Movie-ticket subscription service Sinemia is at the centre of a class action lawsuit in the US state of Delaware for claims relating to alleged hidden fees charged by the company to its subscribers.
The Business Insider website said that the lawsuit revolves around a new $1.80 (£1.40/€1.60) per ticket “processing fee” that the company introduced in mid-October. This has led to complaints that subscriptions have subsequently been devalued, while customers have also criticised the response of Sinemia customer support to questions over the changes.
Founded in Turkey in 2015, Sinemia launched in the US in February and has recently sought to capitalise on the difficulties encountered by rival platform MoviePass.
Sinemia has also been seeking to revamp its business model, but has now come under fire for its practices.
Law firm Chimicles & Tikellis LLP has filed a class action lawsuit in Delaware on behalf of two plaintiffs. In a statement, the firm said: “The complaint, filed in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware, alleges that Sinemia added hidden processing fees for each movie ticket obtained through its movie plans, despite advertising the plans as having one monthly price and despite many customers having already paid for an entire year in advance.
“The complaint, which was filed on behalf of consumers who purchased movie plans from Sinemia, brings claims under various consumer protection statutes as well as common law claims alleging breach of contract, unjust enrichment, breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and fraudulent concealment.”
In a statement to Business Insider, Sinemia said: “From the beginning, the goal of Sinemia has been to make the moviegoing experience much more affordable and enjoyable for moviegoers by covering for the cost of the movie ticket. While nobody enjoys fees, there are certain costs related to booking and processing outside of the price of the movie ticket that are out of our control.
“A processing fee of up to $1.80 applies so that Sinemia can continue to provide access to all showtimes for all movies in all theatres without restrictions as well as to keep our subscription plans and services consistent, as they have been since the founding of the company. Also, Sinemia is developing a feature in the app which will allow users to order physical cards in December or earlier.”