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MoviePass is confusing loyal and lapsed customers with new plan

Think you cancelled MoviePass? Maybe not.

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MoviePass is proving itself difficult to quit.

MoviePass

MoviePass' latest attempt to win back customers may be burning its current subscriber base.

Over the weekend, lapsed MoviePass subscribers who opted out of the service's three-movies-for-$10-per-month plan are discovering that doing this did not cancel their accounts after all. On the contrary; their accounts are being reactivated with a new kind of unlimited plan.

New York Magazine Associate Editor Brian Feldman posted the contents of MoviePass' email informing him of the change on Friday, noting that he thought his subscription to MoviePass was going to end then. Instead, he and other affected customers have until Thursday, Oct. 4 at 9 a.m. ET/6 a.m. PT to officially opt out and cancel the subscription.

The notice was a surprise to many who thought their time with MoviePass had come to an end, several also posting complaints to Twitter about how difficult canceling the service appears to be.

And current customers who stuck with MoviePass' change from an unlimited movie theater service to a three-movie-per-month plan with a schedule for movies are tweeting into the company's customer service account with complaints that they aren't able to sign up for the slightly better plan.

MoviePass confirmed the offer in a Monday statement, saying that it's a promotion that will return affected subscribers to the terms they initially signed up for, specifically "up to one new movie title per day based on existing inventory."

"This was a one-time promotional offer that is valid through Oct. 5 for some subscribers, many of whom have expressed an interest in the original plan and a request for its return. As part of the offer, if the member does not wish to return to the original plan, they can simply opt-out in the email prior to Oct. 5 and they will not be auto-charged," MoviePass said.

The service also noted that a number of customers who received this email have given conflicting indications to MoviePass on whether or not they wanted to be on the three-movie plan introduced in August, having initially opted out and then opted back in. Those accounts have been left suspended "in an abundance of caution," and MoviePass is offering them the ability to return.

For those who end up enrolling into this new unlimited plan, there are still some caveats to follow. Movies available are based on "inventory," which likely means it will follow the schedule that MoviePass includes on its website. Theaters that support E-Ticketing are generally exempt from the scheduling limit.

However, even that schedule can be tweaked based on a variety of factors, which several subscribers hoping to see Night School or anything else over the weekend claim to have encountered despite the movie being offered on the service's schedule.

MoviePass' wild ride of changes seems to continue as the company works to find a balanced business model. While the service's launch of a $10-per-month plan in 2017 became wildly popular, the bubble began bursting while several competitors including Sinemia, AMC A-List, Movie Club and an upcoming entry from Alamo Drafthouse hope to entice customers to the movies with similar models.

First published Oct. 1, 2018 at 10:23 a.m. PT.
Update 11:40 a.m. PT: Adds statement from MoviePass.

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