It is convenient to book movie tickets online, but have you ever noticed that you have to pay an extra ‘internet handling fee’ against every ticket?
An RTI query with the Reserve Bank of India has revealed that the online platforms through which movie tickets can be booked, are violating the RBI’s Merchant Discount Rate regulations by levying handling charges.
The MDR is a payment gateway fee which is paid by the merchant to the bank, for accepting payments through debit or credit cards. The RBI, in its response to an RTI query filed by Vijay Gopal, president of the Hyderabad-based ‘Forum Against Corruption’, stated that when it comes to movie tickets, the gateway fee is being passed on to the movie-goer through online ticket booking portals like BookMyShow, The News Minute reported.
For instance, if a movie ticket booked through BookMyShow costs Rs 157, you will just have to pay Rs 138 if you buy the same ticket from the box office at PVR. Thus, the portal charges are Rs 19 extra.
Barring the GST, the rest of the amount is supposed to be paid by BookMyShow and not the customer.
Following this discovery, the Forum Against Corruption moved a consumer court in Hyderabad against BookMyShow, PVR and the Department of Information Technology under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology. The case is supposed to be heard on 23 March, The News Minute reported.
Vijay Gopal, who filed the case, said that the arguments by the portals about ‘other services’ being provided to customers are absurd.
Harish Anand Thilakan, CEO, Influx Worldwide that built the ticketing apps of PVR Cinemas, Inox, Cinepolis amongst others in India and for over 26 other cinema chains globally, said that the cost encompasses the lavish infrastructure spends the cinemas need to incur to run efficient online ticketing portals.
Stating that the matter was sub judice, BookMyShow refused to comment.
(With inputs from The News Minute)
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