The Cleartrip- Paytm Fiasco! And a question of who lost the customer for whom?

By Sanchit on Thursday, June 16, 2016

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paytm cleartrip cashback fraud

This is a post about about a recent transaction I had with Paytm and Cleartrip which ended in Me deciding to avoid using them in future and how 1 Business can affect the other due to its mistakes. So here it goes-

Many months back I read a question on Quora " Why should 1 use Paytm when there are other websites available?" And here is what Mr Vijay Shekhar Sharma ( Founder of Paytm) had to say-

why should you use paytm

The answer is 100% relatable. I Myself use Ebay, Amazon, Snapdeal, Shopclues, Paytm, Freecharge etc depending on various factors. Each website has certain advantages and paytm knows its biggest advantage is CASHBACKS.

Initially I started using paytm for the cashbacks and now I use it mainly 3 cases-

1.) When there is some good deal

2.) When My paytm wallet is linked to some app (Uber, Little etc)

3.) When I am on some website and lazy enough to write credit card details!

I used paytm for bill payments, DTH payments, buying stuff on paytm, shopping on other websites and till date I didnt face any issues except 2 incidences-

1.) Once I got Duplicate Sennheiser earphones from paytm. I immediately filed a refund request. It was approved swiftly and refund processed to paytm wallet. Good work!

2.) Another Time there was a cashback coupon of "15% discount" while booking ticket at Pvr cinemas. I booked  the ticket but did not get any cashback. After few days I got an email from paytm saying

 "The coupon was for every 10th transaction at paytm but they forgot to add this line to the terms"

Now mistakes do happen but the one committing it should own up to it and not pass to others. I emailed paytm and a cashback of Rs 50 was received. The amount was not much but it would have been a case of wrongful advertising had it not been processed.

Coming to the latest incident (and the entry of cleartrip)-

I had to book 2 flight tickets and was looking for deals online. Till date I had used Goibibo for flight and hotel bookings and was very happy with it. I have tried other apps (yatra, via, tripadvisor etc) but I didnt like their user interface. I was always looking for atleast one more app as backup.

I checked on Paytm and there was a cleartrip coupon of 10% discount (maximum Rs 500, Minimum transaction Rs 3000 excluding tax, maximum redumption 4 times) on using coupon code CTPT10.

I installed the cleartrip app and created an account and the user interface and general app navigation was quite good.

Now those people who know Me knows that I complete go into the "zone" when I have to make booking or read some terms and conditions. If their life is at stake and they have to chose 1 person to read the terms and find a loophole it would most likely be Me.

So the ticket booking process started after research of 1 Hour-

1 Ticket was close to Rs 7000 while the other one was close to Rs 4500. I figured out I would save around Rs 1000 by using coupon code as the max redemption was Rs 500.

Entered the details for the 7000 booking in cleartrip and selected paytm wallet as option. Got the message that I could not pay via paytm as RBI has placed guidelines of maximum wallet usage of Rs 10,000 without KYC verification and My paytm wallet usage for the month was already close to Rs 5000. Immediately applied at Paytm to send someone and collect the KYC documents to upgrade wallet.

Now the hunt for another coupon started. There was a coupon for Rs 300 cashback on domestic 1 way flight booking on cleartrip. I figured out I can use that coupon, get Rs 300 in cleartrip wallet and use paytm to book 2nd ticket as it was for around Rs 4500 and less than the wallet limit ( I had spent Rs 5000 earlier and the limit was 4500).

I was skeptical when I would get the 300 cashback as I wanted to book the ticket immediately. Thankfully the cashback was received immediately.

I proceeded to book the 2nd ticket and applied Rs 300 cashback I had just received. Since the terms and conditions for the paytm coupon mentioned "minimum Rs 3000 transaction" I checked again to see If My base fare went below that amount after adding the cashback. But no everything was fine. I applied the code "CTPT10" and got the below message-

cleartrip fraud

Booking was done and surprisingly no cashback received. I knew something was wrong as paytm cashback is instant. I thought of contacting support but the faqs said it can take upto 24 hours so I decided to wait as maybe it takes Time to sync with cleartrip.

