ClearTrip Customer support (NOT!)

After a long time, I had to visit online resources for a ticket booking and I was reminded of my “Kiruba incident” with ClearTrip. The sense of closure is still deluding me. It always does. Even after 20 years.

Neither My Dear Niraj, the CMO of ClearTrip nor did anyone else bother to respond to the following email.

He, The Hallowed CMO, along with that customer support bloddy-agent, Shringarpure, could have pretty easily asked me, “dear Mr. sharma, Go fondle urslf.” (The English could have been theirs, going by the professional levels of

But they both chose to not respond. Or escalate. I guess I won that round. Ex-parte! Right?

Here is the entire bull, in public domain.

Why so late? Guess I am pretty vella today, till the departure of the train, and it is going to be fun digging all the old emails and formatting them for the blog.

From: “Niraj Seth (”

To:Rahul Sharma”
Sent: Wednesday, 12 January 2011 6:33 PM
Subject: Because every trip has a purpose –
Dear Rahul,
Since our launch in July 2006, has worked very hard to provide you extensive choice and a compelling online experience while booking your travel with us. I would like to extend my gratitude and thanks to you for your encouragement.

We have always believed that our brand would grow when co-created with our customers and today we launch our new TV campaign – ‘Every trip has a purpose’, which takes customer engagement to new heights. The campaign vividly captures real travelers across the length & breadth of India sharing “their purpose of travel”

I hope you like the campaign. Look forward to your feedback.
Niraj Seth

Subject:Re: Because every trip has a purpose –
From: (
To:     Niraj Seth.
Date:     Thursday, 1 December 2011 12:22 PM

Subject : Re: Because every trip has a purpose –

Dear Niraj,
Thanks for your email. I am so sorry to be replying to it so late. Please forgive me. However, I have already posted my reason for a trip on your recommended website.
I have undertaken some rather passionately purposeful and energetically eventful and utterly unforgettable trips through ClearTrip. There is another one coming up, the next weekend.
I am obliged of and thank your team, from the bottom of my heart, for all of them. Thank you all!
Except for the trip id. 1101047242.
Why I am using the reply to this cordial invitation of yours to provide feedback on a trip and your advertising campaign, rather than the campaign, you shall see, soon. I had taken up the matter to supervisory level on phone and asked for a manager and was curtly told that “the manager shall tell you the same. It is The Company Policy.”
I had booked a multi city ticket through the website with the two flights being, SpiceJet from Delhi to Madras and IndiGo from Madras to Trivandrum. Soon enough, I got the ticket in my email inbox and saw that my name was mentioned as gjhgjhg gfhjjhg.
Immediately and Calmly,
  1. I called the customer care center of ClearTrip (+91 22 41300300) and was told by Shantanu that this “must have been” My Mistake and I might have entered these random letters by mistake!
  2. This was repeated by his supervisor, Conrad.
  3. Conrad refused to pass me on to his manager as, “the manager shall tell the same. It is
    The Company policy.”
Frantically, now, after about 45 minutes of being on call with the ClearTrip contact center,
  1. I called SpiceJet customer care and talked to Shalmeena, who promptly saw the logic in my point of not having typed that gibberish and got the name changed from gjhgjhg gfhjjhg to Rahul Sharma. It took her about 3 minutes. This email/letter is being posted to SpiceJet to commend her action!
Calmly, after about 5 minutes,
  1. I called IndiGo, quite sure that these people shall change the name here and the matter would get closed and everyone would be happy! I was told by Salman that it is not possible as a name once entered is hard burned in the system.
  2. His supervisor, Pushpa informed me that if the misspelling were Rahuk, in stead, she could correct the spelling mistake. (Inferring that the change is, technically, possible.) Even after my reasoning, she did not agree to it and insisted that I get the ticket cancelled and rebook.
My negating explanation to I making that mistake was that I use a Pocket Browser with LastPass and no matter what Computer I am using, my browser travels with me, along with all my user names and passwords and forms, pre filled!
  1. The ticket had to be cancelled and I had to pay for what was, most definitely, an IT error on the part of ClearTrip as the same gibberish went to both the Airlines.
  2. I got my refund in a very commendably timely fashion.
  3. I still have not received the IT report that the ClearTrip executives repeatedly quoted and based on it, made the whole episode as my personal cross to bear.
About 2 hours down the clock, while I was looking for a way to escalate the matter further, I found that I had been logged out of, automatically (by some IT error, probably?) and in my place, in my PC in New Delhi, was logged in travel agent Mr. Oswal from Jammu with an available spend able balance of about Rs. 36,000. I called his phone number mentioned in the profile section to warn him of this potential financially draining and dangerous error (the second one on the IT side of ClearTrip in the past one hour!!!) who thanked me for my call and information (maybe, secretly, ALSO for not using his easily available money!) and he also tried on his end to get this resolved. He was informed by his IndiGo contact that had he booked the tickets from his login, IndiGo WOULD have done it on his personal request, even if he booked it via ClearTrip or some other portal. (Meaning, it was technically possible to change the name on a booked ticket. This was the second confirmation from the IndiGo people.)
I had written off this incident, despite of being an inveterate complainer, when it comes to matters consumerist as I carried more good memories of ClearTrip. All of them, apart from this one. The intuitive interface had endeared me to your website and I swear to God that till date I do not have an account on! Or any other Travel Booking Site. Honest, swear to God!
However, recently, we were discussing the “The Kiruba Incident” and the subsequent learning. It was then when it came to me that I should, at least share my feelings with you and Mr. Mills for the pain it caused to me to spend 3-4 hours trying to argue with various personnel and end up paying a totally avoidable and acrimonious amount of Rs. 1,050 for an IT error.
Assuming that it was, indeed, a very drunk and stoned I or someone else here; a child, a keyboard-savvy dog or fish, at the CUSTOMER’s end that had entered the name as gjhgjhg gfhjjhg, how difficult could it possibly get, I would definitely like to know, to change the name in the computer, for crying out loud!
The very able SpiceJet personnel, Shalmeena, did it in about 3 minutes and IndiGo and ClearTrip people did almost everything other than hanging up my call!
What can we, Mr. Seth, do about this?
Thanks a tonne for the time.
Yours truly,
Rahul Sharma.
  3.     Neil Mills CEO, SpiceJet Ltd., 319, Udyog Vihar, Phase IV, Gurgaon, Haryana, India.
  4.     Priya Kataria at
  5.     Mr. Aditya Ghosh, President, IndiGo Level 1, Tower C, Global Business Park, Mehrauli-Gurgaon Road, Gurgaon – 122002, Haryana, India.
  6.     Mr. Oswal at OMANI TOURS TRAVELS Residency Road, Jammu.


