IRCTC stands for Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation. This site is a place where we can book railway tickets. In fact, IRCTC is one of the most searched terms on Google! Millions use this site each day, making it one of the most used websites! But this has a downside. The site loads miserably slow! Especially during the morning hours, when online Tatkal booking hours starts.
Now let’s talk about my experience. On 3rd January, 2014, I accessed IRCTC’s site to book a ticket from Bandra Terminus to Mathura Junction. I logged-in in the morning. The tatkal rush was on. So, as expected, the site was loading at the slowest speed imaginable!
I too had to book a Tatkal ticket. Somehow, I made it through the form filling online and reached the payment page. I filled in the credit card number, password and all. As usual, I clicked on the ‘make payment’ button.
Soon, I was redirected to the payment gateway, a secured one. I entered the password and initiated the payment. The screen sprung into action, showing me that the process was on. I sighed in relief, thinking that the task was done.
It was clearly mentioned on the screen, not to click back or refresh button. Well, I obeyed that message. I waited for the process to get completed. Soon, I got a message from my bank, stating that a sum of 2000+ Rupees has been debited through xxx gateway. But still, the computer screen showed the same screen, same process and same message- don’t click back or refresh button!
I waited, and at last, the session cookie expired! I checked the ‘booked history’, but found nothing there! So, this transaction ended up in the list of failed transaction! The refund would arrive only after 10 days, I suppose!
The same day, in evening, I again made an attempt to book a ticket on IRCTC. This time, it wasn’t Tatkal ticket, but the regular one. But once again, the same thing happened again! Money got debited from my account, but I didn’t get any ticket!
So, in total, more than 3500 Rupees got deducted, without me purchasing any ticket at all! Now, I’ll have to wait for almost 10 days to get the refund back! I contacted the customer care to ask about this issue.
The IRCTC customer care executive came up with the usual- ‘we’ll arrange the refund very quickly’ excuse. I asked him why this failure kept on happening. To this, he replied that there was a technical issue. He urged me to book the ticket ‘after some time’. But, with such slow speed, I don’t want to lose more money to IRCTC! I urge them to look into this issue and sort it out.