Citizens' Issues
IRCTC's mobile ticket booking is not without problems

The idea of booking a rail ticket anytime, anywhere through mobile sounds very good but IRCTC's latest initiative lack ease of use, necessary support and finishing touches due to which the facility fails to live up to its expectation

The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corp (IRCTC) recently launched its mobile ticket booking facility with a promise to allow passengers book rail tickets with just a few clicks. However, there are lots of initial hiccups in the system that many passengers are facing. The main problem is not being able to download the application on their handsets.

To start with, one needs to visit IRCTC's mobile facility page from their computer. However, the link https://www.irctc.co.in/mobile redirects you to IRCTC's home page instead of the specific page. Here is the link from IRCTC's mobile zone, https://www.irctc.co.in/beta_htmls/index.htm, but it also takes you to a notification page, which shows the previous link that is not clickable.
 
You need to visit the webpage of different service providers like atom, ngpay and PayMate from the links under the mobile zone menu, available on the IRTC home page. Clicking on respective service providers' link will take to their page for the mobile ticket booking facility. Here all three service providers ask the visitor to submit their mobile number on which they would send a link to download the application.

I provided my mobile number on all three—atom, ngpay and PayMate pages. However, except from PayMate, I still have not received any SMS or link from others for downloading the application. Basically, I do not understand the logic of asking for a mobile number and then sending link for download through an SMS, instead of simply providing the application for downloading on the pages itself.

One of the service providers, who do not want to be named, said, "Sending link through an SMS is the easiest way. As the application can be downloaded from a link to a website, it otherwise would be difficult for us to share the specific link. There also is user inertia in terms of typing the complete link in a mobile browser."

After crossing the first hurdle of receiving the link from PayMate, my next test began. After clicking on the link, I was directed towards a page from PayMate, which lists BlackBerry, LG, Micromax, Motorola, Nokia, and Sony Ericsson as vendors. People who use Samsung, Apple, HTC and other brand handsets have to choose 'others' as a vendor and then provide the vendor name and model number that you are using. Even after submitting this info, the mobile application is nowhere to be seen. PayMate says they will send me another SMS with the download link! And I am still waiting for the exact download link of the application.

So, though the idea of booking a rail ticket through mobile sounds very good, one would be able to use it only after passing through the hurdles. One thing common between the applications from atom, ngpay and PayMate is it not only provides facility to book railway ticket but also provides number of things like utility bill payment, shopping, movie ticket booking, and subscriptions and so on.

Instead of sending SMSs and asking for various details from the user, it would be better for all these service providers to make the application easily available for download from their website. Recently, I wrote about a mobile application, m-Indicator, that is used by more than 16 lakh commuters from Mumbai to check local train timings, BEST bus routes and stops and auto and taxi fares from the metro city. The reason for increasing popularity for m-Indicator can be contributed to the fact that it is easily available for downloading and sharing. Off course, they do earn revenues through the initial SMS sent for registration, but overall it is free. Let’s see, if the IRCTC and its service providers follow similar module to spread mobile ticket booking application or stick with the 'hurdles all the way' method.

As a concept, booking rail tickets through a mobile handset is not new. You can do it through your mobile browser and there is no need to download any application, especially from IRCTC. However, the applications provided by atom, ngpay and PayMate provides more security features for money transactions compared with normal web browsing through mobile. And this is where the chances of success for all these mobile rail ticket booking applications lie, provided they can simply the process.

User

COMMENTS

Travopia

5 years ago

Best mobile apps for IRCTC train booking - http://www.travopia.com/2012/04/product-...

bpgupta

5 years ago

irtc

parimalam

5 years ago

no idea

Suman

5 years ago

Good new to android users... there is already official app is released in android market place. Check it out http://bit.ly/irctc-mobile

REPLY

Nikhil Narayanan

In Reply to Suman 5 years ago

How is this official, Suman? Don't pimp unauthorized apps!

Sajal

5 years ago

Your article was really well written, irctc provides such a pathetic ticket booking service, they have probably got no scalable platform in the backend and if only they put up some monitoring, they would have understood how many users are failing to book tickets and resorting to travel agents with extra money. I will happily give some extra money for a better service, o wait we already pay extra to irctc for a pathetic service.

Back to the point, on my android HD2, currently when I try to visit irctc.co.in/mobile/ I get redirected to irctc.co.in .. I guess they failed detecting my useragent to be a mobile and shifted to their online site. Tooo much intelligent thinking.. For the guys at irctc, you guys are too much egoistic to work.. think less work more and better up your backend.

