So You Thought You Cancelled Your MoviePass Account? You Might Want To Check Again

MoviePass was once a shining beacon of hope for penny-pinching movie-goers everywhere. They charged a flat fee of $10 a month and provided unlimited movies. What a steal, sign me up!

Everyone thought that so everyone subscribed. Most people would swipe into the theaters as often as they liked. But many subscribers couldn’t help but wonder: how in the world does MoviePass make money? The answer to that is simple: they didn’t.

An auditor from the parent company, Helios and Matheson Analytics, confirmed this in April:

MoviePass currently spends more to retain a subscriber than the revenue derived from that subscriber, and [other] MoviePass sources of revenue are currently inadequate to offset or exceed the costs of subscriber retention.

In July, the movie theater ticket app ran out of money and could no longer afford to pay for tickets. The company resolved this and took out a small loan of $5 million to keep the company afloat and pay employees. Since then MoviePass has implemented a bunch of new rules and service changes. For example, certain new releases like Slenderman or Mission: Impossible – Fallout are blocked from the service for the first two weeks.

Considering these changes to the once free-for-all program, a lot of people are cancelling their accounts.

Or at least they thought they were canceling their accounts. 

Subscribers cancelled their accounts and expected the billing cycle to run until the 25th of the month. Then, they assumed, they would not be charged for future months, as their account would officially be cancelled.

Simple enough, right? Not for MoviePass.

Upon cancellation, a page announces an update, explaining that on August 15, the plan will go from unlimited movies to three movies a month, for the same $10 fee. Subscribers have to click “I Accept” since it is the only option, and unwittingly accept the update rather than cancelling their account.

What does that mean? Pay close attention to the bottom paragraph:

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.

In other words, for those who cancelled their subscription and then tapped that “I Accept” option in the description of the updates, the cancellation was canceled, and MoviePass automatically enrolled them in the new plan.

Now people are attempting to re-cancel but they can’t. Subscribers try to cancel, and the cancellation cancels itself. Then they go to re-cancel, and the app won’t allow them to do so. 

There is no way out!

Some even received an email confirmation of their cancellation:

But MoviePass reactivated their accounts—and billed for an additional month:

This is happening to a lot of subscribers:

Meanwhile, the folks over at MoviePass continue to ignore this glaring — and potentially illegal — problem:

There are a few other ways to escape this catastrophe — maybe. Subscribers who haven’t opted in through the message can click the small “x” in the top right-hand corner and dismiss the message. Or they choose not to use the app at all for the remaining days of the billing period, and the cancellation will go through as expected. 

At least that’s what the website says.

Some are taking it to their banks and reported the new charges as fraudulent:

This is not the first time the popular ticketing app has been in hot water. In March, CEO Mitch Lowe sparked a scandal by explaining the app’s tracking abilities:

We get an enormous amount of information. We watch how you drive from home to the movies. We watch where you go afterwards.

Which is really creepy! Lowe tried backpedal:

I said something completely inaccurate as far as what we are doing. We only locate customers when they use the app.

Since Lowe’s remarks, MoviePass cooled it on “improvements” to the app’s location feature:

If you get in your car and drive five miles, we don’t know where you are or where you are going.

But because of this cancellation fiasco, some are calling the service a scam:

Others are calling it fraud:

And others say it’s a lifetime commitment, which, as of now, seems to be the most accurate:

If you thought you cancelled your MoviePass, you might want to re-download the app and double check. 

H/T  – Vox, Forbes, BGR, HuffPost