MoviePass reportedly went and manually changed account passwords to keep subscribers locked out their accounts. A new investigation into the failing movie subscription service finds they allegedly did a lot more than that as they tried to keep their business afloat. MoviePass came into the public consciousness in 2017 when it offered a plan allowing subscribers to see unlimited movies for $9.99 a month. The plan seemed like it was way too good to be true, but within months, they had 3 million subscribers all trying to go see some cheap movies.

As it turns out, the MoviePass model was way too good to be true. Over the past year and a half, the company has seen many changes in relation to their plans, with subscribers getting pretty angry. While the subscription service had 3 million subscribers at one time, they now have less than 200,000. Users started reported outages and were not able to log into their accounts and started legal action against the company. While it seemed like a glitch, it allegedly was not. In an effort to save money, the company would reportedly change the passwords of their most active users, locking them out of their account.

Anyone who has ever had to deal with MoviePass knows their customer service is pretty much non-existent, so it would be a while before the company could fix the "glitch." However, locking subscribers out of their accounts wasn't the only tactic that MoviePass allegedly utilized to save money. According to a former employee, Mission: Impossible - Fallout was specifically targeted to keep subscribers out. Users would choose the movie and the app would say that all of the screenings were done for the day. However, the "technical issue" was not a glitch, says the former employee.

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Half of MoviePass' subscribers were locked out of seeing Mission: Impossible - Fallout during its opening weekend, which saved the company some money to keep operating for a little while longer. If that wasn't enough, the company allegedly set up a "trip wire," which is an "automatic shutdown mechanism for all users that would be activated if MoviePass went past a certain amount." When the "trip wire" tactic was originally introduced, it would trip after the users collectively hit $1 million. However, by the end, the mechanism would kick in after a few hundred dollars instead, which kept subscribers from using their service.

MoviePass, as of this writing, have not commented on the bombshell report, which was researched for 4 months by Business Insider. If MoviePass wasn't officially over yet, it more than likely is now. Once current and former subscribers catch wind of their unethical money saving tactics, there will probably be a pretty big backlash, which may result in further legal action. We'll just have to wait and see if the company decides to comment on the matter.

Kevin Burwick at Movieweb
Kevin Burwick