Very bad experience with IRCTC E-Catering service but KFC helped !

I had a really bad experience with IRCTC E-Catering which included KFC as well but at the end only KFC helped to solve my problem. Generally when we travel by train, one of the main concerns is about food specially when you are not travelling from your home which means you can’t carry home made food. Also, in many cases the journey is so long that home made food won’t survive that long and sometime its just personal choice to eat something being sold on train or online. IRCTC launched its E-Catering service to provide good quality food to traveler’s and I was happy about it since I had the option of ordering Dominos Pizza and KFC Chicken because generally the food served from general restaurants are not good and rarely you get good quality or tasty food. But with Dominos and KFC there is no compromise on taste and quality since both are well known and their taste remains same no matter where you are eating. I tried it myself while traveling from Bangalore to Ranchi and did like it and the other passengers were surprised as well. Many asked me how come I managed to order Pizza (Vijaywada) and KFC (Vishakhapatnam) while on train. But something happened this year which made me think twice before ordering online and specially from IRCTC E-Catering website.

Irctc ecatering bad experience

So, the incident happened on 15th of March 2016. My sister was coming home back from Bangalore for Holi and I thought lets surprise her with some quality food i.e. KFC. And I ordered chicken from KFC Vishakhapatnam using the IRCTC E-Catering website and also made the payment online which was my biggest mistake because before that I never ordered prepaid but all orders were COD. Not sure what went wrong but the KFC delivery guy who went to deliver took money again from my sister and she also gave it since she didn’t know that it was prepaid. Even the receipt of KFC said “Total Due” and from there started the problem i.e. Double amount was paid (Once online and then while taking order). I came to know about it and complained at the same time to the number given on their website and they asked me to email the details and it will be refunded back. In most cases you get your refund easily and I also thought I will get it in a week but I never got it even after 10 days of email. I emailed them back and they said they are working on it but got no update even after 1 month. Emailed again and no use. It was like emailing someone working in a government company where no one cares about your problems. Other than that I also used Twitter to get help but the IRCTC employees did not help at all. It was like wasting so much time on something and getting nothing back. Tweeted several times to IRCTC and even to Railway Ministry but there was no resolution. At one time I thought I wont even get it back.

KFC Ecatering irctc

It was almost 5 months in July and I had not received my refund from IRCTC. Then I thought of complaining it on on Public Grievances portal i.e. http://pgportal.gov.in . I thought at least here I will get prompt reply and my refund as well but to my surprise I got no response at all even after 30 days of complaint. I was losing hope but then I got a call from KFC Vishakhapatnam around 15th of September and the person who called (I guess the Store Manager) said he was extremely sorry and has initiated the process for refund and I would get it in 2 to 3 days. So, it took IRCTC more than 6 months just to forward my problem to KFC which is really bad. I also got an email from PG Portal that I will get my refund in few days. But 10 days passed and I got nothing and also lost the number from which I got the call from KFC. So, my final step was to complain directly to KFC about it. And to my surprise I got my refund within 24 hours. I was told that they did try to refund 10 days ago only when they called me but the complicated IRCTC wouldn’t let them do it. And thus the Store Manager said he will refund directly from their side without involving IRCTC and then only I got the refund on 29th September after 7 months. The KFC Store Manager (Asilmetta, Visakhapatman) was a really nice person and talked very well and was helpful as well and kept calling me to update on the problem and also called for confirmation of refund received. I wish even IRCTC was as helpful as this person and then it wouldn’t have taken so much time. So, I am really happy that KFC did whatever they could from their end and helped me in getting my refund but IRCTC needs to learn and help customer’s in solving their problem. The lesson I learned from this incident was to never pay in advance from your orders while you are traveling and specially from Irctc E-catering, the best option is COD as this way you won’t have to pay twice and wait so long to get your refund.

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