Consumer Rights?

Recently, I bought some movie tickets online from filmgarde, and found that I have to agree to some really unreasonable terms. The terms and conditions for the online purchase is found here.

It’s not very long, so lets look at it.

Movie tickets can only be purchased from this Website.

Standard clause? I just agreed that I cannot buy the tickets anywhere else. Not even physically at the box office! Some lawyer probably decided that a clause is required in case someone sets up a fake website to “sell” movie tickets… but the fake website could put in such a clause too! It serves no purpose.

Movie tickets purchased via this Website will be available for collection at the relevant cinema.

Prices on this Website include Tax where applicable.

Quite standard, nothing special.

Seat reservation for movie tickets purchased via this Website is on a "best available" basis and is carried out by a prescribed computer program. By purchasing movie tickets via this Website you agree that:

(a) you will accept the seat reserved for each ticket purchased; and

(b) We make no warranties or representations to you that you will be seated in a particular seat, row or section of the relevant cinema.

Hmm… so after I selected my seat, paid for it, and agreed to accept it in (a), the cinema now tells me that my seat is not guaranteed? Surely there is no need to cover themselves like that… what exactly am I purchasing then? A ticket or a voucher for a ticket?

You agree that we may at our discretion, refuse to sell movie tickets to you or withdraw any movie tickets from sale via this Website.

Movie tickets are made available subject to the classification of the relevant film given by the Office of Film and Literature Classification. Where voucher tickets are purchased, suitable identification must be presented upon collection of the tickets.

Normal clauses, but I noticed something else today. Another clue that the lawyer drafting this was simply too lazy… The “Office of Film and Literature Classification” is a term used in Australia or New Zealand.

In case you are wondering, ours is called the Board of Film Censors. Yes, we do not just classify, we censor… and there is also a Censorship Review Committee (CRC), formed to “review and update censorship objectives and principles”.

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