Yatra.com, one of the leading online travel agents (OTAs) in India, was left red-faced yesterday when its site went down because the company had forgotten to renew its domain name. The glitch was spotted by customers when they tried visiting the site but were redirected to a domain parking page.
For those who don't already know, domain parking is the registration of an internet domain name without using it for services such as e-mail or website, i.e., without placing any content under the domain. This may be done to reserve the domain name for future development, among others.
According to media reports, the domain name had been registered on Aug 9, 2000, and it expired on Aug 9, 2013. Since the name was registered for a long period, the company probably forgot about the due date of renewal and hence the fiasco.
When irritated customers started venting their frustration on social media, the company posted a message on its Facebook page that read: We are facing some technical difficulties with our Domain Name System (DNS) servers on account of which some of you are unable to access our site. We are working on this and hope to have it resolved in the next couple of hours. For any urgent cancellations or rescheduling, call us at 1860-5000-500.
Last we checked (earlier today), the site was functioning again. The company also tweeted about the same: Dear customers, we are back on the reliance network and working on other internet service providers (ISPs). Thank you for your continuous love and support. Thank you for bearing with us and in case of any cancellation or rescheduling issues, please call us at 1860-5000-500.
While the site is live as of now (the domain registration has been updated, but only till Aug 11, 2014), we cannot help but wonder how much business the company did lose because of this, considering OTAs do a large number of bookings on a daily basis. To put things in context, its key competitor MakeMyTrip was doing over 14,000 bookings a day in the last quarter.
(Edited by Sanghamitra Mandal)