MoviePass Is Trying to Reinstate Lapsed Subscribers—Whether They Like It Or Not

iStock/SrdjanPav / iStock/SrdjanPav

Just because you opted to cancel your MoviePass account when the company raised its prices recently doesn't mean the company is done with you. The beleaguered movie ticket subscription service seems to be restarting the memberships of customers who have already canceled or let their subscriptions lapse, according to Lifehacker and Business Insider.

Some former MoviePass users recently received emails (innocuously titled "MoviePass Updates") alerting them that their accounts would be reinstated unless they opted out by October 4. If the company didn't hear from them by then, MoviePass would automatically enroll them in its new $9.95, three-movie-a-month plan, effective October 5, according to the email. It was pitched as a “test group” designed to woo back subscribers who left the service when it began changing its terms over the last few months (including introducing surge pricing, reducing the number of movies users could see, and restricting the available showtimes).

This test program, the email says, would offer users up to one movie a day of its “existing inventory” for $9.95—essentially the same deal users were getting before the company fell into disarray a few months ago. If customers choose not to opt out, MoviePass says it will reinstate users’ subscriptions and will begin charging the credit card associated with their account on October 5.

The email went out to both users who had actively canceled their plans in the past and ones who simply decided not to opt in when the company announced changes to its subscription options in August. In a statement to Business Insider, MoviePass blamed this on a computer glitch.

"There are a small number of people whose accounts have had conflicting status—whether they opted out and then back in again or their cancellation didn't complete. In case this was the result of a glitch in the system or an incomplete cancellation, we put anyone whose account status was unclear into a suspended status and did not charge them. And we have now included them in what we think is a terrific one-time promotional offer."

To make matters worse, it appears that some customers got two versions of the email in short order: one offering them three movies a month for $7.95, followed a few days later by an offer for the $9.95 unlimited plan. The company clarified in messages to users that it meant to send out the $9.95 unlimited offer, and to disregard the first email pitching the $7.95 plan.

MoviePass has gone through numerous changes (and changes to those changes) in the past several months, much to the chagrin of its customers. According to one poll, up to half of MoviePass subscribers considered quitting the service in response, though it’s unclear how many followed through on that urge. It’s no surprise that the company is desperately trying to woo back customers—but automatically re-enrolling individuals who already actively quit the service probably isn’t the best way to win them over.

[h/t Lifehacker]