Ameuyor

Name and shame these celebrities. You own that much to those poor maids

Jose

All that glitters is NOT gold. This is also true in this case, as the Bollywood celebs we admire are not so gentle in their real life which they play in films to earn money. "Bookmybai" should come out with names of such shameless celebs who tortured the hapless maids, so that their fans can see their hidden face.

Vijay Singh

some of these cases need to be looked from all aspects. some of the maids are pathetic, unreasonable and lie and misrepresent things all the time. when you are paying them 12-20K a month why should food be provided? tea and snacks shd suffice and they should carry from home. all of us who work do same. this is a post of your own unprofessionalism and perhaps not providing replacements.

sarla

You should name those celebrities. Celebrities are not gods. They eat the same shit what we eat. They are not aliens. If you are one of those celebrities and if you're reading this comment, you are not a human. I consider you a pig.. a celebrity pig..

Abid

They r thinking what they're doing is well, there for they' re not care.

Jk. Bhatt

Sir ji one can take a full Bollywood movie based on Your real incidents... wow very sad that these kind of People exist in this world....

Harry

We should set up a funding/donation page to collect money for legal defence and then publish all the names and case details of these celebrities

Mrunalini

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