Companies

Cleartrip accuses EaseMyTrip of copying features

Forum Gandhi Mumbai | Updated on June 03, 2020 Published on June 03, 2020

Mumbai-based online travel agency (OTA) Cleartrip has accused its competitor, EaseMyTrip, of copying some of the features and design of the recently launched post-Covid-19 travel guide.

In an online post, Sahil Karkhanis - Senior Director, Product Design - Cleartrip, said, “it’s a surprise for us when we find competing brands that want to short-circuit the hard work route by copying blatantly — we can’t wrap our heads around the motivation. Not really. But there you have it — some brands copy other brands blatantly because it is cheaper, easier, and achievable without a smidgen of skill or hard work.” He further named “EaseMyTrip as a repeat offender and copycat extraordinaire.”

In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, the government has barred air travel among others. On May 25, the Ministry of Civil Aviation permitted partial domestic operations to be allowed. To ensure that its guest feel safe during their travel and ttake complete precautions, Cleartrip introduced a guide called ‘TravelSafe’ on its website. Essentially, it is a guide to promoting safe travel, which included measures being taken by companies, restrictions by respective states, precautions that travellers need to follow, along with real-time updates on flight cancellations, rescheduling, and other necessary policies privy to each airline.

Uncanny resemblance

“Very shortly thereafter we found EaseMyTrip put out their own resource that looked suspiciously familiar to us,” Karkhanis added in a post on Medium.com

KarKhanis explained, “The resemblance was uncanny. From the logo treatment on top to the way information is formatted in cards and presented in the first fold. We scrolled lower and the evidence continued to mount. We were shocked to see that the entire Travel Checklist section seemed like a copy-paste of what we’d done, down to the iconography.”

According to the senior director, “All our icons were custom-designed, in house, and deployed as scaleable vector graphic (SVGs). Too much of a coincidence, then, that another designer in another team, elsewhere, came up with such a strikingly similar set.”

“We’re convinced that these icons are Cleartrip proprietary and are being brazenly re-used by EaseMyTrip without our permission. There can be no other explanation for our custom-designed SVG finding a 100 per cent code (path) match in the wild.” The company also checked the content. The company deliberately made a few typos and mistakes, just to see if these would also find their way into EMT’s resource page. “We missed the ‘h’ in Madhya Pradesh in the airport information table. And, right as rain-at-5pm-in-Bangalore, we found it on EMT’s resource.”

They also made a few more deliberate mistakes which found their way to the rival portal.

“This is brazen copy-paste at work here. It’s clear that EaseMyTrip doesn’t really care about helping their customers with accurate and timely information and are really about piggy-backing on someone else’s hard work to opportunistically appear to care. Because it’s no cost to them. And not much effort, either,” Karkhanis said.

EaseMyTrip replies

Responding to the allegations, Prashant Pitti Cofounder EaseMyTrip told BusinessLine, “As a responsible brand, we never copy content and we take pride that ClearTrip (and others) have copied our content in the past. Their entire blog is about one webpage “Airline Guidelines related to Covid-19”. For this web-page, airlines sent content to all of their associated travel-portals. Hence same typos might exist at multiple websites. We regret of not proof-reading content thoroughly, as these are difficult times and airlines also changed their policies multiple times on a short-notice.”

“There are 10,000+ icons used in our website. Few icons they mentioned, are purchasable online. Its a possibility they might have also purchased from same source. Hence they have same source-code,”Pitti added.

Pitti said that EaseMyTrip.com is busy refunding cash to customers. “While Cleartrip twitter is flooded with customer complaint about not receiving refunds from them. We think its a strategy to derail customer complaints.”

Published on June 03, 2020
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