Have you ever booked movie tickets online? If yes, then you must have also paid internet handling charges and the main reason behind these fees is still unknown to many. Some people think that this charge is for maintaining the website or app of these portals but this is not right.
Vijay Goyal, President of Hyderabad-based ‘Forum against Corruption’ filed an RTI with Reserve Bank of India (RBI) asking about the legality of ‘Internet handling fees’ charged by BookMyShow, PVR and others for booking tickets online.
In reply to the RTI, Reserve Bank of India replied that the platforms providing movie ticket booking services does not reserve right to charge handling fee from the customers and they are in violation of the RBI’s Merchant Discount Rate (MDR) regulations.
The MDR is a payment gateway fee paid by these merchant sites to the bank for accepting customer payments via debit and credit cards.
Now, ‘Forum against Corruption’ has filed a case against BookMyShow and PVR at Hyderabad’s Consumer Court and has also lodged complaint with Department of Information Technology under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology. The hearing for the case will commence from March 23.
Vijay Goyal said, “When we go to shopping malls, these payment gateway charges are not included in our bills. If a product costs Rs 100, you pay Rs 100. But here, PVR and other movie theatres don't want to give up a cut from their revenue to the banks and so portals like BookMyShow give the theatres an option to either bear the payment gateway charges or pass it on to the customer’’.
Meanwhile, Harish Anand Thilakan, CEO of Influx Worldwide, the person responsible for building the ticketing apps of PVR cinemas, Cinepolis and other cinema hall chains worldwide told TNM, "This particular fee covers more than just TDRS. The cost actually encompasses the pretty large spends that cinemas need to incur in order to run efficient online ticketing engines. When any of these players allow you to log on through an app or website, keeping these running takes a lot of money. The cost of infrastructure to keep this going is big’’.
If any user feel that they are also being charged incorrectly for their transaction can file complaint on RBI’s website.