Cineworld scraps 'rip-off' card fees

Multiplex cinema player Cineworld is scrapping 'rip-off' payment fees on internet booking charges. It's estimated such charges - unfairly loading the price of theatre tickets, flights and holidays - cost UK families several hundred million a year.

Some councils have also begun to charge the public these cheeky card fees. Will other businesses follow Cineworld's example?

Strong support

They may be forced to - hopefully. The government is working on plans to ban the stealth fee practice by the end of 2012. So the likes of Cineworld aren't scrapping the move out of love for the public.

In the past these charges could rack up, typically when families attempted to book holidays or flights. The BBC claims one family was charged more than £70 in such fees last year when it booked several airline tickets.

Public government bodies like DVLA have also hit the public for such charges in the past; even some insurance companies. "This is good news," Which? said. "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."

Not justified

"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."

A spokesman for The UK Cards Association, a trade association for the UK card payments industry, told AOL Money they were "delighted that those few businesses who continue excessively charging us to use our cards are being brought into line by the end of the year."

"It is of course welcome," they added, "that some businesses are acting now to end these charges - they don't reflect the true costs of processing a card transaction in any way, are rarely up front and can't be justified."
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