Latest News

Back to Latest News back

 

Palace Cinemas pays ACCC penalty over online booking fees

Palace Cinemas pays ACCC penalty over online booking fees
July 20, 2016

The Palace Cinemas chain has paid a penalty of $10,800 after being issued with an infringement notice by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), as a result of the Commission’s concerns over its online pricing practices.

The ACCC issued the infringement notice based on what it referred to as “reasonable grounds to believe” that Palace Cinemas Pty Ltd had breached the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) by failing to prominently disclose the total single price, including the compulsory booking fee, for cinema tickets purchased using its online booking process.

The ACCC was critical of the chain’s online booking process as the Palace Cinemas' website did not display the final, total price, including the $1.30 booking fee, until the user reached the last page.

ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said it began to "clean up the industry" in the middle of last year, with much of the focus on stamping out "drip pricing" during the online booking process.

He said other chains such as Hoyts and Village quickly responded to its concerns, but Palace Cinemas was slow to act.

Sims added “(businesses are) supposed to provide the total price up front and not mislead people by telling them one price, when in fact the final price is something different.

"It has the potential to affect the purchasing decisions of consumers who focus on the advertised price, without being aware of the final price which includes additional fees that have to be paid."

Palace Cinemas Chief Executive, Benjamin Zeccola, described the penalty as "completely unfair" because its website - both old and new - were, in his view, always compliant with the law.

Zeccola, son of founder Antonio Zeccola, added that the old website wasn't capable of instantly calculating and displaying the total ticket price. The software required the user to click the "proceed" button.

For the past 1.5 years the family-run business has worked on revamping the website, with their new websiter launched this week.

Zeccola stated “our website is and always was compliant and all fees and charges were disclosed at the appropriate time, as soon as it was humanly and technologically possible.”

Zeccola said the business paid the penalty because there was no mechanism to dispute it.

The chain of 20 cinemas, including Palace Verona in Sydney and the historic art deco Astor Theatre in Melbourne, has received complaints about the $1.30 booking fee, but hardly any about the online booking process.

Payment of an ACCC penalty is not an admission of a breach of the law

1st May 2016 - FRONTIER TOURING ISSUES FACEBOOK WARNING ON TICKET SCALPING AND UNAUTHORISED RESELLERS

18th December 2015 - LIVE PERFORMANCE AUSTRALIA DEMANDS THAT TICKETING COMPANIES PROTECT CONSUMERS

13th July 2015 - AUSTRALIAN CINEMAS HEADING FOR A RECORD YEAR

24th June 2014 - FEDERAL GOVERNMENT LEAVES TICKET SCALPING ACTION TO THE ACCC

22nd February 2014 - ACCC TO CRACKDOWN ON ONLINE TICKET BOOKING FEES

20th February 2013 - LIVE PERFORMANCE AUSTRALIA EXPLAINS ACCEPTANCE OF THE TICKETING CODE OF PRACTICE

 

 

 


Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.

 

supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all

LANDER & ROGERS

Lander & Rogers' Sports Business Group is the leading sports law practice in Australia, representing over 150 national and international sporting bodies. Our clients include international…

read more

Legal

 
 

Hydrocare Pool Services

Hydrocare Pool Services Pty Ltd offer 25 years of experience in aquatic industry features, products and water treatment. Hydrocare Pools has undertaken water treatment for aquatic centres and…

read more

Aquatics / Attractions / Play / Recreation / Technology

 
 

HTS Group Ltd

HTS Group Ltd provides a complete design, system integration, installation and maintenance package to the transportation, traffic engineering, parking and sports timing industries in New Zealand,…

read more

Aquatics / Events / Sport / Technology

 
 

GEOFF NINNES FONG AND PARTNERS

Geoff Ninnes Fong & Partners (GNFP) is a structural, aquatic and civil engineering consultancy with broad experience in the design of new municipal and institutional swimming pools, hydrotherapy…

read more

Aquatics / Consultants / Design / Venues

 
 

QUAYCLEAN

Quayclean are a national cleaning and waste services partner with proven results in the understanding and delivery of cleaning needs and challenges faced by facilities including; major venues and…

read more

Aquatics / Hospitality / Surfaces / Venues

 
 

AAC ID SOLUTIONS

AAC ID Solutions is a leading supplier of identification access wristbands, barcoded wristband tickets, lanyards, membership products and RFID solutions for events and venues, working with thousands…

read more

Access / Marketing / Safety / Ticketing

 
 

TRISLEYS HYDRAULIC SERVICES

Trisley's Hydraulic Services P/L (THS) are a specialised pool company dealing with all aspects of the commercial swimming pool industry, including the installation and servicing from the smallest…

read more

Aquatics / Design / Play / Waterparks

 
 

MYZONE

Myzone is the industry’s leading wearable technology solution. Myzone’s wearable products show and reward effort when you work out. It displays accurate real-time heart rate, calories, and…

read more

Fitness / Sport / Technology / Wellness

 
 
 
 

get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business