I recently sent off this note to Cinemark Holdings Inc., the corporation that operates Cinemark Tinseltown here in Vancouver, along with nearly 5000 other theatres in North and Central America.
To whom it may concern,
This weekend, I planned to attend a movie at your Vancouver cinema, Cinemark Tinseltown, with three of my friends. Wanting to ensure that we got tickets, I planned to purchase them on your website. During this process, I noticed that Cinemark charges a $1.00 service charge per ticket when I buy them online.
At a $12 ticket price, that works out to an 8% premium. This surprised me, as it surely costs your organization much less money to sell me an online ticket–you incur no staffing or printing costs–than to sell me one in person. In an ideal world, all of your patrons would buy their tickets at home. Why, then, are you charging me extra to make your life easier?
Your ludicrous service fee convinced my friends and I to attend a film at a Cineplex theatre instead. They charge no service fees for online ticket purchases. I was delighted to give them my money. Can you guess where I’ll spend my movie-going dollars in the future?