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TV and Movies

Take unlimited trips to the movie theater for $6.95 per month

OK, not UN-limited, but once per day. MoviePass is now even cheaper when you prepay for a year. Plus: 10 surge-protected outlets and four USB ports, $18.

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MoviePass

A few months back, I wrote fairly gushingly about MoviePass, the credit card that lets you visit nearly any movie theater as often as once per day -- for $9.95 per month.

To put that another way, pay roughly the price of one movie ticket and you could potentially see a movie every single day for 30 days.

That was already a sweet deal, but it just got even sweeter: For a limited time, you can get MoviePass for $6.95 monthly when you prepay for a full year. There's a $6.55 processing fee on top of that, which brings your grand total to $89.95. (Already a subscriber? You can switch your monthly plan to the annual one!)

You're limited to two MoviePasses per household, and once the year is up, you'll be reverted back to the $9.95 a month plan.

Now you can afford popcorn!

moviepass-card

With MoviePass' new $90 annual plan, you can see a movie -- in a theater -- every single day. Only the popcorn costs extra.

MoviePass

The math here is pretty simple. The average movie ticket price is currently around $9. So if you go to the theater just once per month, you're already ahead by about $2. If you go once per week, now you're ahead about $30. Stretch that out over 12 months and, well, it's a pretty substantial savings.

It works like this: MoviePass sends you a special Mastercard debit card. Each time you want to use it, you must activate it via the MoviePass app. You can do so only when you're within 100 yards of a given theater.

But, then, you just buy a ticket with the card. Easy-peasy. Or, at least, it should be.

My experiences with MoviePass

I signed up back in August, and I've managed to use MoviePass three times since. The second and third times, it worked like a charm. The first time: not so much.

I activated the card as instructed and received confirmation that it had indeed been activated. But when I went to pay for my ticket, it was declined. The cashier tried twice more; same result. Because there was a growing line of people behind me, I quickly handed over my regular credit card and paid out of pocket.

MoviePass says that when something like this happens, you're supposed to contact customer service via the app. But I didn't know that at the time, and I certainly wasn't going to hold up the line further while I tried to get help. I could have stepped out of line and then tried, but then the show might have sold out, or left me sitting in the front row (blech).

The next day, I did use the app to contact support, and at the same time filed a ticket via their online support page. I never received a reply to either one. I tried the app again a few times in the following weeks; never got a response.

So, in a nutshell: MoviePass' customer service stinks. I know the company experienced massive growth in the weeks following its initial $9.95 a month offering, but a support ticket sitting idle for nearly six weeks? That's inexcusable.

There are other considerations as well, like the lack of a family-plan option. At our preferred local theater, all theaters are now choose-your-seat. So what if I buy my one ticket and choose my seat, then my family goes to buy their tickets -- but in the interim, someone else grabbed the seats next to mine? Could happen!

My advice: peruse the FAQ support pages, which answer pretty much every question you might have.

Deal or no deal?

Make no mistake, I love the idea of MoviePass. And the execution is actually pretty good, poor customer service notwithstanding.

Here's the thing: I thought this would get me to the theater more often, but I've had a hard time finding any movies I actually want to see. Granted, September and October always have weak offerings, but if there's nothing good playing, even a cheap deal like this isn't that great.

That said, I'm a total movie snob. If you love going to the theater and typically do so at least once per month, MoviePass can save you a bundle.

Your thoughts?

witeem-surge-protector

Witeem

Bonus deal: Outlets and USB ports: There are never enough, am I right? This should help: For a limited time, and while supplies last, Yuyuanfeng (via Amazon) has the Witeem Smart Surge Protector for $18.13 when you apply promo code VROIZGMB at checkout.

Noteworthy features: 10 outlets (including two that are wide enough for bulky wall-warts) and four 2.4-amp USB ports. You also get surge overload protection and a UL-approved 6-foot cord. It's even wall-mountable.

So, the reviews: 4.6 stars from over 160 buyers. ReviewMeta says to throw out nearly 100 of those, because they're questionable -- but then you're still left with a 4.6-star average. (Fakespot more or less agrees.) I mention that because I'm still trying to drive home this point: Fake reviews do not necessarily indicate a bad product. And the algorithms used to measure reviews aren't perfect. Grain of salt, always, with everything.

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