Movie Pass is a Scam -- Do NOT Sign Up!

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Movie Pass advertise in their website "Go to UNLIMITED MOVIES in theaters starting at just $30 (*) a month" with a fine print (*) "Prices may vary by location". This is a scam. They offer you an unlimited 1 movie per day plan when you sign-up for a one year contract. But as soon as you start using the plan, that is, if you frequently see movies, they will significantly increase your monthly rate within the one year period, directly violating the contract. They want you to cancel the service and leave. But if still stay a member and continue seeing movies frequency (paying the new higher monthly rate) then they will either cap your limit to a maximum of 6 movies or ask you to pay $99 per month for unlimited plan. All within the one year contract period -- directly violating the contract.

There are several ongoing discussions in the following sites:

Movie Pass site with Deceptive Promise, "Go to UNLIMITED MOVIES in theaters starting at just $30 (*) a month" with a fine print (*) "Prices may vary by location":
https://www.moviepass.com/ 

Movie Pass Cheating to many customers (started about 6 months ago):
https://www.reddit.com/r/movies/comments/3xzq9r/moviepass_cheating_its_customers/ 

Movie Pass e-mail to Selective Customers on July 5, 2016:
http://blog.moviepass.com/a-letter-to-the-moviepass-community/ 

Customer Reaction to Movie Pass's e-mail of July 5, 2016:
http://blog.moviepass.com/a-letter-to-the-moviepass-community/  (see the postings at the end of the e-mail)

Movie Pass CEO's Deceptive Interview:
https://www.engadget.com/2016/07/01/moviepass-tests-new-prices-aims-to-reach-a-20-plan/ 

Added 7/8/2016: hunterryan found the following blog site discussing the same issue:
https://geekdad.com/2016/07/moviepass-makes-their-service-less-awesome/

Update 7/13/2016: Thanks to JayK, here are the new plans for the NEW customers. As of now, these plans are not available for the old customers who were offered different plans via e-mail:
https://www.engadget.com/2016/07/12/moviepass-unveils-new-prices...

Update 7/13/2016: Salary of Customer Service Reps at Movie Pass from Glassdoor:
https://www.glassdoor.com/Salary/MoviePass-Salaries-E739903.htm

I am a victim of this scam. I signed-up about a year ago for $35 per month for unlimited movies. I started seeing 2 movies in the weekend (Friday and Saturday nights). Within few months, I received an e-mail stating that the pricing of my plan has gone up to $45 per month. As soon as I called to discuss my annual contract period commitment, they invited me to cancel my membership. But I decided to stay and pay $45 per month. I continued seeing 2 movies per week. Then last week I received the above e-mail which gives me the option to cap the number of movies to 6 per months for $40 or pay-up $99 per month for unlimited movies. All these within the one year contract period during which I signed-up for $35 per month for unlimited number of movies.

Movie Pass is a scam and fraud. Beware of them and do not sign-up. Please spread the word about Movie Pass in other online forums and social networks.

Member Summary
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Based on the link below, MoviePass pays theaters full price for tickets. The business model is similar to gyms, where th... (more)

jayK (Jul. 13, 2016 @ 10:16p) |

Eventually if Movie Pass gets enough people visiting a certain theater or chain they can try to 'strong arm' them into d... (more)

forbin4040 (Jul. 14, 2016 @ 12:46p) |

I was paying $35 per month for 2 1/2 years. Now with the price going to $45 it is not worth the money. I saved money at... (more)

primetime19 (Sep. 06, 2016 @ 6:55p) |

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Item 4.3 under their terms and conditions is pretty clear about this. And they do advertise "starting at $30", a business model offering unlimited tickets for $30/month is obviously not sustainable.

https://www.moviepass.com/content/terms

"MoviePass reserves the right to change the rules of movie-going attendance and ticket availability to members at anytime. You will be notified of any changes made to the terms of service prior to your next billing cycle, at which point you would have 14 days to opt-out of the service. MoviePass will not make any changes to your plan mid-cycle, all changes will be in affect at the start of your next billing cycle."

