Dendy Cinemas killed off its online booking fee last year with much fanfare, but like all good zombies, it has returned to haunt movie-goers with a vengeance.
In June last year, Dendy announced that the booking fee was an anachronism that deterred potential patrons and tainted customer satisfaction.
“The advantage of saving time and hassle by booking online has to date come at a cost to the consumer with the booking fees that get added at the end of the online transaction. For many, this has been an obstacle to booking online and by removing booking fees, Dendy will unlock all these great benefits for all patrons to enjoy,” Dendy said on the Filmink website.
Dendy did not fail to let cinema-goers know about its generosity, pasting “DENDY SAYS GOODBYE TO BOOKING FEES. $0.00 Booking fee per ticket applies to all online purchases!” at the bottom of its booking pages.
Back in 2017, the fee was $1.20 but Dendy has quietly re-introduced the charge – bigger and better, with patrons wanting to book online now being touched for $1.50.
At the time Dendy chief executive Greg Hughes spruiked the change as part of the company’s innovative culture, telling Filmink that Dendy loved innovation and finding ways to attract patrons and exceed their expectations.
He also told the Herald Sun: “We at Dendy realised that businesses often spend too much time rationalising anachronistic practices like booking fees and not enough time focusing on what really matters which is just figuring out how to improve satisfaction by listening to your customers.”
One such Canberra customer contacted Region Media to let us know about the zombie fee and is far from satisfied.
“After a great laudatory celebration (Au revoir, Bye-bye, Sayonara, etc.) a couple of years ago regarding the removal of the fee, the theatre slipped the fees back onto their website over the last couple of months. When questioned, Dendy responded that they had ‘improved their website’ or something to justify the backflip and the reimposition of the $1.50 charge,” the punter said.
“Such sneakiness really is a turnoff and has reduced my family’s visits to Dendy.
“Think that a rethink on this might be in Dendy’s long-term interests. Otherwise, it smacks of greedy penny pinching and a strong whiff of sneakiness. Or, come out in the open with a high-profile campaign, on the order of ‘Hello, Bonjour, Gutentag … welcome back our $1.50 booking fees!” I am sure it will go over really well.”
Dendy was approached for comment but did not respond.