The Indian Railways recently launched a customer-friendly measure for its passengers to improve transparency in the ticket booking system.
To reduce the menace of unauthorised agents and bring transparency in the refund procedure on booking tickets from authorised agents, the IRCTC (Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation), the Railway department's ticketing arm has introduced an OTP-based system that allows passengers to cancel their e-tickets and receive refunds by entering the One Time Password sent by IRCTC.
As per a statement from the Ministry of Railways on Tuesday, the mechanism only works on cancelled or fully waitlisted dropped tickets booked through authorized railway ticketing agents.
"Indian Railways introduces a new OTP based refund system for tickets booked through authorized railway ticketing agents. This is aimed to bring in a transparent and customer friendly refund system for reserved e-tickets which are cancelled or which are fully waitlisted dropped tickets," it said.
How does it work?
The OTP will be received as an SMS on the registered mobile number of the passenger (provided by the customer/passenger to the agent at the time of booking).
The customer/passenger will be required to share the OTP with the agent who booked the ticket, for getting the refund amount.
The option will help passengers get details on the exact refund amount received by agent on his behalf against cancelled ticket or fully waitlisted dropped ticket.
"The objective of the scheme is to streamline the cancellation refund process further so that cancellation amount is refunded timely to the customer by the agents," the ministry said.
It has been observed in the past that the agent enters his/her number at the time of booking ticket, receiving details on the status of the refund or other details associated with the tickets, duping the customer of the actual refund amount received at the time of cancellation.
- Visit irctc.co.in
- Under "Trains" section, click on "Cancel Ticket" and choose the "Counter Ticket" option.
- Type the PNR number, train number and the Captcha displayed on the page in the spaces provided. Check the box that says 'I have read cancellation/boarding point change procedure and its rule.' Click "Submit".
- You will receive an OTP on the mobile number provided at the time of booking. Enter the OTP for validation of the cancellation request.
- PNR and other ticket details will be displayed on the screen. Verify and if satisfied, click on "Cancel Ticket." Total amount due to be received shall be displayed on the screen.
- You will also receive an SMS with the PNR number and refund details.
- The facility will only work if the correct mobile number of one of the passengers was provided to and entered by the IRCTC authorised agent at the time of booking reserved rail e-tickets.
- Only IRCTC authorised agents are permitted to book reserved rail e-tickets for the customer.
- The OTP based refund will only work for cancelled tickets or fully waitlisted dropped tickets that were booked through IRCTC authorised agents.
- For confirmed tickets, online cancellation is only permitted up to 4 hours before the scheduled departure of the train. If the ticket is in the RAC/Waitlist status, online cancellation is allowed only up to 30 minutes before the scheduled departure of the train.