"rules of movie-going attendance and ticket availability" != rate changes. It is like saying, you get prime for 99 bucks a year but if you actually start using it, we will increase the price. May or may not be illegal but sure is sleazy.

dumroo said:   "rules of movie-going attendance and ticket availability" != rate changes. It is like saying, you get prime for 99 bucks a year but if you actually start using it, we will increase the price. May or may not be illegal but sure is sleazy.
There are different service options at different price points. I agree that it's sleazy not to show what those price points are to start with, but they do give the option to cancel at any time without penalty and they let you know when they change your plan.

jayK said:   Item 4.3 under their terms and conditions is pretty clear about this. And they do advertise "starting at $30", a business model offering unlimited tickets for $30/month is obviously not sustainable.

https://www.moviepass.com/content/terms 

"MoviePass reserves the right to change the rules of movie-going attendance and ticket availability to members at anytime. You will be notified of any changes made to the terms of service prior to your next billing cycle, at which point you would have 14 days to opt-out of the service. MoviePass will not make any changes to your plan mid-cycle, all changes will be in affect at the start of your next billing cycle."

  To the best of my memory, item 4.3 of Movie Pass's current T&C is new (or significantly updated without prior notification to the existing customers) addition to their original T&C. They always, very deceptively, advertise $30/month unlimited movies (one per day) for one year contract. This is exactly how their website says right now.

Movie Pass is an EXTREMELY SLEAZY business. I think potential customers should be made aware about Movie Pass.

Those who have accounts in SD, Reddit, Facebook, Twitter etc., can you post the following links about the sleazy business of Movie Pass to your social media sites?

Movie Pass Cheating to many customers (started about 6 months ago):
https://www.reddit.com/r/movies/comments/3xzq9r/moviepass_cheati...

Movie Pass e-mail to Selective Customers on July 5, 2016:
http://blog.moviepass.com/a-letter-to-the-moviepass-community/

6 movies for $40 is still a pretty good deal if you regularly see that many movies in the theater, that's $6.67 each.

jayK said:   6 movies for $40 is still a pretty good deal if you regularly see that many movies in the theater, that's $6.67 each.
Agree but that's not the point of OP.

Sounds to me like MoviePass started with an overly aggressive price point that turned out be unprofitable.

If you look at their plans going forward, $40/month for 6 movies is still a good deal, and if you regularly see more than 10 movies a month then the $99 unlimited plan is worth it.


jayK said:   Sounds to me like MoviePass started with an overly aggressive price point that turned out be unprofitable.

If you look at their plans going forward, $40/month for 6 movies is still a good deal, and if you regularly see more than 10 movies a month then the $99 unlimited plan is worth it.
 

  I agree, but as marcopolomle pointed out, I find (like many others) find Movie Pass a scam, deceptive, sleazy, business. The pricing is not my point. I am almost certain that they will change the $40 6 movie plan and increase the cost or cap the limit further down as soon many people start using it.

hunterryan said:   An interesting read on Movie Pass: https://geekdad.com/2016/07/moviepass-makes-their-service-less-awesome/
  Excellent find, hunterryan. This is exactly my point. Green for you.

Please spread the word in social media. I don't have accounts in Reedit, Facebook, Twitter, SD, etc. etc. If you have presence in those social networking sites then please link these discussions. I hate when companies try to scam people. We need to stop this crony capitalism practice where customers are always the biggest loser.

I have no problem paying even $60 per month to a honest business. It is not the price but their business model is the issue.

On a more general note, I have learned to be skeptical about any service that claims to be unlimited. Remember when everyone was selling unlimited data plans that were throttled without disclosure?

Well at least it sounds like OP has a class actionable issue there.

forbin4040 said:   Well at least it sounds like OP has a class actionable issue there.
  You are right. If you want to go ahead to file a lawsuit, I am with you. In any case, please spread the word in various social media like Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, SD etc.

forbin4040 said:   Well at least it sounds like OP has a class actionable issue there.
What are OP's damages?

jayK said:   
forbin4040 said:   Well at least it sounds like OP has a class actionable issue there.
What are OP's damages?

  Well the item would be Bait and Switch
And for OP the damages are $69/month for each month he was a member.
Considering Movie Pass doesn't mention any of that on their page, I can see that it can be sued.
 

OP agreed to pay $35/month for unlimited movies, then he agreed to pay $45/month for unlimited movies, then he cancelled his service without penalty when they increased the price of the service. Changing the price of a service with notification and an invitation to cancel without penalty is not bait and switch.

Are you saying MoviePass is legally obligated to continue offering service with a price and terms that are not profitable?

jayK said:   OP agreed to pay $35/month for unlimited movies, then he agreed to pay $45/month for unlimited movies, then he cancelled his service without penalty when they increased the price of the service. Changing the price of a service with notification and an invitation to cancel without penalty is not bait and switch.