Alok Mehta

5 years ago

Sorry for the inconvinience caused. We do have an option to directly download the app.

Just below the widget for entering the mobile no. is the link provided to directly download the application, the same is mentioned below for reference.

http://www.atomtech.in/download.aspx

gautamkumar

5 years ago

I cant understand this article! You cant download a application directlly from a web site onto your mobile!

You have to provide a number, then a sms containing a wap url is pushed to you via your operator. Which, if you have data plan, can be clicked on and the app downloaded!

Or as the reporter has indicated you can use mobile internet and book online using the mobile as your interfacelike you would do on the internet on your desktop or laptop.U Dont have to use the app. But app has advantages as mentioned.

REPLY

Yogesh

In Reply to gautamkumar 5 years ago

Thanks Gautam for your comments. I request you to kindly read the whole article again. I followed the same procedure, several times, that you had mentioned to download the apps from atom, ngpay and PayMate. But till today, I am waiting for an SMS, which can give me the download link. As per my interactions with number of people, almost everyone prefers to download any mobile application on to their PC or laptop and then transfer to their devices. Or they simply take the apps through BlueTooth from their friends. The article is written in order to show the lack of fineness and simplicity while implementing this kind of useful projects. May I request you to read this story as well... http://www.moneylife.in/article/m-indica...
This shows how far a little-known company can take its application to over 16 lakh people in a short span. Hope you would understand.

Nikhil Narayanan

In Reply to Yogesh 5 years ago

Sir
Why do you want to use a third-party downloadable app from ngpay or Paymate, which in fact may not be compatible to your phone? Why not use IRCTC mobile website directly? https://www.irctc.co.in/mobile
Why pay 10-15 rupees extra per ticket to a travel agent(ngpay/Paymate)?

Yogesh

In Reply to Nikhil Narayanan 5 years ago

Dear Nikhil,
Thanks for your comments. I fail to understand you logic of promoting IRCTC's mobile site, while the corportation itself is busy promoting the mobile application. I am neither interested in promoting IRCTC's mobile site nor any application. At Moneylife, we only care for the common reader, saver, investors and help him make wise choice by showing all options and certain loopholes, if any.
Here I am reproducing one para from my above story that talks about security issues.
"As a concept, booking rail tickets through a mobile handset is not new. You can do it through your mobile browser and there is no need to download any application, especially from IRCTC. However, the applications provided by atom, ngpay and PayMate provides more security features for money transactions compared with normal web browsing through mobile. And this is where the chances of success for all these mobile rail ticket booking applications lie, provided they can simply the process."

Mohammad Ali

5 years ago

I need irctc moble aplication .my moble nokia c5

REPLY

Nikhil Narayanan

In Reply to Mohammad Ali 5 years ago

Mohammed
Use your internet browser on your mobile and type this address: https://www.irctc.co.in/mobile

vadakkus

5 years ago

There is nothing to download here! It is sad that people do not know that you can browse websites from a mobile phone too, as they can from a computer and not knowing the difference between a mobile website and an application!!

Nikhil Narayanan

5 years ago

Dear Yogesh Sapkale

>>" The main problem is not being able to download the application on their handsets." - it is a mobile website. Where is the download of app coming in here? Are you a tech writer?

>> http://irctc.co.in/mobile works perfectly fine from Opera Mobile.(on GPRS)

'To start with, one needs to visit IRCTC's mobile facility page from their computer. However, the link https://www.irctc.co.in/mobile redirects you to IRCTC's home page instead of the specific page. Here is the link from IRCTC's mobile zone, https://www.irctc.co.in/beta_htmls/index..., but it also takes you to a notification page, which shows the previous link that is not clickable.'

Why are you visiting a mobile website from a computer? If you do, more often that not, you will be taken to the main(desktop) website. The inverse, visiting a desktop website using mobile - you're normally taken to the mobile website. This does not happen in IRCTC's case though.

Sir, I guess you are doing injustice to your employer by writing such stories.

