City Base Cinema customers question debit, credit transactions

Theater says third-party processing error is to blame


Moviegoers who frequent City Base Cinema on South East Military Drive are concerned and raising questions about repeated debit and credit card transactions appearing on their bank statements at times when they were not seeing a movie.

"Right away I thought identity theft, what happened with my card," said Rose Zapata, who noticed two charges totaling $26.25 from City Base Cinema on her bank account made Wednesday.

"We haven't been to the movies since Feb. 15 and those charges have already cleared," Zapata said. "So it made it kind of suspicious."

Zapata immediately contacted her bank to dispute the charges. Then Zapata alerted friends on Facebook and many responded saying they had similar charges, she says.

A manager of City Base Cinema gave us a number to call to speak with the theater's director of operations.

Another customer was at City Base on Thursday evening questioning the 14 charges she has had in the last 10 days totaling more than $277.

Director of Operations Bob Stewart later explained over the phone that the transactions are appearing on customers' accounts due to a processing error on behalf of the third-party vendor City Base Cinema uses to process debit and credit transactions.

Some customers are retroactively being charged for going to the movies dating as far back as August 2013. Customers can hear an explanation by calling the theaters main phone line, 210-531-3000, and dialing extension 6. (Click on audio link above)

"At no time has your personal information been breached," said Stewart in the recording. "This is a processing error. This is nothing like the Target or Neiman Marcus debacles around Christmas time when information was stolen."

Stewart said he is personally calling each customer who leaves a voicemail with questions regarding the transactions.

Zapata cancelled her debit card and wishes she had been given a heads-up. "I feel like no one alerted us, so the first thing we do is we call the bank," Zapata said.

Stewart said the theater had no way of contacting its customers, and because not all of its customers were affected, management had not posted anything on the City Base Cinema Facebook page. It now has explained what happened (read here.)

Stewart adds that it is unclear how much longer the retroactive charges will continue.

Click here to learn about credit card disputes: the rules, the process & your rights

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