As per Indian Railway’s new rule, with effect from 12th November 2015, in the case of waitlisted tickets, cancellation charges of Rs. 60/- per passenger shall be deducted. In simple terms, if unfortunately your Indian Railway passenger ticket is not confirmed and it remains on the waiting list “post chart preparation”, then an amount of Rs. 60/- PER PASSENGER shall be deducted from the ticket fare paid at the time of booking and only the balance amount shall be refunded. As a matter of fact, time and again, a lot many other charges were being introduced by Indian Railways, to generate revenue. However, I simply fail to understand the logic behind cancellation charges on a waitlisted ticket.
Let us further try to understand this with the help of an example. Suppose, a customer booked a product from an organization, to be delivered at a specific date, “based on availability”. However, on the precise date, that organization is unable to deliver that product because of unavailability of that very product. Now, obviously, in this situation there is no blame game to be played because the order got cancelled for a valid reason i.e. non-availability of the product, as well as, this condition was very well-known by all of the concerned parties, at the time of booking. Having said that, my question to the learned and respected leaders/officials is that what is the normal course of action that is expected from that organization in this situation?
I hope you all will agree with me that in this situation two necessary actions are required i.e. firstly, as a gesture of courtesy, an apology from that organization for not being able to deliver that product and, secondly, refund of the entire amount paid by the customer towards that booking. Now, considering that Indian Railways is an Indian state-owned enterprise, expecting an apology for thousands of waitlisted tickets will be too much to wish for. However, Refund of the entire amount paid at the time of booking of waitlisted tickets is every customer’s legal right and no one has the authority to debar them from getting back their hard-earned money.
I mean, when any organization, irrespective of it being Public or Private, is unable to deliver a booked product, how can they even think of charging cancellation charges, from their loyal customers, on that cancelled booking? Did the customer cancel that product/ticket? If not, then why the customers have to bear the cancellation charges, on account of cancellation that was not initiated on their request, rather it was solely done by Indian Railways (in this case), on their own? What kind of service is this where the customers neither get the product/ticket nor get the refund of the total amount paid by them? Does that sound appropriate? On the contrary, the organization which is unable to deliver the product is authorized to charge cancellation charges on a failed order. What kind of anti-customer approach is this? It seems the only thing they care about is filling their pockets by hook or by crook.
As a layman, I could not find any single logic behind introducing the cancellation charges on a waitlisted ticket. As per my view, this is a sheer case of robbing our pockets by introducing some illogical rule. The already overburdened common man is slapped with another “heavy and baseless charge”. Hence, I would like to take this opportunity to request the learned and respected Railway minister to throw some light on the logic behind introducing this charge. I hope the Indian Railways either comes up with a logical justification in this matter or else take back this illogical charge.
I would like to end this blog with the very hope that this write-up opens the eyes of the common man and together we stand up against this illogical cancellation charge introduced on waitlisted tickets, which is being forced upon us to rob our hard-earned money. At the same time, I do hope that those in power get the good sense, as well as, get awakened on the issue raised here with and take back the waitlisted cancellation charges, at the earliest. Do remember that there are many other ways to collect revenue, then to take shelter of such illogical rules.