Online Classified’s – Some Thoughts

Classifieds is another buzz word in the market today and the latest entrant, in my knowledge, is We saw some heavy advertising during the month of October for the site which has been started off by the same guys running

But has it as a category really taken off? I strongly believe that this is a pretty touch category to make a mark in. I am a regular user, both as a buyer and sometimes as a seller, of such sites and a few things come to mind:-

1.A visitor might never have loyalty towards one. From the perspective of the seller: – the more sites which he can cover the better. As a buyer research by you would be carried out on multiple sites as well, hence loyalty might not be something to strive for at all here

2.The primary distinguishing factor will be the variety and extensiveness of the listings. Rediff was pretty smart in this regard and tied up with Infomedia Yellow Pages and pretty much brought the whole directory online to its P4C platform…but the problem in that is having a huge bunch of sellers never replying, updating products, services, contact details etc because they don’t have the relevant knowledge to do so and never did so to begin with.

3.A strong search feature is another important consideration. Be it within product categories or geographically – the ability for a site to get a visitor in touch with the products he wants as fast as possible is necessary

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Indian Airlines – Faulty (and Fradulant?) Online Booking

Update – 8th Oct 2007 – They finally decided to add a notification to the PNR asking the name to be read correctly. Took close to a month but i must say i am happy it worked out. If they can reduce their “turnaround” time in issues such as these it would go a long way as far as customer service is concerned.

Indian Airlines seems to be leaving out important information on its “fare rules” for some reason. My personal opinion, further fortified by talking to airline officials at their office at Safdarjung in Delhi would suggest that they might just be doing it to make money. This is how it all came into light.

My wife booked two tickets on Indian Airlines for Hyderabad for December. Immediately afterwards she took the printouts and realized an error – The surnames were supposed to be Shukla and Banerjee , the printout read Shukla on both…and there was a strong possibility that this was not an error on her part but a software glitch on the website.

We called the customer care guys who informed us that the tickets were non-refundable which had not been mentioned on the site. We visited the office as well , and were again told that they are non refundable tickets i..e only taxes are returned which roughly translates into a loss of 50% . We asked them to show us where this rule was mentioned on the site – supposedly in the fare rules – but there is infact no mention at all.

Take a look at the following screenshots – In the first one you will notice that the “class” allotted is H , the second screenshot is of the Apex fare rules where no “H” class is mentioned – Just something called D-14.

indian2.jpg indianrules1.jpg

Here’s the killer – According to IA – D14 means H – how is a normal customer Continue reading