Off The Rails: A Bureaucracy Update

A Two-Minute Read

Almost four years ago, this Man of Action faced dprocessesown the bureaucracy that was the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation. It was such a success that he decided to book a commercial flight for his return trip.

(Best part of that – showing his boarding pass at the entrance to the Security line. Showing his boarding pass to be screened at the head of the Security line. Showing his boarding pass again to exit the Security line.)

The IRCTC routinely sends updates – mostly in Hindu. Today’s Inbox, though, featured a barely-coherent admonition in English:

Dear Customer,

Whenever You and your Friends/Relatives (Customer) is Booking Online Railway E-tickets through any “AUTHORIZED AGENTS OF IRCTC” then please adopt the following procedure:

1) Customer should mandatory fill his/her mobile number in the Agent requisition form & must ensure that same number is put correctly & accurately by Agent at the time of ticket booking on passenger’s page.

2) As per the Cancellation & Refund authentication process, post cancellation of ticket, the refund OTP will be sent to the customer’s mobile number.

3) The customer need  to share the Refund OTP with Agent.

4) Agent will then verify & authenticate the refund OTP with IRCTC.

5) Once the refund OTP is verified, IRCTC will then transfer the cancellation amount in Agent’s account in real time basis.

6) Agent will then refund the Cancellation amount with the customer.

7) This process is set up to make the customer aware with the applicable refund amount.

8) The refund OTP is generated only after cancellation of ticket & Will be sent to the mobile number provided at the time of ticket booking. Customer’s should not get confused it with the bank/payment OTP.


You are requested to kindly extend your support to create awareness so That customer’s should ensure that the Agent are putting correct & accurate mobile number at the time of ticket booking so that customers gets the control of their own cancellation & refund amount.


Note: Please note that IRCTC never permit its agents to ask any bank/card related information & bank OTP from its customers due to security and privacy reasons.

And though this is in English, it defies understanding. Visio broke trying to map this out.

To those who believe “Unsubscribing” will spare future mousetraps, beware: The IRCTC site is only accessible from within India. (Or with a VPN tunneling through India, but that’s no fun).