Cinemas - Charged a card-handling fee
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The charge must reflect the actual cost to the cinema for processing the card transaction. Typically for a debit card this fee is 50 pence or less. For a credit card transaction, it is potentially a little more.
You should know
- A cinema has the right to charge you a booking fee, but it must be clearly shown when the price of the ticket is displayed
- Tickets are generally non-refundable, but if there is an issue with the film, raise it with the management. Refunds are usually at the local manager’s discretion, so ask to speak to the duty manager in the event of a problem
- If you have lost your ticket, keep any booking evidence so you can provide it as proof of purchase if needed
- An online order is deemed confirmed when you receive a booking confirmation and/or an email confirming the booking.
A cinema’s terms and conditions usually state that pre-booked tickets are non-refundable. If you contact the cinema, you might be allowed to change your tickets; as this is time sensitive, phone using the Resolver app and record your call.
If you booked online, and the booking appeared to have failed, you should check your email to see whether you received confirmation of the booking. If not, phone the cinema via the Resolver iPhone or Android app to check whether the booking has been confirmed.
If the film screening is cancelled, you are entitled to a full refund. The cinema is not required to give you a refund on the cost of transport to the venue if you have already arrived, but you can ask about its policy.
If you arrive late, you should still be allowed access to the cinema. The cinema can choose when this is, to minimise disruption to those watching the film.
Ticket sellers must give clear and honest information about prices and booking fees. If there are booking fees, check to see whether paying by debit card reduces them.
All additional fees must be clearly displayed from the outset when the price of the ticket is shown. There is no cap on the charge for booking fees.
Under a cinema’s terms and conditions, it is likely that any member of the public who is disruptive, noisy or aggressive can be removed. If this is the case, it is unlikely that you will be entitled to a refund.
If another member of the public is disturbing your experience, report it to a member of staff as quickly as possible.
Food & drinks
The cinema might have restrictions on what food and drink you can bring into the venue with you; it is likely that only alcohol purchased on-site is allowed to be consumed in the cinema.
It is illegal to record a movie. If you are caught, the cinema has the right to report you to police. The charge carries an unlimited fine and could mean a prison term of up to 10 years.
Films are given age ratings, and you must ensure that those who attend are the required age. The ratings are:
- U – suitable for all
- PG – parental guidance
- 12A – suitable for 12 years and older
- 15 – suitable for 15 years and older
- 18 – suitable for adults only.
If you have lost your ticket, consider whether you have any evidence of your purchase: for example, an email confirming the booking or a credit card receipt. You will need to provide proof of purchase for the cinema to consider reissuing your ticket.
Cinema Exhibitors’ Association card
If you need additional assistance when accessing a cinema, you should apply for the Cinema Exhibitors’ Association (CEA) card. This will allow a carer to attend the cinema with you for free.
If you have lost property at a cinema, and it is found, the cinema will hold onto it for you for a reasonable length of time.
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