Forum Against Corruption has moved the Hyderabad court against e-ticketing service providers PVR and BookMyShow for levying extra ‘internet handling fees’. The petition also names the Department of Information and Technology. The case is scheduled to be heard on 23 March.
Vijay Gopal, president of the Hyderabad-based NGO, had filed an RTI to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). It revealed that the services do not have the authority to charge customers an additional ‘internet handling charge’. The current service is in violation of the Merchant Discount Rate (MDR) regulations.
The MDR is a payment gateway fee paid by the merchant to the bank for accepting customer payments via debit or credit card.
“When we go to shopping malls, these payment gateway charges are not included in our bills. If a product costs Rs 100, you pay Rs 100. But here, PVR and other movie theatres don’t want to give up a cut from their revenue to the banks and so portals like BookMyShow give the theatres an option to either bear the payment gateway charges or pass it on to the customer,” says activist Vijay Gopal who filed the case.