Always read the fine print with Reliance: Case BIG Cinemas

I had the fortune to get hold of a couple of free ticket vouchers (3+1 offer) when a bunch of us went for the Avatar 3D show at IMAX (Wadala, Mumbai) in December. They were valid till 31st March 2010 & so 3 of us thought why not catch up on Alice in Wonderland 3D using those. Unfortunately, we chose to go to the R-City multiplex this time & here’s a summary of what happened:

  1. I go to the counter & ask for 3 tickets & give the person the two vouchers & the cash for the remainder ticket.
  2. He looks at the vouchers & informs me that they’re not valid in here as they don’t contain the R-City stamp & he shows me a sample voucher with such a stamp.
  3. I then ask to speak to the manager as the voucher seems to suggest that it should be valid at any BIG Cinemas.
  4. We speak to the manager & he kindly informs us that:
    • Sorry, but the vouchers are valid only at the branch where they were issued. So, our barcode readers here won’t be able to process those vouchers. (So much for integrated systems & CRM)
    • It was mainly a promotional strategy to increase the audience in each branch separately. (Duh!)
  5. We decide to watch it anyway & pay the sum for all the 3 tickets.

Lessons learnt

Have a look at the voucher first, interpret the barcode & the fine print too:



The clauses 1, 14 & 15 are particularly interesting. 1 is as vague as can be. Moreover clause 14 pretty much ensures that they can give you the boot any time. As for the movie, it was pretty decent, though the 3D effects were nowhere close to Avatar (sitting in the last row probably didn’t help, which was in spite of me asking for tickets towards the front – that’s another story).

All said & done, I do regret not having learnt to read barcode in my 18 years of education (school + engineering + management).