Fridays have a very special place in our hearts. The day signals the end of a work week and the beginning of the weekend. It is also the day when our favourite movies release. Last week it was Badla and Captain Marvel, while this week it is Photograph. But there’s one tiny detail about booking movie tickets on a Friday that irritates me to no end.
And that’s paying ‘internet handling fees’ levied by portals and apps like BookMyShow and PVR.
@bookmyshow is not authorised to charge #Internet handling fee as per @RBI. #Court hearing on March 23. I think ‘PAY WHAT YOU SEE’ policy is much better than taxes and other charges adding up in the end. @LogicalIndians pic.twitter.com/zuvx1bsD5c
— Gautam Nambiar (@gautamnambiar) March 15, 2019
An RTI has now revealed that charging ‘Internet handling fee’ is against RBI regulations.
According to The News Minute, Vijay Gopal, the president of ‘Forum Against Corruption’ filed an RTI with the Reserve Bank of India asking if these platforms were entitled to charge this fee. The RBI, in turn, replied saying that it is supposed to be borne by the merchant and not end customers.
Under RBI policies, merchants are required to pay a fee or Merchant Discount Rate (MDR) to banks when they accept payments online from customers via credit/debit cards. But portals such as BookMyShow and PVR have been passing it on instead of paying it themselves.
After receiving this reply, Vijay Gopal filed a case against BookMyShow, PVR and the Department of Information Technology in a Hyderabad consumer court.
Glad to share, A case has bee filed in the Hyd Consumer Court-3 against BookMyshow, PVR and the IT Dept. If GOI or shifting the operating cost of the theatre to the consumers calling it Internet Handling Fee. Justice will be served soon like sizzlers..!! pic.twitter.com/FsWnf6tDKf
— VijayGopal (@VijayGopal_) March 10, 2019
The hearing for the case is scheduled for March 23. I sincerely hope that the court penalises these platforms for over-charging customers without authorisation. And we can all enjoy our beloved movie Fridays without hurting the pocket.