Chennai: Online film ticketing majors are fleecing movie buffs by charging them a whopping Rs. 35.20 on each ticket booked online through their websites and apps.
“They are collecting this amount in the name of an 'Internet Handling Fee', violating the norms of the Reserve Bank of India,” said some activists.
According to an activist Mr. Devaranjan, "As per norms, these companies do not have the authority to levy internet handling fees on customers. This is a clear violation of RBI's Merchant Discount Rate(MDR) regulations."
The MDR is a payment gateway fee paid by merchants to the bank for accepting payments via debit or credit cards. As per the RBI, this fee has to be paid to banks by merchants for internet-based online transactions. "However, this fee is being collected from consumers by online ticket booking portals. Many online ticketing companies like BookMyShow collect illegal fees from the customers," he added.
For example, a movie ticket which costs Rs 152.55 ends up costing Rs 187.95 when booked through the portal BookMyShow. The firm collects Rs 35.40 for every ticket booked through its app and website. So if one wants to book three tickets for the same movie, he/she will have to pay Rs 106.20 extra.
Another activist, Mr. Sunderrajan, said that almost all companies that sell tickets online are fleecing their customers.
He asserted that the authorities must take necessary action to curb this practice which has been undertaken by online ticketing companies....