Yatra online was misleading consumers by advertising that it was giving refundable fares to consumers. But a consumer found this to be false when he tried to get a refund for his cancelled ticket. He complained to the Advertising Standards Council of India which investigated the matter and found that Yatra was indeed misleading and conning consumers.
This is the true story of a furious consumer at the ASCI website who is also going to complain to the consumer forum about Yatra’s online thuggery.
From the ASCI website:
COMPANY: Yatra Online Private Limited (Yatra.com)
The YATRA website advertises many fares as REFUNDABLE thereby giving an impression to customers that in case they either reschedule or cancel their tickets they will get a refund.Based on the advertisement of the fares as “refundable” I had booked a ticket for my son for travellingfrom Delhi to Pune on Feb.5, 2018. When later I tried to reschedule this ticket. I was informed that therefund amount was ZERO since there was a Yatra online cancellation charge of Rs.400/- and Airline charges of Rs.3000/-. In effect the cancellation charges exceeded the ticket amount. Similarly when Itried to cancel the ticket I was informed that there would be Yatra cancellation charges of Rs.400/- and Airline charges of Rs. 3000/-. Again refund is ZERO. My complaint is that when YATRA is aware thatthe rescheduling/cancellation charges exceed the cost of the ticket, then by advertising such tickets as refundable it is misrepresenting facts and cheating the public. Yatra should not be allowed to cheat public through such advertisements who would buy such tickets based on the “refundable” notation and get toknow that they get only ZERO when they actually go for rescheduling or cancellation.However I can share the images of the printout taken by me at each stage.I had booked an air ticket on Indigo Airlines through Yatra on Dec. 28. 2017, booking reference no. 2812739431203. The ticket when booked by me is shown on the website as refundable as can be seenfrom the image Yatra 1.There after I tried to reschedule the ticket and found that after Airline charge of Rs.3000/- and reschedule charge levied by Yatra of Rs.400, I was left with ZERO. This can be seen from the image YATRA-2.I then tried cancelling the ticket. I found that after Airline cancellation charge of Rs.3000/- and cancelation charge levied by Yatra of Rs.400, I was again left with ZERO. This can be seen from theimage YATRA-3 Thereafter I opted for cancellation as can be seen from the image YATRA- 4A. Thesite clearly states QUOTE You cannot choose the refund mode since there is no refund to process UNQUOTE as can be seen from the image YATRA- 4B.Thereafter I put up my grievance on Facebook and Yatra responded. However their reply was a standardone and simply stated the charges leviable at time of booking /cancellation. Screen shot of their reply is enclosed. It can be seen from the image YATRA -5 that the travel site YATRA is fully aware that thereis an Airline Change / Cancellation fee of Rs.3000/- applicable from period of 2 hrs. to 39 days prior tothe journey. In addition there is a online cancellation fee of Rs.400/- and offline cancellation fee of Rs.1250/-.If this is the case then how can they claim any ticket which is below Rs.3400/- to be refundable. They arefully aware that in case of rescheduling /cancellation, the consumer will get ZERO. Hence their advertising such tickets as REFUNDABLE, the Yatra website and other travel sites are misleading customers into thinking that in case of rescheduling / cancellation they will be getting their money back.Such advertising is simply cheating the customer, who becomes aware of this scam only if he actuallyhas to reschedule or cancel his ticket. Only then he realizes that he gets only a ZERO.I had paid a sum of rs.2586/- (fare – rs.1230/- and rs.1356/- as fees and taxes. When i cancelled the ticket my refund was zero.Hence my complaint to ASCI is to prevent such advertising by Yatra and if possible by the other travelsites, so that they do not mislead and cheat customers of their hard earned money by giving an impressionthat the ticket is “refundable” when actually it is not.I am enclosing a screen shot of fares advertised by Yatra for sector Delhi to Pune on Feb. 27, 2017. Thissite is showing fares less than Rs.3000/- on Indigo Airlines as refundable, whereas I have shown above,the customer will get a ZERO if he cancels or reschedules. If this is not an example of misleading advertisement then what is. I hope that you will find my evidence sufficient and take the required actionunder your powers. I am also going to drag YATRA before both the appropriate consumer forum as well.
as before the Competition Commission of India for these misleading ads which have caused a financial loss to me. I do not take kindly to anyone cheating me of my hard earned money
CCC RECOMMENDATION ON RE-EXAMINATION: UPHELD