BookMyShow, PVR Slapped With Rs 36,000 Penalty For Charging Internet Handling Fees; Rs 6 To Be Maximum Internet Handling Fees
Film entertainment company and multiplex major PVR and online aggregator BookMyShow have now been penalized for charging internet handling charges on consumers.
A penalty of Rs. 5000 has been imposed by the court for “unfair” charges imposed by PVR and BookMyShow by the Hyderabad District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission.
BookMyShow And PVR Penalised For Levying Unfair Charges
Last year, Vijay Gopal, who is the President of the Hyderabad-based ‘Forum Against Corruption’ filed an RTI with Reserve Bank of India, asking this very question: Can BookMyShow, PVR and others charge this Internet Handling Fees for booking tickets online?
As per the RTI reply, Merchant Discount Rate (MDR) is a fee which the merchant needs to pay to the bank, for every transaction done by a consumer.
Hence, say you book a ticket at BookMyShow, whose price is Rs 138, there will be a MDR of Rs 16.80, which BookMyShow needs to pay to the bank, whose card/online banking platform was used for the making the payment.
But in reality, BookMyShow charges this extra Rs 16.80 from the consumer and labels it as Internet Handling Fee. This is clearly wrong, because RBI’s MDR rule clearly states that the merchant needs to pay this fees to the bank, not the consumer. Rs 3.02 Integrated GST (IGST) at 18% will also be charged on a movie ticket of Rs 138, which the consumer needs to pay.
Highest Fee Restrained To Rs. 6?
As per the order, “this Forum is constrained to hold that the additional amount of Rs.41.78/- per two tickets under the head “Internet Handling Charges”…amounts to unfair trade practice as defined under Sec.2(1)of the Consumer Protection Act.”
A penalty of Rs. 5000 has to be paid towards Consumer Legal Aid Account of the court. Also, a compensation of Rs. 25000 and Rs. 1000 litigation cost has to be paid to the complainant by PVR and BookMyShow.
The ‘internet handling charges’ have been deemed as “unfair” by the Hyderabad District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission and PVR and BookMyShow have been restrained from levying a fee of more than Rs. 6.