A Case Against BookMyShow, PVR Filed For Charging Illegal Internet Handling Fee

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“Nowadays, in the digital world, everything is being confined to your mobile phone or computer. Now you can book online movie tickets through the website through your phone or laptop to watch the movie.

The technology has advanced so rapidly that many firms have even started fooling people as people are less aware of legal tech rights. A similar case has been observed in India by famous online platforms which are used for booking movie tickets. Have you ever wondered what is “extra internet handling charge that you pay for every ticket is? Movie ticketing applications and websites such as BookMyShow and PVR are wrongly charging customers for ‘internet handling fees’. While paying for the movie ticket online, the user charges some amount in the name of internet handling charges.

According to an RTI filed by customers, it has come to the notice of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) that these movie ticket booking platforms services have no right to charge the Internet handling fees to customers and they violate the RBI’s Merchant Discount Rate (MDR) rules. MDR is a payment gateway fee which is given by the trader to accept the customer’s payment through debit or credit card.

In response to an RTI query filed by RBI, Vijay Gopal, chairman of Forum Against Corruption, Hyderabad, that the traders have to pay the fee for internet-based online transactions. But when it comes to film tickets, this fee is now being given to the consumer by online ticket booking portals, such as BookMyShow. According to the movie booking portals, the handling fee is essential for delivering premium services to the customers. This special duty is more than TDRs only. 

Activitist Vijay Gopal, who filed the case, says it is baseless, that it was an absurd argument given by such firms that handling charges may be charged to customers due to other services. Does the cost of the tickets not include the cost of the services? Forum Against Corruption has approached the consumer court in Hyderabad against the Department of Information Technology, under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, along with BookMyShow and PVR.