How MoviePass is Clearly Trying to Screw Over All Their Customers
by Ethan Anderton
November 1, 2013
Over a year ago, we highlighted the launch of MoviePass, a $30 a month combination iPhone app and a reloadable credit/debit card that allows users to see one free movie a day at pretty much every theater in the country. The only catch is that it doesn't work for 3D or IMAX movies and you can only see a movie once. It's not a bad deal, though there were kinks to work out at first, the year of service that this writer has utilized has been largely pleasing. But clearly, MoviePass has some problems with how frequent some of their power users are utilizing their service, and they've introduced a "new feature" to stop it immediately.
In a recent e-mail sent to users, Movie Pass was "excited to introduce a new feature." That new feature is The Countdown Clock. You would think that it would be a cool feature that gives you a countdown to when your most anticipated movies are coming out, but that would be too nice. Instead, here's an explanation of this garbage:
"This clock counts down the time until your next available screening. You will still be able to go to a movie each day, but there will be a 24-hour period between screenings. Your MoviePass app has already been updated, and you will notice these changes the next time you see a movie."
While this approach simply gives a literal meaning to the free movie everyday approach, it completely screws over their frequent users. In all honesty, it's actually an inconvenience for all customers. One user lamented on Twitter, "Ooooooh yuck. I liked being able to see a 10pm followed by a midnight." Another customer also complained on Twitter, "Super insulting. Nail in the coffin for my patience with them." And one more user said, "Real hard to recommend @MoviePass after their recent policy change, in the middle of the contract." The list goes on and on.
The real issue here is that this is much different from the one movie a day model that was introduced when people first signed up. Sure, people are technically still able to see a movie within an actual single day time period. But movie theaters aren't open 24 hours, and here's a scenario that's bound to happen to a lot of customers. Let's say, I want to catch a late show at 11pm on a Friday, but then I want to see an early evening show on Saturday. Now I can't do that, and if there aren't any showings of a movie after 11pm, I can't see a movie that day. A similar issue could happen in the afternoons with people who only have a couple days a week to see movies with limited time frames due to kids, jobs, etc, and now they don't get their money's worth. The program is now false advertising. The company is actually trying to screw over customers.
Yes, MoviePass is a business, and this is likely a move that will help them stay operational if certain power users are costing them money. But what's truly insulting is how this policy change has been presented to us as a new feature. We're not stupid, and all the complaints you're receiving on Facebook and Twitter are evidence of that. Maybe if you would have explained this nonsense to us like adults and played to our sympathy about wanting to keep your business going, we would have understood. But now you can be damn sure that I will use MoviePass to the max, planning around this 24-hour countdown clock to make sure you pay for this atrocity. And honestly, there's a good chance I might just drop the service if this continues.