Are you saying MoviePass is legally obligated to continue offering service with a price and terms that are not profitable?

  There has to be mention somewhere that the $30 price is introductory and may be raised depending on your usage.
I went to the website and there was no mention of that ... anywhere.
And it was $30, not $35.

That's like Amazon Prime all of a sudden going up after a few months because I 'ordered too much'
They give a specific term of 1 year.

https://www.moviepass.com/content/terms

27.3 Capped Plans - 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 the rules of movie-going attendance and ticket availability to members 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. You will be notified of any changes made to the terms of service prior to your next billing cycle, at which point you would have 14 days to opt-out of the service. MoviePass will not make any changes to your plan mid-cycle, all changes will be in affect at the start of your next billing cycle.

And of course you missed that OP isn't on a capped plan
27.2. A valid MoviePass subscription entitles you to: (1) see one 2D film every 24 hours through MoviePass; (2) see a 2D film title one time through MoviePass; and (3) a single seat, depending on availability, for a 2D film showing open to the general public. This excludes premium showings such as: 3D films, IMAX, 4D, XD and specialty theaters. MoviePass access is available every day of the week, subject to the theater being open, inventory, and usage. Alternative MoviePass subscription plans can include (1) premium plans (3D, IMAX, and specialty formats) and (2) capped plans (limited amount of movies per month).
anyhow. It's up to OP to take the next step.  I'm not a Movie Pass member so I can't start a class action.

Movie Pass either cancelled my account or deactivated it effective today without my permission. The app is not working and I cannot login. When I try to login, it says you don't have an active account!

bandyopa said:   Movie Pass either cancelled my account or deactivated it effective today without my permission. The app is not working and I cannot login. When I try to login, it says you don't have an active account!
You said that they contacted you and asked you to choose between $40/month for 6 movies or $99/month for unlimited movies. Did you choose one?

https://www.engadget.com/2016/07/12/moviepass-unveils-new-prices...

Here's the full breakdown of MoviePass's new monthly pricing:

Tier 1 markets: $15 for 2 movies; $22 for 3 movies; and $40 for unlimited.
Tier 2 markets: $18 for 2 movies; $27 for 3 movies; and $45 unlimited.
Tier 3 markets: $21 for 2 movies; $31 for 3 movies; $50 for unlimited.

jayK said:   https://www.engadget.com/2016/07/12/moviepass-unveils-new-prices-starting-at-15-a-month/

Here's the full breakdown of MoviePass's new monthly pricing:

Tier 1 markets: $15 for 2 movies; $22 for 3 movies; and $40 for unlimited.
Tier 2 markets: $18 for 2 movies; $27 for 3 movies; and $45 unlimited.
Tier 3 markets: $21 for 2 movies; $31 for 3 movies; $50 for unlimited.


  Movie Pass is not allowing old customers (who were offered customized plan) to sign-up for the new plan. See Tracey Trevino's July 12 posting here:

http://blog.moviepass.com/a-letter-to-the-moviepass-community/

In my understanding, if you use Movie Pass then they will force you out of the unlimited plans.

Also the online chat is dead (which was excellent before -- I used it many times). You have to call (toll-free) +1-877-646-2892 to speak with a customer service rep (who are very nice).

bandyopa said:   Movie Pass is not allowing old customers (who were offered customized plan) to sign-up for the new plan.
From my link:
"MoviePass will continue to research its current and potential customers throughout the summer. Subscribers who have received alerts about higher "test" subscription prices, including a disastrous $99 monthly unlimited offer, will be able to take advantage of the new pricing in September. The $99 plan, which was only offered to a small percentage of customers as a test, will go away in September. For now though, they'll have to deal with higher rates if they want to keep using the service."

In my understanding, if you use Movie Pass then they will force you out of the unlimited plans.
You mean they will cancel subscriptions for those who use the service too much?

jayK said:   
bandyopa said:   Movie Pass either cancelled my account or deactivated it effective today without my permission. The app is not working and I cannot login. When I try to login, it says you don't have an active account!
You said that they contacted you and asked you to choose between $40/month for 6 movies or $99/month for unlimited movies. Did you choose one?

  Yes. I am in for $40 for 6 movies per month. Called and updated the account.

