The ticket price of the same movie is different, the price of tickets purchased by different people is different, and the face amount is different from the actual amount

How much trickery is hidden behind a movie ticket?

□ reporter Han Dandong

□ Intern Zheng Ting

Recently, according to many netizens, the same cinema, the same movie, different platforms have different purchase prices, which is unfair.

Through investigation, the reporter of "Rule of Law Daily" found that not only the ticket price of the same movie on different platforms may be different, but the price of different people buying on the same platform may also be different, and even the amount displayed on the ticket and the actual payment amount may be different. In addition, the issue of refund and change of movie tickets has also been repeatedly criticized.

In this regard, the experts interviewed by reporters called on relevant regulatory departments and film-related industry organizations to establish and improve relevant industry standards and systems, guide operators in the industry to be honest and self-reliant, actively safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of consumers, actively promote the healthy development of the industry, and maintain the image of the industry. Relevant regulatory departments strengthen supervision of the industry, investigate and deal with obvious violations of laws and regulations or acts that harm consumer rights and interests in accordance with the law, and urge the implementation of rectification.

The platform uses big data to "kill familiarity"

Ms. Wang from Shanghai recently bought two movie tickets on a ticketing platform for 45 yuan each, for a total price of 90 yuan. But 30 minutes before the movie began, Ms. Wang found that the ticket price suddenly became 25 yuan a piece. After looking at the seat map, there are still seats in the best viewing area, and there are no cases where seats in the non-optimal viewing area are sold at a discount.

Ms. Luo from Chengdu, Sichuan Province, also noticed a difference in price when she bought movie tickets with friends. Ms. Luo and her friends both applied for VIP on a certain platform, but Ms. Luo found that in the same seat, her friend's mobile phone showed 23.9 yuan per movie ticket, and her mobile phone showed 34 yuan per movie ticket, a difference of 10.1 yuan.

According to Rao Wei, a senior partner at Beijing Tiantai Law Firm, if there are still some vacant seats near the start of the movie, the platform sells them at a reduced price in order to attract customer flow and increase marginal revenue, which is a market behavior. For consumers who purchase tickets first, as long as there is no additional fee and the seat is not adjusted, the personal rights and interests are not harmed.

"If the platform uses the collected data for systematic analysis, treats different consumers differently, or even imposes higher prices on certain types of consumers, this is also commonly known as the phenomenon of 'killing familiarity'." Rao Wei said that if there is no special reason, the platform is suspected of infringing on consumers' right to fair trade, and consumers have the right to fair trading conditions such as quality assurance and reasonable prices when purchasing goods or receiving services.

Chen Yinjiang, deputy secretary-general of the Consumer Rights Protection Law Research Association of the China Law Society, said that from the perspective of business operators, the transaction rules and price standards formulated should be fair and reasonable. Business operators should disclose to consumers the transaction rules and price standards in which they have an important interest. If there is no corresponding publicity, the price is different, resulting in consumers who could have enjoyed more money because they do not understand the corresponding rules, and the consumer's right to know is not fully protected.

Recently, after opening some third-party ticketing platforms, the reporter found that there are indeed different ticket prices for the same cinema and the same movie, and the studio's own ticketing platform will be several yuan cheaper than the third-party ticketing platform. The purchase price of the same movie in different time periods will also be different, and the price will generally be reduced as the broadcast time approaches, or even significantly reduced.

For the reason why the cinema's ticketing platform is cheaper than the third-party ticketing platform, Wang Sen (pseudonym), the person in charge of a Beijing cinema, explained to reporters that the third-party ticketing platform needs to charge the corresponding technical service fee, and the studio's own ticketing platform does not charge service fees, so that the audience can enjoy discounts, so the ticket price will be lower.

The face price does not match the actual price

The reporter also found that there are many merchants selling low-priced movie tickets on the online platform, and the price of each movie ticket ranges from 10 yuan to 20 yuan. Consumers only need to open the ticketing platform to find the show they want to see and choose a seat, and then send the screenshot to the merchant, after payment, the merchant will send the QR code to the customer, and the customer can go to the theater self-service ticket machine to collect the ticket.

According to the reporter, the general theater sells tickets for tens of yuan, and it is often only a dozen yuan to buy them from these merchants or scalpers.

Wang Sen told reporters that many scalpers on the market can buy movie tickets, but he does not know how scalpers buy them. Since the actual displayed price of the scalper movie ticket after issuance is different from the normal ticket price, the theater is not responsible for the refund or change of such movie tickets.

The reporter learned in the interview that there is another "strange" phenomenon about movie tickets: the price displayed on the face of the movie ticket is often inconsistent with the money paid when the ticket was purchased.

Ms. Zhang from Dongying, Shandong Province, bought a movie ticket on a third-party ticketing platform, and when she bought the ticket, the price of the movie ticket was 39.9 yuan, and the ticket service fee was 6 yuan. The price of the movie ticket shown on the paper movie ticket is 40.9 yuan, and the movie ticket service fee is 5 yuan, and the price display is inconsistent.

What's more, the face price is much lower than the actual amount paid. Ms. Liu from Shanghai purchased 3 movie tickets through the ticketing platform, and the purchase price showed that the amount was 109 yuan per ticket. After taking the ticket to watch the movie, Ms. Liu found out after being reminded by a friend that the face price of the movie was displayed as 94 yuan, and the movie ticket price was different from the actual paid fare, and the total of 3 tickets was 45 yuan more.

