Multiplex ordered to pay Rs 11,000 for refusing to allow water bottle
The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) has asked a multiplex to pay a patron Rs 11,000 for refusing to allow him to carry a Rs 20 water bottle inside even though it had not made provision for free, clean drinking water inside the cinema hall. The Commission said a multiplex would be well within its right to disallow a patron to carry water bottle inside the theatre for security reason. However, this could not be a ruse by multiplex owners to force patrons, who have a right to drinking water, to buy exorbitantly priced bottled water from the cafeteria inside the cinema hall. The Commission believed that this constituted unfair trade practice within the meaning of Section 2 (r) of Consumer Protection Act, 1986.
“If a cinema hall, while prohibiting carrying of drinking water inside the hall, fails to make potable drinking water available to the cine-goers, it will be an act of deficiency in rendering service to them, they having paid a substantial amount for watching the movie in a comfortable and satisfying environment,” a bench of Justice VK Jain and Dr BC Gupta said.
“If such a deficiency is shown, the consumer forum would be fully justified in awarding suitable compensation to the complainant,” the bench emphasised.
Three residents in Agartala had moved the forum against Rupasi Multiplex for restraining them from carrying water bottles into the cinema hall while complaining that there was no provision for drinking water inside the multiplex, except the option of buying highly priced water bottles from the cafeteria.
The NCDRC said: “If drinking water is available for purchase from the cafeteria of the cinema hall, that, in our view, would not be enough, considering the high cost of drinking water sold in cinema halls. Not everyone may be in a position to afford drinking water at such huge price, which normally is many times more than the price at which such water is available in the market outside the cinema halls.”
Air India fined for offloading passenger
Offloading a passenger due to overbooking has cost Air India Rs 50,000.
“Off-loading is done by airlines for commercial gain. Airlines are not concerned with the problems faced by passengers, whose schedule goes haywire in spite of having confirmed tickets in hand,” said the New Delhi Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum.
The complainant, a resident of Noida, was awarded the compensation to be paid by Air India, besides litigation costs of Rs 15,000.
The complainant had booked a seat on an Air India flight from Mumbai to Frankfurt on 8 January 2007. He was offloaded by the airlines, which offered him an alternate flight to Frankfurt via London. This was not acceptable as the complainant did not have a London visa. He was refunded the ticket amount after deduction of taxes. The complainant said the staff was very rude in handling the matter, which forced him to move the forum.
The airline admitted that the complainant was offloaded as a standard practice in cases of overbooking and was offered an alternate flight via London, which required a transit visa.