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MoviePass tries to force lapsed subscribers back into the fold

There’s a new chapter in the ongoing saga of MoviePass.  This time, the news isn’t about an executive’s resignation or an end to its annual plan, though.

MoviePass is now reportedly re-enrolling lapsed subscribers because the company “really hopes you will begin enjoying your MoviePass subscription again.”

good end to the week. i tried to kill my moviepass account by just not opting into the new plan last month and now there’s a new plan and they are trying to charge me money again unless i opt out

— brian feldman (@bafeldman) September 28, 2018

The announcement was sent to a handful of lapsed subscribers which the company referred to as a “select test group.” Various reports indicate that the test group is drawn from a pool of former customers who chose not to renew their MoviePass subscription when the company changed how the platform worked.

A statement released by MoviePass both confirmed and clarified the reasons behind the re-enrollment of former subscribers and the terms of the plan they’re being enrolled in.

“There are a small number of people whose accounts have had conflicting status – whether they opted out and then back in again or their cancellation didn’t complete. In case this was the result of a glitch in the system or an incomplete cancellation, we put anyone whose account status was unclear into a suspended status and did not charge them,” reads the statement. “We have now included them in what we think is a terrific one-time promotional offer. If they are interested in returning to their original unlimited subscription, they can. If they are not, they simply click the link below and opt out. This is nothing more than a promotional offer that has been well received by many members who have been asking for it.”

The message says that if these customers do not want to be charged for the plan that they were forcibly enrolled in, they’ll have to opt out by October 4 or their accounts will be charged.

The plan itself isn’t one that is likely to encourage too many erstwhile subscribers to return. At first glance, the plan might seem like a decent one. It offers unlimited movies, up to one a day, for $10 a month. Unfortunately, the phrase that will likely kill most people’s enthusiasm for the service is “based on existing inventory.”

The above phrase means that you can only see a handful of movies from a list that MoviePass chooses for you. This list rarely includes popular new releases and offers limited showtimes. Even if there is a movie on the list that you want to see, you might be forced to see it at 2:25 on a Tuesday or at 11:45 at night.

Based on the information we have about this plan, it seems unlikely that MoviePass’s gambit will work. After all, an unlimited movie pass doesn’t do customers much good if they’re forced to see movies that have been out for three weeks, or are so unpopular that MoviePass thinks it won’t cost them much money to support them. Part of the appeal of the earlier MoviePass subscription plan was being able to go see the latest releases with your friends, sometimes multiple times, without worrying about the cost.

Updated on October 3, 2018: Added a statement from MoviePass regarding the re-enrollment terms.

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