There's a belief in the movie theater industry that these businesses don't really make a lot of money off of ticket sales, however, when you factor in costs associated with projecting and showing these films, versus the profit margins off of concessions, there are some folks who argue that this belief is more of a "myth" than anything.
Personally, I've operated for a long time under the notion that theaters aren't exactly churning and burning when I take my family and friends out to the movies and decide to drop $75 in tickets alone, so I decided to spend a bit more on concessions because I enjoy going to the movies and want them to stay open.
Which is something I especially wanted to do in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, as businesses that relied on people physically going to them suffered tremendously as a result.
However, are some theaters taking advantage by sneaking in surcharges on unsuspecting customers who may not check their receipt? That's what one TikToker is saying happened to her.
A now-viral post from user @ketohalfasser wrote that they went to an AMC theater to go and check out the Channing Tatum/Sandra Bullock flick The Lost City. In addition to tickets for the film they decided to purchase some concessions: two large beverages and a single order of pretzel bites which cost them $19.87 before taxes.
However, once taxes were added, the grand total was a whopping $30.92, meaning that they were asked for an additional $11.05, aka over 55% sales tax. The state with the highest sales tax in America is California, which stands at a gnarly $8.56%.
The TikToker didn't even bat an eye at the amount after purchasing the drink and pretzels because she was used to getting price gouged on concessions whenever she would visit the theater. "Stuff is so expensive at the movies I didn't even think much of it."
It wasn't until she was walking beside another customer in the theater who asked about the ridiculously high tax amount and spoke to an AMC manager to see what the deal was.
The theater employee notified the guest that this was an issue with charges that corporate was already familiar with, but that there was nothing that they could do to alter the tax amount on their end. Presumably because the payment system automatically input the false tax rate.
The TikToker did say that when she returned to that particular AMC in Tucscon, Ariz. that the tax problem was corrected, however, there were several other users on the platform who responded to her video who stated that they experienced the same thing.
There's been no word as to whether or not the charges were reversed or refunds were issued.
The TikToker even said in an interview with The Daily Dot that AMC hasn't publicly addressed this surcharge snafu: "Several people left comments on my TikTok video that the same thing had been happening to them, even sporadically on different dates," she said. "AMC never addressed it, despite being bombarded with questions/comments on their social media channels about it."
What do you think? Honest mistake or is it an "Oops! All Berries" kind of mistake that was done on purpose just so the company could squeeze a few dollars out of customers and hoped that they wouldn't notice? If that's the case, wouldn't that be fraud?