Still I sent an email to paytm and got an automated response that the query would be answered shortly. More than 24 hours passed and no response was received so I  decided to tweet to paytmcare and this is how it went-

paytm cashback

paytm bad customer support

So a regular paytm customer was saying that he is damn sure that coupon was applied the best response that paytm could come up with was "No". Remember still no reply to the support email which said they would respond ASAP!

I realised there may have been some issue with the cleartrip app and they might have not sent the notification of coupon being applied to paytm so I decided to email cleartrip. I emailed cleartrip and got the reply that for coupon to be valid 100% payment was to be made via paytm wallet and since I used CT money as well (Rs 300 cashback) the coupon was ineligible.  Knowing that nothing of that sort was mentioned in the terms I asked them to guide Me to the appropriate terms and conditions. The link provided was-

cleartrip cashback fraud

After going through the terms AGAIN I told them that nowhere in the terms was mentioned that 100% payment was to be done via paytm and the money in My cleartrip wallet was MY money and not some offer. Even if that was the case there app should have shown "coupon code not applicable" instead of the below message-

cleartrip cashback fraud

No reply to that email was received till date.

So in the end the cashback was gone (around Rs 400) which is not a major issue (I have spent 1 Business hour on writing this post which would have been more valuable) but I was upset at the response I got from paytm and cleartrip.

To conclude here is how things stand now

For Paytm-

 I was a regular user with purchases, bill payments etc. Had requested wallet upgrade to spend more than Rs 10,000 per month. It was most likely a cleartrip error and their app didnt notify paytm of the code being used but once I mentioned to support that I was 100% sure I had used the code they should have done better to help.

I have decided to scale down my paytm usage considerably and use it in most critical cases. I have not filled the KYC details and would send the paytm person back when he comes to collect them.

For Cleartrip-

Their terms and conditions were incomplete and app implementation bad. I was looking for a backup app to Goibibo ( Goibibo spending till now this year over Rs 50,000). I would look elsewhere now.

So paytm and cleartrip both lost a customer over around Rs 400. The brains at paytm and cleartrip can go figure out what their new customer acquisition cost is and probably improve for future. It is for them to check whose fault or lack of implementation led to this. Though cleartrip looks to be the culprit.

Many hours after I had joined cleartrip and booked tickets I got "welcome" email from cleartrip thanking Me for joining and giving Rs 500 coupon for "1st booking". That email lies somewhere in My trash now.

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Xiaomi Mi3 India review and unboxing

By Sanchit on Saturday, July 26, 2014

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Xiaomi (pronounced Shao-Mi) has come to India with the launch of the Mi3. The phone is creating quite a buzz in tech circles and the features for the Rs 14,000 phone are easily comparable to features of phones in the range of Rs 30,000-35000 phones.

There are many ways in which Xiaomi is able to achive this-

1.) No print or tv advertising- Xiaomi markets its phone through tech blogs, strong community of Miui users and doesnt spend money on advertising resulting in lesser costs.

2.) Exclusive partnerships- The company sells the products through exclusive partnerships with ecommerce companies saving money on distribution channels.

3.) Selling products at cost/little above cost- There are theories that Xiaomi sells the product at cost or little over it and earns money through the ecosystem by selling themes etc which the user purchase to customise the phone.

Anyways so getting back to the review I had registered for the sale on Flipkart which was to start on 22nd July at 12:00 P.M. I tried buying the phone at about 12:30 P.M. and was successful. The phone was delivered on 26th July.

Tip: If you want to buy the phone try via flipkart app. There are more chances the transaction would be successful.

Packing and Unboxing-

The Mi3 comes in a very minimal cardboard packing.

Inside the box is a phone, a travel adapter, Usb cable, a short user guide explaining features of phone and the Miui, warranty information and a pin to eject the sim tray.

The charger is a 2amp adapter which shall charge the phone fast. However I found the quality of the adapter quite average. It looks like a cheap chinese adapter though the functioning was quite ok.


Mi3 unboxing

Mi3 travel adapter

I have used the phone for 4-5 hours so this is just a basic review as I could not check all the features. The first thing you notice is that the Mi3 has got excellent looks. The look and feel of the phone is premium.

I put My Samsung Galaxy I9500 S4 side by side and the Mi3 was easily looking the better of the 2.


The display is a 5 inch 1920X1080 full hd display and the screen quality is excellent. The display was fast and responsive and both the screen and the touch were comparable to premium phones unlike the other 15-20k range phones where you feel that the touch quality of the screen is not good enough.

Mi3 display

Mi3 lockscreen

Camera quality-

Havent been able to test the camera in detail. Took 2-3 photos and the camera quality looked excellent. Also what was noticable was the camera speed was quite fast even when taking multiple photos. No lag at all.

Sound quality-

There was no music preloaded on the phone so havent listened to any song. Though the ringtones sounded pretty feeble. If that is the maximum sound of the phone then I would have to say I am a bit disappointed. With that sound listening to incoming calls might be an issue in very noisy areas.

 Call quality-

 Didnt make any call so cannot say about the voice clarity or call drops if any.

Miui interface-

The interface is similar to Apple where there is no app drawer and all the things are placed on homescreen whether it be icon, apps, widgets or folders. I believe both users of Android and Apple would be able to make easy transition on Miui as it is similar to both.

Miui has some interesting features such as double tap on lock screen launch the music player which I found very good. Also a long press on the Home button activates the torch which is another handy feature. The other interesting features which I saw but havent tried are the ability to record calls, create a block list, do not disturb mode. 1 interesting feature I saw for missed calls was that it showed how many number of rings were there before the phone was cut! So if you are not around and see a missed call later you can find out whether it was by mistake or the person actually called.

As of now the phone looks very impressive with excellent tech specs and no real issues. The only complaint I have till now is that the ambient light sensor seems to be very very average. It is so slow in detecting light changes that initially I thought that it is faulty in the unit until I flashed a led torch right onto the light sensor and watched the screen dim very very slowly. I am surprised that this has been missed by other reviewers which makes Me wonder if it is an issue with My phone.

Apart from that the phone looks is totally value for Money and in the price range nothing comes close to the Xiaomi Mi3. Whether this phone would be a game changer in the Indian market would have to be seen but it has every chance of becoming one if there are no hardware issues and the service is good.

Mi3: The game changer

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Photos with a Green message

By Sanchit on Wednesday, September 14, 2011

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Entry 1-

Green Field

Dharti sunehri ambar neela, har mausam rangeela
Aisa desh hai mera

Photo Location- A field in Punjab

Photo Description- Shows a regular field in Punjab.

Entry 2-

Shimla through the Lens

The Hills Have Eyes

Photo Location- Shimla

Photo Description- A famous movie title said "The Hills have Eyes" and with so much construction and buildings the hills of Shimla surely have eyes and that too many of them. Whenever I see this picture I wonder how urbanization has affected Shimla known as the Queen of hills and how it would be able to sustain itself.

is a unique voluntary initiative where we showcase all the Positive and Constructive work happening in the ‘Green and Clean Space’.

Rustic Art is a brand of Organic, Natural & Handmade products in exotic fragrances. They are here to spread the ‘organic’ word.

GingerChai an online magazine brewed by passionate writers. Join,Let’s sip thoughts!

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An open letter to bjp

By Sanchit on Wednesday, August 24, 2011

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JanLokpal bill bjp responseNow lets not even talk about congress here. I have never supported congress and have known of their intentions since long time so neither their stand on the Janlokpal issue nor their reluctance to take anti-corruption measures comes as a surprise to me. And really I have nothing to complaint against them as that is not the party which I support.

But bjp is a party which claims to be "Party with a difference" and in many aspects it is or shall I say it used to be. All the points where bjp could claim an upper hand from political rivals are slowly diminishing and unfortunately they are also following in the footsteps of other parties. I have been a supporter of bjp since a very long time and have tried to convince many others also that their policies are better for the nation than the congress. But on the JanLokpal issue the stand of bjp has been very disappointing. Infact it hasn't taken a stand at all! It wants the prime minister to quit office but doesnt tell where its own intentions lie.

I had expected a strong stand from bjp and support for the anti-corruption measure specially when it had said earlier that they would support the JanLokpal bill.
Every political party is trying to take advantage of the situation without really doing anything. From congress we dont expect anything but from the opposition hard measures were expected.

In 2014 I would remember how political parties responded when people needed support. I hope others would do the same.

