My Moviepass Experience: From Good to Really Really Bad
Former MoviePass Subscriber
Hi. I am sharing both my personal experience as a MoviePass subscriber, and frustrations shared by others in articles I have read in the past few months.
Starting My MoviePass Journey
Mid-December of 2017, I decided I was going to sign up for the MoviePass Subscription service. It sounded like a great deal - Pay $9.99 a month - no contract - and see as many movies as you want.
By this time that I decided to go all in, I had been hearing about the service for at least a month or two, because I clearly remember a Black Friday deal to sign up for only $7.99 a month. I was kicking myself for not getting in at this promotional deal. What I later found out after a few months of being a month-to-month subscriber at $9.99 a month, is that the $7.99 promotion that they have ran at various times has a catch. They make you sign up for either a 3-month period or a 12-month period. Then, they add on some kind of setup or sign-up fee of $20. So all in all, the $7.99 deal wasn't a bargain as compared to the no-contract $9.99 monthly subscription.
Starting at the beginning of the experience, in December of 2017, there were several movies I wanted to see. So I took full advantage of the program. In December through January, I saw around 7 movies. I wanted to make sure I was getting my money's worth. In these early months, there were relatively no restrictions. You could see the same movie multiple times at any theater. The limit was only 1 movie per day at this point.
First Bad Customer Service Experience
My first experience with bad customer experience was in this early part. I had ordered a card and you pay immediately and the card comes 7 days later. The card got mixed up or delay in the mail. I emailed customer support, and ended up cancelling through the MoviePass app, and customer service said since I cancelled in the app, there was nothing else to be done. I was banned for 9 months.
I went to their agreement, and they have this in the "fine print" that if you cancel your subscription with them, you are banned for 9 months. This interaction with the customer service was very upsetting. It wasn't until a few days later that I simply demanded a full refund of the $9.99 since I did not receive that card in the mail and received no service. They finally gave me the refund. Little did they know that I had ordered another card earlier on. I was going to give this 2nd card to a family member or friend to use. Anyways, I was now down to my one card.
*This idea of ordering a 2nd card would have worked early on if you wanted to be generous to a friend or relative, but in their many updates to the Terms of Service, it would not work today. They only allow you to log in with one MoviePass account per phone within a time frame.
My Overall Experience With the Movie Service was Good
For the most part, I enjoyed using the MoviePass subscription service, with no contracts for $9.99 a month when it worked exactly as they first advertised. I was a subscriber from the end of December 2017 through mid-August 2018. During this time, I watched about 28 movies, averaging about $2.92 a movie, which included one time where I went to a "discount" theater and with my card I had to pay an additional $2.18 to get into the theater. I also used it one time in two other states with no issues. Overall, I would rate the experience mostly as a good one (until the later months when I realized that the service was getting worse).
When Things Started to Go Downhill
By May 2018, I had made a new friend that decided to also subscribe to MoviePass. He opted to do the $7.99 plan, with a 3-month commitment. He told me that his plan limited him to 3 movies per month. I though to myself "what a bummer!" even though 3 movies a month is still a lot to me. By this time, my MoviePass app now required me to take a photo of my movie ticket stub. It wasn't a huge hassle, but it was a tiny annoyance. This is because if your smartphone glitches for whatever reason, or the app doesn't take the photo, you could not get another movie ticket. This started out as in "beta testing" as the app described, but it was basically becoming a full reality. They later instilled in the terms of service that if you failed to upload 2 movie stub photos, your service would be cancelled. I still don't see how taking a photo right after getting a ticket would stop people from abusing the program.
Also at this time, I would say the Customer Service via the chat window in the MoviePass app was decent to good. If they sensed that you were going to miss your movie, the agent would even allow you to buy your ticket with your own money, and they would allow you to take a photo of the stub, provide info on the theater address and showing time, and would credit your credit card. I thought this was good service.
By this time in May 2018, MoviePass also instituted that you could only see that particular movie title once with your app. Once you saw it, it would become gray and no longer an option to select. After that, MoviePass also added "Peak Pricing" and would add an additional fee for seeing a movie on weekends at theaters.
Fast Forward to the End of being a MoviePass Subscriber
As the summer ended, MoviePass had constantly changed their terms of service. They had hinted of an increase in pricing, then decided against that. They then started selecting certain movies on certain days of the week, such as The Meg on Mondays and Rampage on Tuesdays. This didn't work out for me or my schedule. There were also several times when it would blackout, meaning there were no movies available to see at all on the weekends.
At this point, I decided that the MoviePass subscription service had seen better days, and I was in the new era of MoviePass where people pay in, and get very little out of it. I decided to end my subscription with them.
By August 2018, other services were now available. I wanted to see Mission: Impossible 6, so I decided to subscribe to AMC Stubs! and I am still a subscriber to this service until my 3-month commitment runs out.
I Remember the Good Times
Nowadays, I often see people posting on Instagram how they are ripping up their MoviePass cards and taking a photo of the aftermath. I understand their frustrations. The subscription service did as it advertised in the beginning. As they had more and more cash problems, the service got much worse. Towards the end, they applied so many restrictions that I was paying for a service that I could not use. That felt like a scam to me, and that is why I cancelled my subscription.
I don't know if MoviePass can ever return to their heyday of being that card that was worth its weight in "gold" - but I sure remember when it worked right, and I was enjoying the perks like a kid in a candy store.