Placeholder canvas
Igniting Ideas For impact

Embarking on a transformative journey through six chapters, we traverse India's landscape, exploring pioneering startups and their revolutionary...

7 months

Booked a Movie Ticket Online & Paid ‘Internet Handling Fees’? RBI Says You Shouldn’t!

Frequently book movie tickets online through a mobile app or a website? Find out why RBI has just labelled that extra ‘internet handling fee’ as illegal! #ConsumerRights

Booked a Movie Ticket Online & Paid ‘Internet Handling Fees’? RBI Says You Shouldn’t!

BookMyShow, a leading online ticket vendor, and PVR, the multiplex chain, have come recently come under the microscope for charging an extra ‘internet handling fee’ which is added to each movie ticket purchased on their app or website.

Responding to an RTI filed by Vijay Gopal, the president of the Hyderabad-based ‘Forum Against Corruption,’ the RBI said that these platforms do not have the authority to levy the fee.

They further added that it is a gross violation of the central bank’s Merchant Discount Rate (MDR) regulations.

Following this revelation, Vijay Gopal has moved a consumer court in Hyderabad against BookMyShow, PVR and the Department of Information Technology, for their apparent inability to enforce this important regulation.

The case is scheduled for hearing on March 23, 2019.

(Source: Web 2 SMS/Facebook)
For representational purposes only. (Source: Web 2 SMS/Facebook)

So, what is MDR?

It is a payment gateway fee that the merchant (which in this case is BookMyShow) pays to the bank for accepting payment from its customers using their debit or credit cards.

Unlike the customer, it’s the merchant who has to pay MDR and has no authority to pass on the cost to the consumer.

In the parlance of online entities like BookMyShow, the ‘internet handling fee’ amounts to the additional booking fee (ostensibly to offset the MDR they have to pay) plus the integrated GST (IGST), on top of the original ticket price you’re already paying.

For example, if you purchase a premium ticket at the Cinepolis in Orion East Mall, Bengaluru, you have to pay a total of Rs 297.76, which includes the original ticket price of Rs 260 plus Rs 32 as ‘Booking Fees’ and IGST amounting to Rs 5.76.

For representational purposes only.
For representational purposes only.

Speaking to various publications, Vijay Gopal alleged that this practice isn’t merely limited to online ticket vendors like BookMyShow. Cab services and food delivery apps also levy this charge.

He even criticized the government for its inability to track such gross violations of the RBI’s MDR regulations.

Also Read: BIS Standards for Education & Health Services Coming Up Soon: All You Need to Know

What can you do as a consumer?

Well, the RBI responded to the RTI query stating that those who want to issue their complaint against entities regulated by the central bank can visit

Reporting a violation will require the consumer to approach the specific bank that the merchant is using to make that particular transaction.

If the bank does not act within the stipulated 30 days from the day of filing the complaint, or if its response leaves a lot to be desired, the customer must approach the RBI Banking Ombudsman.

(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)

Like this story? Or have something to share?
Write to us:
Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter

This story made me

  • feel inspired icon
  • more aware icon
  • better informative icon
  • do something icon

Tell Us More

We bring stories straight from the heart of India, to inspire millions and create a wave of impact. Our positive movement is growing bigger everyday, and we would love for you to join it.

Please contribute whatever you can, every little penny helps our team in bringing you more stories that support dreams and spread hope.

Support the biggest positivity movement section image Support the biggest positivity movement section image


See All
Sign in to get free benefits
  • Get positive stories daily on email
  • Join our community of positive ambassadors
  • Become a part of the positive movement