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Put Jan Lokpal anthem as your ringtone

By Sanchit on Wednesday, August 17, 2011

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Jan Lokpal song ringtoneAs everyone must be knowing Anna Hazare has started indefinite fast from 16th August against corruption and to force the govt to pass Jan Lokpal bill which is aimed at tackling and solving the problem of corruption. The movement can only be a success if people join the movement and make more and more people aware about it.

Below is the edited version of the Jan Lokpal anthem which you can download and keep it as your ringtone so that whenever your phone rings the message is spread.


Full song-

(Cut from the Youtube video)

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The Strongest and the Weakest Prime minister Part II

By Sanchit on Friday, July 15, 2011

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Strongest Prime Minister

Strongest Prime minister

August 31, 1965-

On August 31, 1965 Lal Bahadur Shastri was told by 3 Army chiefs that the Pakistan army had crossed the international border with 100 battle tanks in the Chamb sector of Jammu.

Without losing time he asked for the opening of a new front including Lahore. Retaliate with full force, he said. The historic meeting lasted less than five minutes.

He didn't wait for international reactions. The next day, newspapers reported that the Indian army was marching towards Lahore. It was a big morale booster for the country.

During those tense days, in his address to the nation from Red Fort on Independence day, he said: "Hathiyaron ka jawab hathiyaron se denge. (Force will be met with force.) Hamara desh rahega to hamara tiranga rahega (Our flag will survive only if our country does)".

Weakest Prime Minister

weakest prime minister

July 15, 2011

"Indians are angry and asking why their government did not ensure their safety. Indian officials say they have made significant security reforms but it may never be possible to stop all terrorist attacks. That is true, but New Delhi still must learn from this experience and keep trying to perfect its intelligence and counterterrorism efforts," the New York Times said in a lead editorial.

"After the 2008 attacks, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh warned that his country would retaliate if hit again. We applaud his continued restraint and urge both sides to think hard about the horrifying cost of a war," the daily said.

Also read

The Strongest and the Weakest Prime Minister

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Hindu 'kanyadaan' of Muslim girls on Godhra anniversary

By Sanchit on Sunday, March 06, 2011

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Hindu Muslim unityVADODARA: Jayesh Dalwadi is not related to Shehnaz Sheikh, Rahima Kadiya and Shehbani Sheikh. But on Sunday, he performed 'kanyadaan' for three Muslim girls, a ritual usually performed by the father in Hindu weddings.

The occasion was a mass 'nikaah' of 25 Muslim couples organized by the Godhra Samagra Muslim Samaj, which brought the two communities on a single platform and had Hindus perform a ritual akin to 'kanyadaan'. It also, to some extent, lifted the mood in Godhra on the ninth anniversary of the train carnage in which 59 persons were burnt to death in the Sabarmati Express, sparking riots that left over 2,000 people killed.

"Scores of Hindus, including a Jain trader, a Dalit government clerk, a jeweller from the Soni Samaj and a Patel running a farm equipment business in our town, have wholeheartedly donated for the future of these young couples. The likes of Dalwadi even paid Rs 3,000 as registration fee for the brides," said Rafik Tijoriwala, one of the committee members of the samaj.

"We are tired of the taint Godhra has lived with since 2002. It is time to move forward for the well-being of all."

Mohammed Hussain Kalota, former Godhra municipality president, expressed similar sentiments. "It is a sign that Godhra is moving towards development and this will help bridge the gap between the two communities," says Kalota, who has been acquitted in the carnage case and was present at the event.

"Most of them (Muslims) are my friends. This event gave me a good opportunity to help them financially," says Rajesh Parikh, who supplies stationery to schools, adding, "In the past I have individually helped Muslim girls by providing them free stationery for their education. But I donated for the mass marriage to send across a stronger message of bonding."

The 'nikaah' where young brides and bridegroom from Panchmahal district tied knots witnessed a gathering of 8,000 guests at the Masjid-e-Kuba near Chandni chowk area. The menu had only vegetarian items as organizers wanted to respect the religious sentiments of the non-Muslims.

Via Times of India

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A quote about Hindu revolution

By Sanchit on Sunday, March 06, 2011

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Hindu revolution

Hindu religion has a concept of Apat dharma
and we should invoke it.
This is the moment of truth for us.

- Dr. Subramanian Swamy

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