Why you should claim refund for a bad movie


When was the last time you had come out of a movie hall , Grumbling on a bad movie on how you have been taken for a ride by producer’s marketing machinery who promised a very different experience during the promos .

Have you ever wished that there was a way to get a refund . Technically YES . Since a movie is like any other service and a bad movie is service failure thus a service provider should be liable to compensate you .

For the current discussion lets only focus on the consumer who goes to a Movie hall to watch a movie after purchasing a full priced ticket and comes out theater complaining that movie is not worth the money and his money should be refunded .

Now in order to process a refund there are multiple steps involved

1) Understanding the Expectations of a Movie Goer
2) Establishing a Service Failure
3) Compensating for the loss

Let us look at each one of this process in more detail

1) Understanding the Expectations of a Movie Goer : A Movie goer’s expectations about the movie are product of multiple stimulus he has received (TV Promos , Radio Slots , Word of Mouth , Internet Campaigns , Direct Marketing etc) multiplied by (INDIVIDUAL perceptions about each of those stimulus) .

For some it could be as simple as knowledge of presence of a established actor. For others it could be as complex as having an awareness around innovative storyline backed by a good screenplay with no songs and dance, all canned in 90 minutes . The final expectation is thus very different for each and every consumer .

Unlike other services such as banking and IT which have predefined consumer satisfaction levels which apply to majority of customers . Here such a satisfaction measure is unique for each and every customer.

2) Establishing a Service Failure : Once a customer complains .How do you investigate the service failure . A Movie hall never captures the customer expectations (In consulting it is called as documenting a clear understanding of customer’s requirements) . At the time of purchasing a ticket a consumer does not sign on an expectation scorecard or checklist which aligns his interests with the characteristics of the movie . Thus there is nothing that helps the theater recommend if the movie will actually meet the desired expectations . The ticket hence is sold on an implicit assumption that a customer is intelligent to absorb the right stimulus and he is to be himself blamed for his selection .

While the cinema owner has a little control over the content of the movie since all he does is to provide for hospitality services . A bad movie thus does not translate into a bad hospitality. If the stereoscopic Dolby surround sound plays well . Neon screens highlight all blemishes , 3d glasses are clean , recliner moves complete 180 degrees , it is hospitality well delivered .

This does not sound correct . No consumer will sit in a movie hall where no movies are playing . What a consumer is paying for is experience and experience here is the sum of (Movie Content + Hospitality) . A service failure is here possible to prove . All it required is right communication of movie characteristics and tools which explicitly capture expectations .

So after it has been established that the movie has failed to deliver experience . The only question left is how to process the claim and who should pay for the claim . I will discuss this in my next post , Where I will come with a details on how to calculate a movie refund and possible process to claim the damages .




3 Responses to “Why you should claim refund for a bad movie”

  1. MovieLover says:

    An Air conditioned room, with a TV , A Shower/Toilet and other comforts, in a moderate (3 star & above) in my city costs 6000 Rs. a Night or approx 250 Rs an hour. At this rate If I spend 2-3 hrs in a movie hall, I must pay at least 750 Rs. My ticket costs only 250-300 (Using the same logic, all offices must deduct rentals from our salaries; I am glad they do not)

    I went to the movie at my own risk. I could have inquired, researched .. explored (e.g. imdb.com or many other websites, radio, friends). The moment I stepped into the hall, I agreed implicitly to the risk I am taking. (The same risk you took, when you bought a car .. you would not get a refund, even if you return it 1 minute after you purchased.

    If the movie is bad, I can get up & walk out. No one is forcing me to stay. In case of the car or bike, I am practically forced to keep it or sell it, even if I dont like it.

  2. [...] For more you can read my previous post –  Why you should claim a refund for a bad movie http://www.abhinavmittal.com/movierefund [...]

  3. [...] my last post on “Why you should claim refund for a bad movie”  . I made an argument that a movie is like any other service and how bad movie translates into a [...]

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