-Nikhil

REPLY

Yogesh

In Reply to Nikhil Narayanan 5 years ago

Dear Nikhil Narayanan,
Thanks for your comment. I only hope you understand the difference between http and https. Also since this article talks about the issues being faced by laymans like me (as I do not work in a tech co ;-)) tell me, how many people know and use Opera mobile?
Here again I am providing you the link from IRCTC site to their mobile zone...https://www.irctc.co.in/beta_htmls/index.htm
As per my understanding, people knew about this facility after reading about it on the web and not on mobile. How you come across this story, from your mobile or desktop/laptop?
Anyway, do share your experience of using this application. Which one you tried, atom, ngpay or PayMate and as a techie what you feel about the future of this facility?
Thanks

Nikhil Narayanan

In Reply to Yogesh 5 years ago

Dear Yogesh,

I doubt if there is indeed the need to take cheap-shots at me. Working in a tech-company is of no relevance to this conversation - right?

Mobile phones come with native browsers and people do download Opera mobiles. Even when I was using a very-layman(like you say), Nokia phone, with a slow GPRS connection, I had Opera installed. If the person is savvy enough to book tickets using IRCTC, that too using a mobile phone, we can fairly assume he is aware of Opera. And if I may add, I don't use Opera normally for my mobile surfing. I use a browser by name, Miren(it's Chinese). IRCTC mobile site did not recognize that browser as mobile and so too me to the desktop site. Not a popular browser - I am not blaming IRCTC here.

Yes, I very well know the difference between http and https.
I used Opera, and the native Android browsers and typed http://www.irctc.co.in/mobile .| Native browser displayed the URL as https. Opera did not display any prefix - could be something with my settings.

The news of IRCTC launching a mobile site has been publicized enough - even in print media. I landed on this story via Twitter - using a laptop.

I still did not get answers to the points I raised. >> You called this an 'app'. This is NOT an app, but a mobile website. >> Another point: You should be asking people to visit irctc.co.in/mobile from their phones - that will help. Mobile sites when visited via desktop, more often than not, redirects to the desktop site. The code is intelligent enough to identify the device - mostly.

-Nikhil

Nikhil Narayanan

In Reply to Nikhil Narayanan 5 years ago

I am yet to book a ticket. I shall keep you posted. They should launch apps for various mobile OSs sometime soon - that'll be a killer.
This mobile website achieves something ngpay or a cleartrip mobile can't do - Tatkal booking between 8-9ams. ngpay and such are agents are they are blocked from booking tickets during these times. Given that Tatkal can be booked only 1 day in advance, this will come in handy if I plan to take off, unplanned, over a weekend and need to book my Sunday return ticket on a Saturday morning(8am). I know, I am being very optimistic.

Yogesh

In Reply to Nikhil Narayanan 5 years ago

Dear Nikhil,
Here is what Opera says about its browsers....."Opera Mobile is only available if you have a Windows Mobile, Symbian/S60 or Android phone. Opera Mini is available for a much wider range of handsets. Opera Mini, Opera Mobile and Opera for desktop all share the same rendering engine, Opera Presto. With Opera Mini, this is located on a server. In Opera Mobile, it is installed on your phone." Here is the link... http://www.opera.com/mobile/help/faq/
Also, all service providers listed, mentioned by IRCTC on its site call it "mobile apps", and in fact it is an application for mobile platforms, I had used the same. Here is what PayMate says, "Download PayMate’s app on your mobile phone to conveniently search, book and pay for any Indian Railway tickets directly from the phone" and ngpay says, "Just download ngpay for FREE on your handset and enjoy the convenience of booking your rail rickets – anytime, anywhere" and atom says," atom is a Simple and Secure Mobile Commerce platform which enables you to buy IRCTC tickets and make payments for host of other services by using your mobile phone."
I wrote about the mobile ticket booking app and not mobile website of IRCTC. Hope thsi clears you doubt.

CERC lays down code on advertising standards

The consumer body says that the advertising code is based on international codes, advertising standards maintained by countries like Ireland, the UK and also on the Advertising Standard Council of India’s code

Ahmedabad-based consumer organisation Consumer Education and Research Centre (CERC) had prepared a detailed draft code on advertisement standards to address issues like misleading, false, unfair, harmful, discriminatory, unsubstantiated and    surrogate advertisement, against the background of a proposed law on advertising by the government.

CERC says that the advertising code is based on international codes, advertising standards maintained by countries like Ireland, the UK and also on the Advertising Standard Council of India’s (ASCI) code.  

The ASCI is currently the self regulatory watch dog on the advertising industry in India. The CERC code, apart from giving general rules—principles, substantiation, legality, prices, comparison, guarantee, honesty, safety—that has to be followed by the advertisers, also gave detailed guidelines for niche segments advertising like beauty and health, products and service endorsing slimming, promising employment, gaming and betting, etc. It has also laid advertising guidelines for broader sectors like finance, environment, etc. CERC is conducting a workshop on “Protecting Consumers against Misleading Advertisements” on 7th January 2012.