In this regard, Chen Yinjiang said that the actual transaction price should be the price shown on the ticket, and the merchant should provide equivalent consumption vouchers.

Rao Wei said: According to the "Provisions on Clearly Marked Prices and Prohibition of Price Gouging", when business operators sell or purchase goods and provide services, they should clearly mark prices in accordance with the regulations of the market supervision and management departments. Clearly marked prices shall be based on the characteristics of goods, services, industries, regions, etc., so that they are true and accurate, the labels are in place, and the labels are eye-catching. For movie ticket prices, the platform ticket purchase price should be consistent with the face price, and if the platform needs to charge a service fee, it shall clearly inform consumers in writing, clearly distinguishing the fare from the service fee price.

Induce consumers to open cards and recharge

When purchasing movie tickets on third-party ticketing platforms, it is often seen that you can enjoy preferential prices for movie park cards or discount cards, and the price after the discount is displayed, but can I really buy at the displayed preferential price after applying for the card?

In early August, Ms. Wu from Zhuzhou, Hunan Province, bought a one-month movie discount card on a platform, and the preferential price after opening a ticket was 8.30 yuan after card opening. However, after Ms. Wu opened the monthly card according to the interface prompts, the price after the discount became 5.35 yuan.

Ms. Wu later asked a friend for verification and found that when she did not open the monthly card, the preferential price after opening the card was also 30.5 yuan, so why was the preferential price not the displayed price after opening the card? Ms. Wu suspects that this is not a display problem, but may be that the merchant made false advertisements to induce consumers to recharge, and Ms. Wu also found that there was no way to refund.

Subsequently, Ms. Wu complained about this phenomenon. The platform contacted Ms. Wu and promised to adjust the price within ten days to verify, but when Ms. Wu checked it recently, she found that this phenomenon was still not corrected, and "some people ate this kind of dumb loss without paying attention."

Coincidentally, Ms. Xu from Jiaxing, Zhejiang Province, also encountered the same situation. The ticket purchase page shows that all tickets start from 20.8 yuan after purchasing the movie park card, and after Ms. Xu spent 30 yuan to buy the movie park card, she looked for it on the ticket purchase page and did not find a movie ticket of 20.8 yuan, and the lowest movie ticket price was 39.9 yuan.

In this regard, Ms. Xu was very puzzled: "If there is no movie ticket of 20.8 yuan, why mark it from 20.8 yuan?" Why do you have to specifically mark the studio card from 20.8 yuan? ”

According to Ms. Wu and Ms. Xu, for such phenomena, the platform took the form of returning the money for the card and giving a coupon of 10 yuan or 20 yuan as compensation, which "did not really solve the problem."

Regarding the above problems, Rao Wei suggested that if the rights and interests of consumers are infringed, they can negotiate with the operator to solve it, or they can report it by calling 12315, or they can complain to the market supervision and management department or protect their rights through judicial channels. Industry regulatory departments shall strengthen the regulatory system, regulate the problem of opaque and untrue information in the ticketing process, and at the same time improve the complaint hotline and increase the supervision of encouraging inter-industry.

The mechanism for refund and change urgently needs to be improved

When it comes to the issue of refund and change of movie tickets, many viewers have reported that it is very troublesome to refund and change movie tickets, some can only be changed without refund, while some are neither allowed nor changed.

In September 2018, the China Film Distribution and Projection Association issued the Notice on the Regulations on "Refund and Change" of Movie Tickets, which clearly stipulates that third-party ticketing platforms, cinema websites or their own apps should pop up the "refund and change" agreement for movie tickets before the audience purchases and pays for the ticket, make sure that the audience understands the rules, and click "Agree" to upload before the audience can further pay the ticket.

The reporter checked and found that the rules for refund and change on different platforms are different. When purchasing and paying for tickets on some third-party ticketing platforms, a refund and change agreement will pop up. The agreement states: "The cancellation and change service can only be applied to theaters that support the refund and change service. Among them, theaters marked with 'refund' logo support refunds, and theaters marked with 'change' logo support refunds. ”

The reporter randomly clicked on the details pages of ten theaters in some third-party ticketing platforms and found that the refund and change rules of each theater were different. Some allow "refunds 30 minutes to 60 minutes before the screening for users who have not collected tickets, and 1 minute to 60 minutes before the screening", while some allow "refunds for users who have not collected tickets 24 hours before the screening, and can change tickets 1 hour before the screening", while many national movie chains only allow changes 60 minutes before the screening, and do not allow refunds.

In this regard, Chen Yinjiang said that once sold, the non-refundable ticket is suspected of being an overlord clause, which is an invalid and non-legally binding clause. The Law on the Protection of Rights and Interests of Consumers stipulates that businesses cannot restrict the rights of consumers through the form of such standard clauses, nor can they reduce the liability of business operators through such standard clauses, and such acts and regulations restrict the rights of consumers.

In Rao Wei's view, after purchasing movie tickets, a consumer service contract is established between the platform and the consumer. Before the release of the film, the main obligations of the platform have not yet been fulfilled. Consumers ask for changes or even termination of the contract, and the platform should not refuse. The clause that does not allow the return or change is a standard clause that increases the responsibility of consumers and should be an invalid clause.

"Of course, you can refer to the rules of ticket refund fees, such as the shorter the departure time, the refund fee or deduction amount can be higher, but it cannot be completely prohibited." Rao Wei said. (Rule of Law Daily)