What are common scams in India? by @ArchitKacker
Answer by Archit Kacker:
This Story Of How Caterers Are Conning Passengers Travelling By Indian Railways !
This is the account of a retired IAS officer, Shivendra K. Sinha.
Travelling by a train from Visakhapatnam to Howrah in Yesvantpur-Howrah Express, he ordered a veg meal for himself, which was priced at Rs 90.
It just somehow occurred to him that the price of a veg meal, according to Indian Railways standard was too high, which is when he decided to speculate.
He then googled and instantly found the rate card on IRCTC's website. He was shocked to see that the actual cost of this meal was rupees 50, whereas it was sold for Rs 90- a whopping difference of Rs 40.
Read his full story here-
Last week I was travelling from Visakhapatnam to Howrah in Yesvantpur-Howrah Express. Ordered Veg. meal from the pantry car, as per waiter it was Rs.90/- only.
I have always in mind that these people are charging very high for the meals but never took it seriously. But this time I determined to enquire about it.
Googled about the rate card and menu, found this website,
IRCTC Help: IRCTC Latest Food Menu Rates
I was shocked when I saw the rates –
Veg meals which pantry car person was selling at Rs 90 was priced only Rs 50/-
Non-Veg meals pantry car rate was priced Rs 100 is only Rs 55/-
Two more options are also available as Standard Thali Meals- Veg and Non-Veg atRs 35 and Rs 40.
After meals, I handed over Rs 50 to the waiter, but he was demanding 90.
I asked him about the RATE CARD, he refused to have any such thing.
Shown him the above website and rates, he was of Rs. 50 will be ok but DON’T TELL ANYONE.
I was so furious, travelled all the way from 13th coach to 1st coach to the pantry car.
And on my way, informed co-passengers who were taking the meals from pantry about this scam.
Met the Pantry-In-charge. Enquired about this. he was also telling the same story, rate cards are missing right now but will shortly get the new one.
About the Jacked price of the meal, he was mum. Lodge a complaint in his Complaint register, which he handed over to me after half an hour.
Initially, he was pleading not to write the complaint but after writing the complaint, he was like nobody will see this, it will go into dustbin that’s it.
To my surprise, against my complaint (he is obliged to give a reason in writing – triplet complaint copies – one has to handed over to the customer) he wrote “taken only Rs 50 from customer Bill No XXX and this customer writes complaint every time he travels. “
The same situation is in almost every train, pantry car meals price are jacked up as no one question them, no one asks about the rate card.
As per one of the estimate, every day around 25 million passenger travel from Indian Railways, if only 0.5% of these passengers takes either lunch or dinner from pantry cars, even extra rupees 30 on each plate will make these people rich by Rs 37,500,000.
Calculate for yourself for 100% passengers complaining. Or just multiply Rs 37,500,000 by 200 and again by 365…
Please do insist for Bill every time you ordered any food from a Railway pantry car and please do try to forward this to all, as so many depend on Rail travel & can't afford Air travel.
I checked IRCTC help portal and found the rate card, which shows that the price is indeed Rs. 50 for a Vegetarian Meal. Below is the image from the website.