Here we are with another story on MoviePass, not even a full day since we published MoviePass Cards Shipping On Time Now, Says CEO.
But when you see something wrong, sometimes you just have to respond. So here we go.
Yesterday, a site called Cinema Blend published a story alarmingly titled “MoviePass Altered Its Terms Of Service In A Key Way.”
According to the story, the key change is that the MoviePass Terms of Service now say:
“MoviePass reserves the right to change the rules of movie-going attendance and ticket availability to members in connection with the Service at anytime. MoviePass reserves the right to change from time to time the number of eligible movies a member can see per month. MoviePass reserves the right to offer members a new price option if they exceed watching a certain amount of movies per month.”
The story details how MoviePass might limit the number of movies a subscriber can see in a month if MoviePass determines the user is abusing the service.
The Cinema Blend article says that MoviePass is guilty of “luring in members with its innovative concept” and then updating “its terms of service in a key way.”
The fact of the matter?
MoviePass has had this language in place for more than a year. There’s nothing new about it.
Item 27.3 in the MoviePass Terms and Conditions from Oct of 2016 (reference) say:
“MoviePass may make changes to any products or services offered on the Site, or to the applicable prices for any such products or services, at any time, without prior notice. MoviePass reserves the right to change from time to time the number of eligible movies a member can see per month. MoviePass reserves the right to offer members a new price option if they exceed watching a certain amount of movies per month.”
Compare that to item 2.4 their current version (as seen above). It’s practically the same.
In both cases, MoviePass goes on to say they will provide a 14 day notice and won’t change the plan in the middle of the billing cycle.
Whether subscription services should be allowed to say they are ‘unlimited’ when they suggest in their terms and conditions that they might not really be unlimited… that’s fair game and a discussion worth having.
Falsely claiming that a company has lured in customers and then quietly made key changes in their subscription terms when they haven’t? That’s misleading, needlessly alarms consumers, and is out of bounds.
This isn’t to say that there aren’t some changes in the MoviePass TOS, such as the requirement that users watch the movies they purchase using MoviePass, but it appears the changes are aimed at those truly abusing the system (for example, buying the tickets for the theater reward points and skipping the movie).
The author of the Cinema Blend story compounds his false news with misinformation, stating that movie theaters would benefit from MoviePass “because they earn their money off of concession sales.”
In reality, movie theaters benefit because they are selling full price tickets to MoviePass. It’s not like theaters are letting MoviePass card holders in for free and hoping to make it up on concession sales. MoviePass is paying for the tickets. It’s an odd business plan all right, but MoviePass thinks they can make it work.
Continuing to heap even more misinformation onto the subject, the author states “This is far from the first time that movie theaters have tried new methods of driving attendance.” In reality, MoviePass is an independent company, not something said “theaters” are doing to drive attendance numbers up.
It’s really stunning to see how fake news gets started by poor reporting and then watch it spread as other sites pick it up and run with it.
What do you think of the misinformation and fake MoviePass Terms and Conditions “news”?
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