This week, MoviePass switched subscribers to its latest model – $9.95/month for up to three movies and discounts on any other ticket purchases. The biggest hitch? That includes anyone who had recently cancelled their subscription, or was trying to cancel their service.
Many users have become annoyed with the company, given its many issues over the past several months and constantly changing services. People have cancelled their service, only to learn that they had been re-subscribed to the company’s new $9.95/month plan. They received an e-mail from the company stating, “If you had previously requested cancellation prior to opting-in, your opt-in to the new plan will take priority and your account will not be cancelled.” Rightfully so, this angered many users.
Even more annoying is the fact that many are finding out that they cannot cancel their account in the first place. When they try to do so, they receive an error message and are blocked from cancelling their account. This has happened to users whether they cancelled their account a day or two before the latest plan change or a couple weeks beforehand. You have to admit, doing something like this is definitely steering into the realm of shady business practices.
Heads up to anyone who canceled MoviePass.
— Courtney Guth (@Courtney_Guth) August 13, 2018
When you open the app, you are presented with a screen detailing the most recent changes to the service, and a large red “I Accept” button. You can click through for more details, but there doesn’t seem to be a clear way around it, except for a barely noticeable “X” in the upper right corner. If you’re rushing through, it would be easy to miss. It might be poor user interface design, or it could just be them banking on the fact that most people will want to hurry through and do what they were originally planning to do on the app.
In the wake of this news, MoviePass’ parent company, Helios and Matheson, posted a loss of over $126 million for the business quarter that ended June 30th. In addition, shareholders have filed a class action lawsuit looking for compensation for losing a significant amount of money. The suit was filed August 13th on behalf of investors by shareholder Jeffrey Braxton, saying that they were misled about the company’s business and its prospects. The suit contends that the business was unsustainable.
“MoviePass’ business model was not sustainable because there was no reasonable basis to believe MoviePass could monetize the model to a degree that could be maintained before being too buried in debt to survive,” wrote attorney Mark Levine on behalf of Braxton. “False and misleading statements or material omissions … caused the damages suffered by [Braxton] and the other class members,” the filing states.
With the implementation of its newest plan, MoviePass subscribers still won’t be able to see any movie they want. While it is no longer limiting you to choosing between a bad movie or an extremely inconvenient time for one popular movie, it is still limiting your options. For the foreseeable future while they transition to the plan, movie selection and showtimes will change each day. A letter to subscribers reads,
“As we transition to the new subscription plan, we want to share more details about our service moving forward as part of our commitment to keep you fully informed. For the time being, we will be limiting the films and showtimes that are available to members each day. During this transition period, MoviePass will offer up to six films to choose from daily, including a selection of major studio first-run films and independent releases. In addition, showtime availability may be limited depending on the popularity of those films on the app that particular day. While the films and showtimes available in the app will change daily, the schedule of available film selections will be published at least a week in advance on the MoviePass website so members can plan ahead for the films they want to see.”
The current schedule is available here. Some of this weekend’s offerings include Mile 22, Christopher Robin, The Miseducation of Cameron Post, We The Animals, Skate Kitchen, Juliet, Naked, Summer of 84, Alpha, Slender Man, BlacKkKlansman, and Crazy Rich Asians. The fact that only a few movies would be offered each day was not disclosed when MoviePass initially made the announcement of their 3-movies-per-month plan.
In order to “celebrate” the anniversary of MoviePass’ $9.95 plan, the company is sponsoring “The Ultimate MoviePass Getaway.” One winner and a guest will be flown to Los Angeles for what they are calling the “ultimate Hollywood experience.” Winners will enjoy 2 roundtrip flights to and from Los Angeles, a 2-night hotel stay, 2 tickets to a studio tour and a Hollywood bus tour, 2 MoviePass 12-month memberships and a Swag Pack, and a Mastercard gift card. The contest runs August 15th through 6pm ET on August 31st. If this has you interested, you can enter here.
Have you become frustrated with the seemingly constant changes at MoviePass? Or do you still believe in and enjoy the service?