Moviepass Misery Continues as they Refuse to Let Customers Leave
Moviepass, perhaps the best thing that ever happened to movie fans since buttered popcorn and reclinable chairs, has officially taken a psychotic Cathy Bates level turn, and is refusing to let its customers leave.
Customers who have canceled their Moviepass subscriptions in the past month have been receiving an email explaining that they have been automatically ‘re-enrolled’ in MoviePass. I tested the theory and tried to cancel my own MoviePass subscription last night, and got this creepy, stage 4 clinger email in response:
The MoviePass ‘You Can’t quit me’ Email:
Join our weekly newsletter so we can send you awesome freebies, weird events, incredible articles, and gold doubloons (note: one of these is not true).
These lines standout as particularly insane:
“We’re excited to have you on this journey with us. Your endless support, understanding and enthusiasm are greatly appreciated.”
“Please note: 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.”
“See you at the movies,
The MoviePass Team”
This is corporate pycho-babel, which many have interpreted to mean, ‘you are still enrolled in MoviePass, you cannot leave MoviePass.’ But it was the “See you at the movies,” signature that really made me feel like I was going to be murdered. Meanwhile, I also received another ‘cancellation confirmation’ email from MoviePass telling me my “cancellation will be processed at the end of your billing cycle.” Needless to say, our relationship status is ‘complicated’.
It is no secret that Moviepass has been dancing close to bankruptcy for some time now, the service that allowed subscribers to go to the movies 30 times a month if they wished, for only $9.95 a month, gathered 3 million subscribers rather quickly, but supported a very expensive, risky, cash flow challenge. The MoviePass business model relied on a ‘gym membership’ model to be successful, in that it needed a significant portion of its paying customers to simply not use its service in order to be profitable. The problem with MoviePass is that its customers actually went to the movies several times a month, and Moviepass has been losing millions in the process. Without a massive injection of cash, MoviePass was doomed and stock in MoviePasse’s parent company has lost 99.9% of its value since May.
Meanwhile, the large corporate theater chains have been quietly waiting for this day to come. MoviePass was kind enough to test out this new subscription business model for the industry, but now their time may be up. AMC, the largest movie theater chain in the world, initially threated to sue Moviepass for cutting its subscription cost to $10 a month, and undermining its own subscription programs, citing that the model was unsustainable and detrimental to the industry’s price points. Now AMC is offering it’s own ‘MoviePass like’ subscription plan for $19.95 a month.
If you live near an AMC theater this isn’t a terrible deal, especially when you consider that AMC will let you go to IMAX®, Dolby Cinema, RealD® 3D, digital movies as part of its subscription (you couldn’t do that with MoviePass). One ticket to IMAX is currently $22.
See you at the movies…