One movie ticketing service was created to change the way people went to the movies. Unfortunately, MoviePass had an unsustainable business model, resulting in the service becoming a victim of its own success. Tap or click here to see where it all started to go wrong.
It finally shut down last month, but apparently the service’s ghost is very active. Subscribers say they are still being charged for the now-defunct service.
Meanwhile, other subscribers say they spent months trying to cancel their subscriptions to no avail. If you were a subscriber, make sure to keep an eye on your bank account.
Subscribers still paying
Former MoviePass subscribers reportedly are up in arms after they continue to be charged, even though the company went under. Last month, MoviePass closed up shop and told customers it would not charge them beyond July.
But people on social media are sharing stories of MoviePass still taking subscription fees out of their bank accounts in late September. One customer from Chicago told the New York Post she was charged twice in September, once for her $9.95 membership and another mysterious charge of $5.64.
This isn’t just affecting customers who went down with the ship. A former MoviePass user said she canceled her subscription in January 2019 and was still charged in September. Other customers had been trying to unsubscribe for months but MoviePass’ website had no link to customer service.
The company’s CEO, Mitch Lowe, emailed a statement to FOX Business saying, “One single subscriber, out of the many thousands of MoviePass subscribers, was charged $9.95 on September 15 and has been refunded that amount.”
He added some subscribers may be mistaking refunds for new charges. Former subscribers should keep an eye on their bank accounts to see if they are still being charged and dispute the bill.
This is just one more reason customers have to distrust MoviePass. Tap or click here to see what else MoviePass has done to its loyal customers.
This summer, it was discovered the company’s CEO changed user passwords in an attempt to stop the tsunami of subscribers who were going to watch “Avengers: Endgame.”
In July, MoviePass temporarily suspended operations while it “retooled.” A month later, a cybersecurity expert discovered a critical MoviePass server was not password protected.
Among the 161 million records on the server, about 58,000 documents exposed customers’ personal information, as well as MoviePass debit card and personal credit card numbers subscribers used to pay their monthly fees.
The credit card data also included expiration dates, names and zip codes. Some records with credit card information masked the entire number except the last four digits.
Making a bad situation even worse, none of the data was encrypted. The public had enough of MoviePass’ shenanigans and its subscribers dropped from a high of 3 million to a measly 225,000.
A failed experiment
Founded in 2011, MoviePass first operated by having subscribers pay a $10 monthly user fee. MoviePass would then load the subscribers’ company debit card with enough money to buy three full-priced movie tickets each month.
When launching MoviePass, its executive team thought the business model would be like a gym membership. You don’t go but you’re still paying for the service.
But working out is very different from going to the movies. The original $10 price for three full-cost tickets was too good to pass up and millions of people signed on and went to the movies.
The problem for MoviePass was subscription fees didn’t cover what it was paying out for tickets. The company then began increasing the monthly subscription fees and limiting the selection of movies users could see.
The business model went through many changes and in its final incarnation, subscribers paid close to $20 a month to watch one movie per day.
How to protect your accounts
With the combination of the security breach and the unauthorized charges, here are some things you should do to protect yourself:
Keep an eye on your bank accounts — You should be frequently checking your bank statements, looking for suspicious activity. If you see anything that seems strange, report it immediately.
Check your online accounts — Tap or click here to learn how to use Have I Been Pwned, which is an easy to use website with a database of information hackers and malicious programs have released publicly. It monitors hacker sites and collects new data every five to 10 minutes about the latest hacks and exposures.
Get a credit freeze — If you think that your identity has already been compromised, tap here to learn how to put a credit freeze on your accounts as soon as you can.
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