Cinema Tickets not issued but payment taken

We purchased 2 cinema tickets using the Picture House website.

We then had to authorise payment using the Monzo app…which meant we had to move away from our desktop and find the phone.

When the phone was found, I authorised payment and assumed that, as usual we would receive tickets by email.

It was only in the day of the performance that we realised the tickets had not been issued, and the reason was obvious …the delay between the online booking and authorisation on the Monzo app was long enough for the booking to be invalidated.

We still attended the cinema, but had to plead with the manager to allow us to view the film. The manager was excellent, provided seats. but warned us that we may be evicted if others had booked the seats, which made us feel like second class citizens for a service which we had paid fully.

Both the Picture House and Monzo take the view that we had seen the film, so the cinema had met their obligation, but I think their first obligation was to provide the tickets having taken my cash. If they could not do that, surely their system should have identified money collected against tickets issued and automatically refunded my payment.

Am I alone with this view?

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If the money has left your account then presumably it’s gone somewhere, I assume PictureHouse.

Since you saw the film, and PictureHouse presumably have your money then I guess this is why Monzo are saying that.

I would have assumed that if the website times out then Monzo’s request would have too.

When the phone was found, I authorised payment and assumed that, as usual we would receive tickets by email.

The issue is that approval isn’t directly communicated to the merchant (this is a limitation of 3D secure, not specific to Monzo), it is instead communicated to the webpage that’s open in your browser, which means it still needs to be active and the computer should remain connected to the network (furthermore, sometimes the auto-approval fails and you need to click “I’ve already approved this” manually to refresh). Until that webpage is happy and redirects you, the merchant didn’t actually take any money and complete the transaction.

In this case I assume you approved the transaction but never actually got a notification about them taking the money, right?

Unfortunately this isn’t really a fault of Monzo as much as it’s a limitation of the horrible 3D-Secure system (why such a hack was ever approved and put in production worldwide is beyond me) which is common across all banks.

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Interesting. So where has his money gone, if the funds have left his account?

EDIT: Re-reading it’s not clear whether money left his account actually.

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I was assuming they didn’t. Otherwise it’s definitely a fault of the Picture House website. Taking the money is a server-side action that should automatically issue the tickets no matter what (or refund the payment).

I remember having a similar situation with a Deliveroo order. Order in the browser, approve in the app and switch tabs in the browser… turns out switching tabs has left the 3D-Secure page in limbo and it didn’t receive the approval notification and never actually submitted the order,… I only realised 30 minutes later, hungry and angry.

Nowadays I explicitly use my Starling Bank company card (without 3DS support) just to avoid this crap.

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This is why I assumed money had been taken from his account.

Yes…money left my account

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What does the Picture House transaction look like in your feed - does it have a logo? If you click on it does it say “Pending” at the bottom?

Hey @barneylodge

Sorry to hear about this!

@anon23935806 is right I’m afraid - 3DSecure is a bit detached from the actual transaction processing part and you do need to make sure you keep that webpage open and wait for it to take you to a confirmation page :+1:

It sounds like Picturehouse might have pre-authorized the money, but as it hasn’t gone through it will still be with us! If you click on “something’s wrong with this transaction” in the app, it should take you through the process to sort it out :pray:


I have tried that, and the Monzo response was that we have received what we paid for (i.e. we saw the film), so there is no case.

We paid for legitimate tickets and we definitely did not receive them. We had to plead to see the film,


Scroll all the way down on that page and make another screenshot? At the bottom it shows whether the transaction is pending or not.

That seems a weird response. The transaction was never actually completed, sounds like it’s stuck in sim 3DS limbo. And I doubt the cinema will be able to collect it now.

This was a screen grab from the Monzo app…it is all that is visible…

They can :slight_smile: The merchant can ignore 3DS as it’s completely separate from authorisation professing - it’s just a a liability shift if they do.

Ah right. I haven’t seen your account so if you do have any questions it would be worth just asking for clarification in the chat :pray:

It sounds like Picturehouse did collect the money, in which case it is probably correct that we wouldn’t be able to raise a goods and services chargeback, given you did ultimately recieve the goods and services :no_mouth:

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I was asking for something like this (which you should see if you scroll down on that screen posted above):


Note the “pending transaction” which tells whether they ended up collecting the money or not.


Ah I see. Assumed it was somehow lost in the warp now, and as the 3DS had timed out it wouldn’t be claimable.

Technically it shouldn’t if the website was designed properly… I mean if you’re not going to decline a payment upon 3DS failure then why bother using it in the first place?

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I did not receive the service that I had paid for. That would have been to be able to walk into the cinema, take our seats and enjoy the film. We had to negotiate our entrance and sit in seats from which we stood to be evicted. We did not pay for that!!

Sure :pray: Please do bring this up in the chat - I’m afraid we’re not going to be able to resolve this on here :grimacing: