Digitalising the economy and anything connected with it are the most embraced activities of our times.
Meeting many of our daily requirements using the internet and mostly by click of a button is convenient.
So it may sound okay to levy a fee for this convenience.
But there’s an issue. While it’s convenient for the user, it’s more convenient for the service provider.
Take for example the airlines. Online booking saves a lot for the airline, like less staff required, no handling of cash or cheque, no printing of fancy tickets, ability to sell the unsold seats etc are some of them.
Then why penalise the customer for bringing in the convenience and saving.
And then the travel agent aggregators. They will not be in business unless people buy online. They get all of airline benefits mentioned above, plus plus. Then why charge fee to customers for their being in business!!
Cinema houses get all these privileges plus plus. And they’re also ready to partake in the looting.
I remember when I was managing card business, getting into arrangements with movie houses for giving random free tickets and other incentives if booked online using the card.
The same way, travel miles were awarded and redeemed online with participation from airlines and travel agents.
Then why in India where cashless society is a dream, the exploitation by airlines etc are allowed?
This has to change by regulation or customer pressure. Ease My Trip, a new travel provider doesn’t have a convenience fee. I wish ticket migration will happen to them.
However there’s another loophole. I booked some bargain air tickets through Ease My Trip without convenience fee. But for cancelling the tickets, I have to pay them and the airlines something more than the ticket price.
Cartels are illegal. Regulators should wake up and punish these guilty. Asking to pay more than the price for cancellation is a crime. Charging customers for the convenience enjoyed by the seller is also a crime.
Criminal activities are involved. High time for action and punishment.