If you use your MoviePass to see movies like I do -- you may have experienced problems not once, but twice -- or even more times within the past week or so as of July 30, 2018.
Here are the details from my personal experience using MoviePass. Of course, your experience may be different. Well, I was rather excited to see Tom Cruise’s Mission Impossible movie -- Mission: Impossible - Fallout the first day it came out. I went to the movie theater and dutifully handed my MoviePass card to the movie clerk -- anticipating receiving my movie tickets in return.
I was rather surprised when she asked me twice if I had completed the transaction. Of course I replied -- “Yes”. In fact my cell phone showed the familiar screen as usual when I used my MoviePass card. As she was trying to process my MoviePass card again, the other clerk told me that a lot of people were having problems using their MoviePass card that day.
After a few more tries, she told me the card was not working. No worries though. I had earned a free movie from Regal with my points, so I did not have to pay the full price of the movie. Since this was a “big” movie, I had to pay $1.50 even after I used my free movie points -- but this was not a big deal.
About two days later, I successfully used my MoviePass to see the movie “Teen Titans Go!” with no problems whatsoever. By the way, after I used my card to see this movie, a rather long message appeared on my cellphone from MoviePass apologizing for the previous mishap as well as letting me know that in the future, some movies may not be available for viewing. An example given was how Netflix sometimes do not show all recent shows available -- such as Game of Thrones. MoviePass plans to do likewise. I thought it was interesting that MoviePass was using a streaming app (Netflix) as a basis for comparison. However, I thought the apology was a nice gesture.
Fast forward two more days later. I decided I wanted to see the movie “Blindspotting” at the local AMC theater. I selected the movie on my cell phone from the MoviePass app, and instead of the check in page appearing, I received a message to the effect that “movie screening is not available at this location.” As a test, I picked another movie location and received the same message. Right away i thought I was being singled out because I tend to see quite a few movies during the month. Instead of getting bothered by this, I simply paid for the movie -- using one of the discounts available to me.
So within the space of a week -- I was not able to use my MoviePass card twice-- even though the service was paid for. Suffice it to say, I started thinking about alternative ways to save on watching movies. Maybe I would check out MoviePass’s competitor and give them a try.
However, before I made this move, I found out that apparently I was not being singled out at all. Looks like MoviePass's dubious business model finally caught up with them. The company had simply ran out of money -- not once but twice which accounted for me being unable to use my MoviePass card.
I admit that using MoviePass to see movies daily if you want for only about $9.95 a month is a very good deal -- one that would be hard to beat. For that reason, I’m holding out judgement on MoviePass and will probably continue to first see if my MoviePass will work the next time I try to use it -- or if more problems will occur.
I will be using my MoviePass or try to use my MoviePass card this weekend to see the movie “The Spy Who Dumped Me." Stay tuned to find out if my MoviePass works when I do. ….. I'll keep you posted. ... To Be continued.
It's been a few days since I received a notice regarding MoviePass usage so I think it's fine to give you an update -- to include the latest content from the MoviePass email I received.
The below letter is in the format of a letter to the Executives at MoviePass about the many recent changes:
Dear MoviePass Executives,
It is clear to me that your business is based on a pay as you go plan. In other words, it seems as if little thought was given to how to make MoviePass into a profitable business. It is apparent to me that the goal or vision of MoviePass in the beginning was to ramp up the number of MoviePass users. I think at last count the number of members or subscribers was at 3 million plus. However as any business professional (or any reasonable person) knows, the main focus of any business is the bottom line. Regardless of the number of subscribers you have -- if the business is not making a profit, it will eventually fail -- just as MoviePass seems to be on the brink of doing right now.
Lets go over some of the recent changes in MoviePass starting with the option for moviegoers to watch an unlimited number of movies per month for the low price of about $9.95. The restriction was you could not see the same movie twice and you are limited to one movie a day. (This change has since been revoked).
Another change is that some people were required to take pictures of the movie stub after purchasing it using MoviePass -- to verify they actually saw that particular movie.
Then peak pricing was introduced where for certain movies -- MoviePass required you to pay a fee during some premium movie openings, busy times, etc.
Then there was some sort of “see a movie with your friend” option.
After that the news was the MoviePass fee was going up to $14.95 a month instead of staying at $9.95 -- however this idea was quickly squashed.
There was a change I believe where you can only see the blockbuster movies one week after that particular movie released. For example, when Mission: Impossible- Fallout was showing -- many moviegoers -- including myself -- could not use the MoviePass card for entry to see the movie.
I’m sure there were other changes including the latest one below. In fact, the change below is the one which is causing me NOT to renew my MoviePass after my gift subscription runs out. In other words -- this is the straw that broke the camel’s back -- so to speak.
The latest change is you can only see a movie three times a month, because as the executives at MoviePass put it -- this is how often most people see movies anyway. My observation is if this is already being done -- why did MoviePass have to make the change to limit the number of movies one can see? In other words, this was “business as usual" so why the change?
I will not repeat everything that is wrong with the above, because as supposedly business professionals, I’m sure you are aware of the shortcomings of this business plan. It takes someone with little vision to realize that even though flexibility is sometimes required to make a business profitable -- i think MoviePass took it to the extreme.
Personally, I think the only way that MoviePass can possibly try to get out of this non-money-making dilemma is by going back to charging customers $50.00 a month to see unlimited movies, and see what happens. I'm sure there will be a big drop in subscribers if this happens. You may simply be in a no-win situation.
Regarding your 3 million plus subscribers -- you can subtract one after my subscription runs out. After faithfully following all the changes above -- it looks to me that MoviePass has become a distant dream -- or more specifically a nightmare. I will go back to finding ways to watch movies I want to at discounted prices -- without the service or should I say disservice of MoviePass.
P.S. The very latest is the CEO of MoviePass says he feels confident this latest change of limiting movies to 3 per month will make MoviePass profitable. I guess we will have to see how that goes because I have my doubts.
UPDATE: As of August 16, 2018, there is another change which involves MoviePass showing a list of movies that you can see using MoviePass -- which will be provided a week in advance. Still, the premium type movies will not be available to see on the first day or week of the release and you are still limited to 3 movies a month.
It looks like the executives at MoviePass are not only rationing movies you can see -- but are also adding the responsibility for you to check their app each time you want to see a movie to see if it is listed as a free option. My response to this is “Enough is Enough!” I refuse to let MoviePass decide when and which movie I want to watch -- having a MoviePass card is not worth it to me.
To put the above all in perspective, I’m not changing how I plan to watch movies (including premium movies) and I will continue to see which movies I want -- whenever I want -- as I previously alluded to above -- with or without MoviePass.