Please note: Customer Service Reps are EXTREMELY nice, always. They always try their best to help, and I have 100% POSITIVE experience with Movie Pass customer service (online chat or phone, both). The executives and the CEO are the problem. According to Glassdoor, typical CSR salary in Movie Pass is about 30K - 32K. It is almost impossible to live in New York City on that salary. Movie Pass CEO and Executives are exploiting the Customers and the Employees. Its a shame. Here is the Glassdoor link:

https://www.glassdoor.com/Salary/MoviePass-Salaries-E739903.htm

jayK said:   
bandyopa said:   Movie Pass is not allowing old customers (who were offered customized plan) to sign-up for the new plan.
 

From my link:
"MoviePass will continue to research its current and potential customers throughout the summer. Subscribers who have received alerts about higher "test" subscription prices, including a disastrous $99 monthly unlimited offer, will be able to take advantage of the new pricing in September. The $99 plan, which was only offered to a small percentage of customers as a test, will go away in September. For now though, they'll have to deal with higher rates if they want to keep using the service."

In my understanding, if you use Movie Pass then they will force you out of the unlimited plans.
You mean they will cancel subscriptions for those who use the service too much?
 

  
Regarding your last point, I think so. Mitch Lowe is not Steve Jobs. He is in for making money.

bandyopa said:   According to Glassdoor, typical CSR salary in Movie Pass is about 30K - 32K. It is almost impossible to live in New York City on that salary. Movie Pass CEO and Executives are exploiting the Customers and the Employees. Its a shame. Here is the Glassdoor link:

https://www.glassdoor.com/Salary/MoviePass-Salaries-E739903.htm

There is only one data point for CSRs on Glassdoor. I wouldn't be surprised if CSRs are making around that much, if so they are most likely based in the Midwest somewhere. There's really no reason for a level 1 CSR drone to sit in NYC.

jayK said:   
bandyopa said:   According to Glassdoor, typical CSR salary in Movie Pass is about 30K - 32K. It is almost impossible to live in New York City on that salary. Movie Pass CEO and Executives are exploiting the Customers and the Employees. Its a shame. Here is the Glassdoor link:

https://www.glassdoor.com/Salary/MoviePass-Salaries-E739903.htm

There is only one data point for CSRs on Glassdoor. I wouldn't be surprised if CSRs are making around that much, if so they are most likely based in the Midwest somewhere. There's really no reason for a level 1 CSR drone to sit in NYC.

  Agree. One data point isn't a representative example. I did some research and found Movie Pass has about $2.5 in funding. See money was about $1.1 millions in 2011. Then they raised more capital by Series A funding in 2014. Mitch Lowe got his CEO job by making substantial amount (undisclosed) of personal investment. He had an advisory role for the past 2 years.

Lets brainstorm. What is Movie Pass's business model? Why almost all theaters are on-board? Their marketing isn't good (very very few people heard about Movie Pass). How they are making money? Why there is no competition? Why they have a monopoly?

Look, $2.5 million isn't a lot. We can probably buy out Movie Pass and make it better, pay better to good employees, and have a solid customer base like Apple/Facebook. Lets figure out how this company is operating. JayK any thought?

I am thinking to start a new thread on this. Many be later in the night. Leaving now.

Based on the link below, MoviePass pays theaters full price for tickets. The business model is similar to gyms, where they hope a lot of people sign up for pricey gym memberships and never go to the gym. The gym model works because working out is hard and most Americans would rather sit on their ass for two hours, eat popcorn, and consume high-budget entertainment.

Selling a subscription that lets people do the latter whenever they want and hoping they don't do it is a losing proposition. IMO the only reason MoviePass is still solvent is because it hasn't been well publicized, since scaling up would move them further away from profitability. The only real tactic they have is playing games with the T&Cs and canceling service for their unprofitable customers.

Theaters are on board because more trips to the theater = more concession sales. Unfortunately for MoviePass, more trips to the theater per person = less profit for MoviePass. I think you can see why they have no competitors.

https://www.quora.com/How-promising-does-MoviePass-look

Eventually if Movie Pass gets enough people visiting a certain theater or chain they can try to 'strong arm' them into discounts. (Or they will 'discontinue that theater causing their profit to fall greatly)

This is a valid model. Amazon does it with their shipping companies, for example. In the beginning they were paying the same rates as everyone else. Costco with Amex and Visa is another example.

I was paying $35 per month for 2 1/2 years. Now with the price going to $45 it is not worth the money. I saved money at the $35 price, but I will spend more with the new price of $45. They should keep the current price for their current customers and start any new customer out with the new price plan.

Besides Costco, does anyone know of any other companies like movie pass? I love the concept, but with the price increase I will be canceling.



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