Cleartrip.com NOTHING CLEAR ABOUT IT
Greed does not pay. Sadly, I found this to be true whilst attempting to book an airline ticket through an online portal called “Cleartrip.com”.
I had used this service in the past, but once had an experience of the money having been debited and then the ticket not coming through and since then I had discontinued their services.
Alas, I was lured by an offer of one free ticket for each ticket booked and had a go.
Late evening, around 715 pm or so, I filled out all the details for a Chennai to Pune flight by Kingfisher airlines. It showed a fare of around 3857/-. No sooner had I pressed ‘submit’ (or the equivalent of wanting to conclude the transaction) that I got an SMS saying that my bank account has been debited ( I had used netbanking facility of my banker) with the said amount. I started to smile on having successfully navigated yet another net based transaction (you see, the BSNL internet connectivity is such that it keeps going off, so to complete an online transaction, it is an achievement for me). Alas, my smile froze. A message flashed online that the transaction ‘failed’. I had no clue of what happened. I checked my bank account. Yes, the amount had been debited.
So, I presumed that there is some glitch and called a customer support number of Cleartrip. I was a bit disturbed since I did not have any reference number. The lady who attended to my call resolved that by checking with my email id. Luckily, I was a ‘registered’ user and hence I had logged in with that id. So, it was easy to trace and she gave me a Cleartrip ID number. She said that the ticket was not issued due to some ‘link’ not working!! I tried to probe further, but got no farther.
She told me that my money would be ‘reversed’ immediately and that I could call in half an hour to check about the fate of my ticket etc.,
Alas, after an hour I could not get through in spite of several tries and so I kept it for the next morning.
Next morning, I checked my Cleartrip account to see if any ticket had been issued. None. I checked my bank account to see if the amount was credited. No. Cleartrip was still holding on to the money for a ‘failed’ transaction!
I called them up and once again was given a spin as to why the bloody thing did not work out.
Now, I got on to the website of Kingfisher directly and booked the ticket. Surprise! The fare was lower though they did not give any buy one get one free.
Is Cleartrip justified in doing what it did to me? It is very clear that they did not give me service that they promised. And the fact that in spite of taking my money, they could not deliver is proof that they did not have any valid arrangement with the airline.
Cleartrip is clearly not my cup of tea. Henceforth, it is the airline website or a physical travel agent. Online travel brokers/agents are high risk and we have no control over the transaction. Take care, folks. Cleartrip is out. I have no clue about other such brokers and I have no intention of finding out either.
These kind of bucket shops should learn from the railways website called irctc.co.in which I use very regularly for train tickets and in over two years of continuous use, I have no complaints.