Embattled movie subscription service MoviePass is now attempting to sneakily uncancel inactive accounts without permission from their users. When MoviePass made the shocking move to lower its monthly subscription price to $9.95 in summer 2017, many were quick to point out that such a price couldn't possibly be sustainable in the long term. After all, the cost of a single 2D movie ticket tends to be $10 or more in most areas of the U.S. As one might imagine, MoviePass quickly began burning cash like it was Heath Ledger's Joker in The Dark Knight.
With that in mind, it wasn't a surprise when MoviePass went into free fall in late-July, specifically on the opening night of Tom Cruise's summer blockbuster Mission: Impossible - Fallout. MoviePass stopped working completely, and blamed it on "technical difficulties." This was the first of many demonstrably false statements by the company to its several million customers, as it would quickly be revealed by an SEC filing that they had just plain run out of money to pay for more tickets.
That incident proved to be a mere harbinger of what was to come, as MoviePass soon announced its intention to change subscribers over from their signature one movie per day unlimited plan to a new plan limited to only three movies per month. To add insult to injury, the price would remain $9.95, despite the drastic drop in service. Needless to say, many people opted not to make the switch, and chose to cancel their subscription entirely. Well, it turns out canceling might not be enough to rid someone of MoviePass' shenanigans, as a new email sent out to former subscribers essentially threatens to reactivate their account, unless the user in question specifically visits a page to "opt out" of the reactivation. A screenshot of the relevant portion can be seen below.
Update: MoviePass has provided us with the following statement:
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. And 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 email is lengthy, but it boils down to this. Those who canceled their MoviePass subscription instead of opting in to the recently implemented $9.95 for three movies a month plan are now being offered a chance to resubscribe under the old one movie per day setup, for the same low price. How MoviePass can afford to do that is anyone's guess, and it certainly sounds like a tempting offer, should the recipient of the email want to take advantage of it. The problem is, the email also states that unless the reader clicks a specific "opt out" link refusing the offer, MoviePass will just assume they're in, and reactivate their account on October 5.
To call that a shady business practice would be an understatement, and the reactions from many on social media that have received the email are far from positive. Many are also wondering how restarting a canceled account without the permission of the account holder could possibly be legal, although that question is obviously one for the courts to resolve, should someone mad enough take things that far. For now though, this move is sure to only further cement MoviePass' ever-growing reputation for being dishonest and unfair with its customers.