  1.     The ClearTrip Tickets.
  2.     The SpiceJet Ticket.
  3.     The Refund Invoice.
  4.     The Letter in Word for Printing, if required.


This is another jewel between ICICI-Lombard, Cleartrip and GFY, yours truly.

I have to organize the emails in a chronological order. Shall do so up on my return.

Subject:     Re: Grievances about customer support

From:     Rahul.
Date:     Tuesday, 6 December 2011 1:00 AM

Dear Mr. Shringarpure,
I did not receive any call or email. I am back from the trip 1111116184. What now?


From: Rahul
To: Vaibhav Shringarpure <>
Sent: Saturday, 3 December 2011 6:30 AM
Subject: Re: Grievances about customer support

Dear Mr. Shringarpure,

I have NOT received any phone call.
Today is the date of journey and I want and demand the nominee to be endorsed on the policies.
Hope this one works out fine and well.
Though I really do not see any need for a phone call. The emails are pretty much self-explanatory. Here they are, once again, for your perusal.


From: Vaibhav Shringarpure <>
Sent: Friday, 2 December 2011 4:49 PM
Subject: RE: Grievances about customer support

Dear Mr. Rahul Sharma,
Greeting of the day.
Hope you have received call back from our concern dept and query has been answered.
If you need any other help, do write back to us and we would be glad to assist you.

Vaibhav Shringarpure
Cleartrip Travel Services


—–Original Message—–
From: Vaibhav Shringarpure []
Sent: Thursday, December 01, 2011 7:07 PM
Subject: FW: Grievances about customer support

Dear Mr. Rahul Sharma,
Thank you for contacting Cleartrip and bringing this to our attention.
We would like to inform you that we have already requested our concern team to check the details, we shall get back to you on below request tomorrow by the end of the day.
We appreciate your patience in the interim.


Vaibhav Shringarpure
Cleartrip Travel Services

For Trip ID: 1111116184
Customer Email Address :
Customer problem / question in detail:

Dear Madam / Sir,
Attached inline below is my ongoing conversation with ICICI-Lombard. I have
been tossed around and about by both ClearTrip and ICICI-Lombard.
Please help by attaching the Nominee, as desired, on my Trip Id. 1111116184.




Dear Customer,

Please do not change the above subject line while replying to this mail or for marking us any mail related to this case.

With reference to your e-mail regarding policy number 4110/D-00022/48309/00/000, and 4110/D-00022/48313/00/000 we kindly request you to contact clear trip team for the same through and they will assist you accordingly.
Further, we wish to inform you that your request  for appreciation has been forwarded to concerned department and we would revert to you shortly.
For any further assistance, please feel free to write to us.
Assuring you of our best services.


Amruta Vora
Customer Support Team


Dear Madam / Sir,

1. I would request you to kindly add a nominee to the following policies.

4110/D-00022/48309/00/000 to : 4110/D-00022/48313/00/000 (Total 5 Policies)

Nominee Name

Gaurav Sharma

2. I would also like to appreciate the call center executive, Sayead, who attended my call at about 1550, today Monday, November 28 2011.
He was extremely helpful and gave me straight answers. He went beyond his call of duty. Before I could take his manager’s email address,
the call dropped. Could you please provide me with the email where I can send an appreciation email?

Rahul Sharma.


From: “” <>
To: Rax-icici@YAHOO.COM
Sent: Monday, 28 November 2011 3:20 PM
Subject: Domestic Travel Insurance Policy Certificate

Dear Mr Rahul Sharma,
Thank you for choosing to buy Domestic Travel Insurance from ICICI Lombard along with your ClearTrip tickets.
Please find attached your Domestic Travel Insurance Policy Certificate.
Name of Passenger  : Rahul Sharma
Certificate No     : 4110/D-00022/48309/00/000

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