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MoviePass tries to force lapsed subscribers back into the fold

There’s a new chapter in the ongoing saga of MoviePass.  But the news isn’t about an executive’s resignation or an end to its annual plan. Rather, it is re-enrolling lapsed subscribers because the company “really hopes you will begin enjoying your MoviePass subscription again.”

The announcement was sent to a handful of lapsed subscribers which the company referred to as a “select test group.” The test group is drawn from a pool of former customers who chose not to renew their MoviePass subscription when the company changed how the platform worked.

The email says that if these customers do not want to be charged for the plan that they were forcibly enrolled in, they’ll have to opt out by October 4 or their accounts will be charged.

The plan itself isn’t one that is likely to encourage too many erstwhile subscribers to return. At first glance, the plan might seem like a decent one. It offers unlimited movies, up to one a day, for $10 a month. Unfortunately, the phrase that will likely kill most people’s enthusiasm for the service is “based on existing inventory.”

The above phrase means that you can only see a handful of movies from a list that MoviePass chooses for you. This list rarely includes popular new releases and offers limited showtimes. Even if there is a movie on the list that you want to see, you might be forced to see it at 2:25 on a Tuesday or at 11:45 at night.

Based on the information we have about this plan, it seems unlikely that MoviePass’s gambit will work. After all, an unlimited movie pass doesn’t do customers much good if they’re forced to see movies that have been out for three weeks, or are so unpopular that MoviePass thinks it won’t cost them much money to support them. Part of the appeal of the old MoviePass was being able to go see the latest releases with your friends, sometimes multiple times, without worrying about the cost.

The final question surrounding this move is, is it even legal? We can’t answer that, though we would not be surprised to hear of a class action lawsuit over this move especially from those who might have missed this email and end up getting charged for it.

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