IRCTC delivers. Literally!

You might have purchased some product from an online marketplace. But have you ever tried booking a ticket on IRCTC website? How was the experience?

Most of you would have faced some or the other issue. Tatkal (short notice) booking is like running a marathon against time!

But all this has a solution now. Thank God for Ecommerce! is your savior. They are the brilliant mind behind the idea of COD and doorstep delivery of e-tickets. Well, rejoice; you have a reason to plan more holidays now! 😀

We have had a journey from standing in a long queue for railway tickets, to bribing the TT when travelling without a ticket, to having a preference about the window seat or the lower berth, to wanting good food for dinner in trains, to booking tickets online (the transformation took forever, but it did happen), to now finally getting tickets delivered at your doorstep.

The brainchild of a Gurgaon based start-up Anduril Technologies, people can now book e-tickets and pay for them after they are delivered at their place. It is majorly targeted at the rural population and people who do not own debit/credit card and/or are not comfortable with internet banking.

According to IRCTC currently, 42% of people buying tickets online use Internet banking, 24% use credit or debit cards and the rest use prepaid cash cards or other mediums.

To avail COD, an additional charge of Rs. 40 for sleeper class ticket and Rs. 60 for AC class ticket would be levied. Terms and conditions of the website indicate that the booked tickets would be delivered two days prior to the journey date (three for certain far-away locations).

Cash on Delivery bookings can be made up to five days before the date of the journey. Wait-listed and RAC (Reservation Against Cancellation) tickets can also be procured using the service. Payment must be made within 120 hours of booking the ticket, or it would be cancelled.

The service has been launched as a pilot project and COD would be available in 200 cities, a PTI report indicated.

In case of cancellation, the money would be refunded to the bank account number provided, or by cheque to the customer’s registered address. In case of the latter, courier charges would have to be borne by the passenger.

This move is going to affect competitors like Makemytrip, Yatra and Cleartrip, as they provide online booking of railway tickets but do not provide a Cash on Delivery option.

“Cash on delivery helps widen your customer base and this move will help IRCTC to reach out to Tier II and Tier III and the rural markets where consumers do not have access to net banking or credit or debit cards,” said Saurabh Srivastava, director at consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers.

“At present, we book around 10,000 tickets online per minute, which is beyond our expectations. When we launched this service, our target was to book 7,200 tickets per minute. With over 200,000 agents booking through IRCTC, we are gearing up for higher ticketing rate per minute,” said Rajni Hasija, Group General Manager—Information Technology at IRCTC.