Which? welcomes Cineworld’s announcement to remove booking fees

Following the announcement today by Cineworld that they will be removing all booking fees for online bookings, Which? executive director, Richard Lloyd, says:

“This is good news. Which? has long been campaigning for companies to put an end to hidden and disproportionate surcharges so we’re pleased that Cineworld is leading the way and hope that other companies follow their lead.

“The Government’s decision to ban excessive fees was a victory for consumers but this is just a drop in the ocean. 50,000 people supported our campaign to see these “rip-off” charges stamped out so Government must stick to its commitment and ensure the ban happens by December 2012.”

Notes to Editor

What Which? has done to tackle surcharges:

Which? submitted a super complaint to the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) in March 2011, asking the regulator to investigate hidden and excessive credit and debit card surcharges.

In June 2011 the OFT upheld Which?’s super complaint into surcharges, agreeing that they cause a significant problem to consumers. The OFT recommended that businesses make payment charges transparent by including the cost of debit card payments in the headline price. It also committed to taking enforcement action against companies that persisted in hiding the price of paying by card.

In December 2011 Which? secured commitment from the Government to ban excessive debit and credit card surcharges. The Government committed to doing this by bringing forward implementation of Article 19 of the CRDby 18 months to December 2012.

The CRD will prevent businesses levying excessive fees for paying card by limiting charges to the ‘borne cost’ incurred by the retailer (i.e so it will only cost the consumer what it costs the business to process the payment). The Government committed to this coming into force by the end of 2012. The Government is due to launch a consultation on this by Easter. Which? will be engaging thoroughly in this consultation.

For more information visit: www.which.co.uk/surcharges