Tang Shan Ke

  This year's Spring Festival movie market is booming, but some consumers have discovered that when watching 3D movies, some theaters do not provide free 3D glasses, and need to purchase or rent them additionally.

On an online complaint platform, there were 244 complaints about theaters not providing free 3D glasses. Among them, the number of complaints in January 2023 increased by 126.6% compared with December 2022, accounting for 15% of the total.

In theaters in many places, many viewers also expressed confusion and dissatisfaction with paying for 3D glasses.

  3D glasses are standard equipment for watching 3D movies. Consumers cannot do without 3D glasses when they go to the cinema to watch 3D movies, just as they cannot do without tableware such as bowls and chopsticks when eating in a restaurant.

And the ticket price of 3D movies is often higher than that of ordinary movies, and the price should include service fees for viewing equipment such as 3D glasses.

The provision of 3D glasses is of the same nature as the provision of services such as seats, screens, lighting, and venues, and they are all included in the general category of cinema services.

  That is to say, whether it is based on the movie viewing contract (movie ticket) with the ticket price as the main content, or based on the special nature of 3D movies, movie theaters have the obligation to provide consumers with 3D glasses services.

Some movie theaters require consumers to bear the cost of 3D glasses in the form of purchase or lease, which constitutes repeated charges, shifts the responsibility that should have been borne by itself, and increases the burden on consumers.

  Movie theaters unilaterally require consumers to bear the cost of 3D glasses, which is a standard contract or standard clause.

Article 26 of the "Consumer Rights Protection Law" stipulates that operators shall not exclude or limit consumers' rights, reduce or exempt operators' responsibilities, or aggravate consumers' responsibilities by means of standard terms, notices, statements, store notices, etc. Unfair and unreasonable regulations for consumers shall not use standard terms and technical means to force transactions.

The payment model for 3D glasses in movie theaters violates the principles of fairness, good faith and good faith set by the Consumer Rights Protection Law. It has the main characteristics of an illegal contract and violates the legitimate rights and interests of consumers. It is of course untenable in law. , has no effect.

  In recent years, there have been some differences in the industry regarding the payment model for 3D glasses. Some movie theaters have successively launched a payment model for 3D glasses, but many movie theaters have always insisted on providing them for free. As a result, many consumer disputes have arisen.

In response to this consumption dispute, as early as 2019, the official Weibo of the China Consumers Association paid attention to the issue of "purchasing 3D glasses at one's own expense to watch 3D movies", and made a statement, believing that this behavior is a service obligation that theaters themselves should undertake Separated and passed on to consumers, it is a typical "unequal format clause" and is suspected of violating the "Consumer Rights Protection Law".

  The China Consumers Association has defined the payment model for 3D glasses in cinemas, drawing a clear legal red line and the bottom line of operator obligations.

It is hoped that the market supervision department can follow up in accordance with the law, define the payment mode of 3D glasses in cinemas from the perspective of supervision, regulate the business behavior of cinemas by means of administrative interviews, filing investigations, and ordering rectification, so as to create a fair and reasonable view for consumers. film consumption environment.

  In this regard, the theater industry needs to seriously reflect.

The domestic film market has been severely impacted by the epidemic for more than three years.

However, with the new crown virus infection changed to "Class B and B management", and with the continuous optimization of epidemic prevention and control measures, the film market has ushered in a momentum of rapid recovery, and movie theaters and other industry operators should cherish it.

At the critical moment of the recovery of the film market, if cinemas are eager for quick success and pass on the service fees of 3D glasses and other equipment to consumers, increasing the burden on consumers to watch movies, it is easy to produce a consumption push-off effect, causing the loss of consumer groups and causing consumers The decline in movie-watching experience and evaluation has affected the recovery and development of the film market.

  Movie theaters should settle the big and long-term accounts of development, keep the bottom line of integrity and law, use responsibility to ensure the comprehensiveness and fairness of services, reasonably determine the rights and obligations of consumers, improve the quality of services, and win the trust of consumers. It will also win market reputation and room for development for itself.