MoviePass, the movie viewing subscription service, has been struggling to boost its dwindling userbase since it revoked its original “$10 per month, unlimited movies” plan due to the simple fact that the deal was absurdly good and consumers were profiting off of it more than they were.
Since the removal of this plan, the service has implemented several other modified plans that have either turned away or failed to adequately interest viewers like its older plans did. And now, MoviePass is changing its plan once again – only this time, they’re forcing you to switch sides.
In an email to select MovePass customers, the service stated that it has decided to switch them over to the new plan because “we (MoviePass) really hope you begin enjoying your MoviePass subscription.” If they don’t opt out of this new plan (which they were enrolled into without their consent or without any action on their parts) they will be charged for it on October 4th.
This new plan charges $10 per month and allows you to see up to one movie per day that month. MoviePass changed up their ‘unlimited’ subscription to this system to keep a single person from using MoviePass to pay for all their friends’ movies as well as their own.
And for those who don’t realize their plans have been changed, it won’t amount to anything: The first two $10 charges might slip by them before they realize what they’ve been signed up for and before they know that they can take advantage of it.
What’s worse still is that this “one movie per day” also comes with a host of additional restrictions, which were added by Moviepass after the company was forced to take out a loan to keep themselves from going under. These restrictions include limitations on which movies can be seen, and although MoviePass states that their service includes a “rotating supply” of films available to consumers, what this statement really means is that the service won’t allow users to see anything new or popular.
Some consumers have also been reporting that the service is imposing limits on the number of movies they can watch inside of a particular theater, sometimes preventing them from using a particular cinema more than twice every month. And if there are no other cinemas around? Looks like you won’t be getting any more value out of that “unlimited” plan.
Simply put, MoviePass is attempting to gain its following back by breaking one of the first major rules of salesmanship and subscription services: Never take away existing features of a service or product while still selling at the same price. Other companies have gotten away with practices similar to this by introducing a number of varied plans, being open with consumers about dire business circumstances, or releasing their product as a “new” model that replaces the older feature with something different, but very rarely will a service model be updated to include fewer benefits for the same price, as MoviePass’s unlimited plan attempts to do here.
But MoviePass’s odd business practices run further than this: Other customers have reported that the company has attempted things like this before earlier this year when users attempted to opt out of plans and were automatically pulled back in by what MoviePass calls “system bugs”. Add this to a customer service with poor reviews and poor hours, and you’ve got a recipe for a pretty horrible reputation among even its veteran subscribers.
Unless MoviePass is able to seriously re-vamp its operating methods and change its plans to further benefit users, they might want to consider swapping their name to MovieFail, because they won’t be around for much longer anyway.