Hyderabad: Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has ordered BookMyShow and INOX movies to pay Rs 10,000 as compensation to a customer for charging a convenience fee on movie tickets.

Complainant Harshavardhan Deole in June 2019 booked two movie tickets at INOX Maheshwari Parmeshwari in Kachiguda by paying Rs.315. The cost of the two tickets was Rs.276. BookMyShow however charged a convenience fee of Rs.39.

"In June 2019 only when I booked 3 tickets. The ticket price was Rs.414. But BookMyShow charged a convenience fee of Rs.59.46 which is contrary to RBI norms. The act of charging the convenience fee from the customers and making huge profits is against the RBI norms and amounts to unfair trade practice," said the complainant.

The complainant sent a legal notice to the opposite party claiming the refund of the entire bill amount and compensation. But the opposite party though received the legal notice failed to reply or comply.

Replying to the allegations, BookMyShow said that the complainant had paid only for the services availed by him. The company said the charges collected by them are permissible charges which are clearly displayed on their website.

"The claim of the complainant is not sufficiently supported by any factual and legal evidence and does not make out any cause of action, only to sensationalize the business operations of the opposite party. The present complaint is filed for cheap publicity," said BookMyShow.

BookMyShow noted that it is not regulated by RBI as such it does not require any authorization or approval from the RBI.

After observing all the documents and evidence, the commission observed that RBI has clarified that no such authorization was given to Book My Show to collect the internet handling charges/convenience fee and they also failed to file any proof or prove that any such authorization was given to them to collect internet handling charges/convenience fee from the customers by law. By collecting fees, BookMyShow is adopting the unfair trade practice and enriching themselves which has to be curtailed, the commission said.

The commission asked BookMyShow to refund the internet handling charges of Rs.39.64 and Rs 59.46 vide two transactions after deducting Rs.6 from each. The internet handling charges for Andhra Pradesh and Telangana is Rs 6 per ticket plus applicable facilitation charges based on Section 6A of the IT Act, 2000.

Further INOX and BookMyShow are jointly and severally liable to pay a compensation of Rs.10, 000 for causing inconvenience and hardship. They were also asked to pay a sum of Rs.10,000 towards litigation charges.

Sumit Kumar Jha

Sumit Kumar Jha is currently a multimedia journalist with Newsmeter. An alumnus of Hyderabad Central University and Amity University, he has interned with The New Indian Express and CGNet Swara. Sumit has also worked with video production houses in Mumbai as an assistant director in shows like 21 Sarfrosh for Discovery Jeet. He is specialised in Video Production. He was also the contributor at PARI network. Hailing from rural Bihar has spent his childhood shifting from places and people. Growing up he felt the need to document the lives and dreams of rural India. A lover of visual storytelling goes around the cities to search for Stories. He primarily reports on civic, human interest and data stories.

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