To give some examples, CERC’s code for advertising for health and beauty products says that it should not contain any offer to diagnose, advice, prescribe or treat by correspondence; encourage indiscriminate and should not suggest that the product or treatment is safe/ effective because it is ‘natural’ nor should it refer to the omission of any ingredient in a way that suggests it is unsafe or harmful. It also says that an ad should not suggest or imply that a well balanced diet needs to be augmented by vitamins or minerals on a regular basis.

Talking specifically advertisements on hair recovery services and products, the CERC code says that it should not claim that a particular product or treatment can prevent baldness or slow it down, arrest or reverse hair loss, stimulate or improve hair growth, nourish hair roots, strengthen the hair or improve its health unless substantiated.

There are often advertisements claiming easy and quick weight loss. However, many of them make misleading claims to lure gullible consumers. The CERC code says that such advertising should not make a claim, unless substantiated, that long-term slimming, weight loss or inch loss can be achieved either generally or from specific areas of the body by any means other than dieting, for instance by expelling water, speeding up the metabolism, etc. It also says that, “An advertisement should not suggest that persons of normal weight need to slim. ‘Crash diets’ should not be advertised because of the danger that such diets can pose to the health of dieters not under medical supervision.”

Similarly, ads of medicine should not use fear or anxiety to promote the cure from an illness and should not use health professionals or celebrities to endorse medicines. It should also show accurate illustrations of the effect or action of any product and a label of warning should be fixed stating that symptoms persists, the doctor should be consulted.

Advertisements related to training courses and employment opportunities, experts say, leads in making misleading claims. Often people fall in their trap and end up losing their money.  CERC says that training courses advertisement should make no promise of job unless guaranteed and should clearly embark the required level of attainment. According to the code, employment advertisements should correspond to genuine vacancies and should not require interested respondents to send money for further details. Terms and conditions should not be misrepresented and any earnings forecast should be realistic. If income is earned from a basic salary and commission, or commission only, this should be made clear.

Financial advertisements, promise high income on investment which is often confusing and misleading.  The CERC code states that when an advertisement contains any forecast or projection, it should make clear the basis on which the forecast or projection is made. For instance, it should be clear in the ad whether reinvestment of income is assumed; whether account has been taken of any applicable taxes and whether any penalties or deductions will arise on premature realisation or otherwise.

For ads claiming environmental friendly, the code says that it should not be used without qualification unless advertisers can provide convincing evidence that their product will cause no environmental damage. It says that advertisers should think that there products are universally accepted and hence should state where there is a significant division of scientific opinion

According to the CERC code, advertising targeting children should not feature unsuitable products, encourage unhealthy lifestyle— eating or drinking, exaggerate what is attainable by an ordinary child using the product and should not minimise the price of products by using words like ‘only’ or ‘just’.

User

IDFC's infra bond issue opens on Jan 11, to raise Rs 4,400 crore

IDFC said it will raise Rs 4,400 crore through the issuance of a second tranche of tax-saving long term infrastructure bonds on 11 January 2012.

Infrastructure Development Finance Company (IDFC) said it will raise Rs 4,400 crore through the issuance of a second tranche of tax-saving long term infrastructure bonds on 11 January 2012. The second tranche of the bond issue would be open for subscription till 25 February 2012, IDFC said in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange.

In December 2011, IDFC had mopped up Rs 538.08 crore from the a first tranche of tax-saving long-term infrastructure bonds. The company plans to raise Rs 5,000 crore from infra bond issues this fiscal. The five-year bonds have a coupon of 9%. The NBFC had mopped up Rs 1,451 crore from over 7.3 lakh retail investors through the issue of long-term infrastructure bonds in FY11.

User

We are listening!

Solve the equation and enter in the Captcha field.
  Loading...
Close

To continue


Please
Sign Up or Sign In
with

Email
Close

To continue


Please
Sign Up or Sign In
with

Email

BUY NOW

The Scam
24 Year Of The Scam: The Perennial Bestseller, reads like a Thriller!
Moneylife Magazine
Fiercely independent and pro-consumer information on personal finance
Stockletters in 3 Flavours
Outstanding research that beats mutual funds year after year
MAS: Complete Online Financial Advisory
(Includes Moneylife Magazine and Lion Stockletter)