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MoviePass Introduces The Countdown Clock, Screwing Over Its Most Loyal Customers

If you're like me and see a ton of movies in the theater, you're possibly a MoviePass subscriber. The service, which runs roughly $30 a month, allows its members to see one non-3D, non-IMAX movie a day. Thanks to MoviePass, you can pretty much see 365 movies a year, if you're actually able to find 365 new movies. The service has been great, since it uses a smartphone app to activate a credit card for price of the movie you're seeing at the theater you're seeing it at. It's an amazing service, and as long as you see at least three movies a month, the thing pays for itself.

MoviePass decided to throw this goodwill out the window on Thursday, sending out an email from CEO Stacy Spikes to its members announcing a "new feature."

We’re also excited to introduce a new feature: The Countdown Clock. This clock counts down the time until your next available screening. You will still be able to go to a movie each day, but there will be a 24-hour period between screenings. Your MoviePass app has already been updated, and you will notice these changes the next time you see a movie.

Generally, when you email your customers and announce a "new feature," you should be informing them about some great new service. The Countdown Clock is not a great service. It's designed to screw over its most-active customers. When MoviePass worked on a one-movie-per-day level, you could go see a movie at 10 p.m. on a Friday and then turn around and see another movie on Saturday at 1 p.m. Different days. Different movies. Totally kosher.

The new Countdown Clock feature would make it so you couldn't see another movie until after 10 p.m. that Saturday. How is that helpful? Why would anyone be excited about that? This isn't what anyone agreed to when they signed up for MoviePass.

The email from MoviePass said to contact customer service with any questions, and seeing as how I had to know who thought this was a good idea, I sent MoviePass an email. So far, no response. Based on some quick Twitter research, MoviePass isn't responding to anyone right now. This is an epic customer service disaster. Why would you screw over your customers and then ignore them when they wanted to know why?

Welcome to your Qwikster fiasco, MoviePass. You better move fast to fix this one before you've destroyed everything.

UPDATE: I got ahold of a MoviePass customer service representative through their chat service, and when I expressed my concerns about The Countdown Clock, this was the response I got:

We apologize for any inconvenience that you may experience due to our update. It will allow us to continue offering a high level of service. This will only affect a small percentage of users. If you like, you can send any feedback to us at

See, screwing over its most loyal customers will allow MoviePass to "continue offering a high level of service." I'm not sure how this huge restriction will deliver a higher level of service to us.
MoviePass Introduces The Countdown Clock, Screwing Over Its Most Loyal Customers Reviewed by Bill Kuchman on 10/31/2013 Rating: 5


  1. FYI they know this is a material change of their clauses so customer service confirmed you can cancel before Nov 14th with no cancellation fees

  2. Is that really what they want though? To have a large chunk of their customer base cancel?

  3. I don't like the change, but I'm not going to cancel. I'll work around this exciting new feature and still try to see 10-12 movies a month.

  4. I probably won't cancel either. I'm disappointed at the way this was handled. It's extremely condescending to call some that hurts customers a "new feature," as if we're supposed to be excited about it.

  5. I'm not going to cancel but this did make it difficult for me to use this weekend. I couldn't go Friday so I thought I would go Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday life happened and I couldn't go until very late and wouldn't then have been able to use the card on Sunday when I was going to see Ender's Game with my daughter in the afternoon. So my original plan for seeing three went down to seeing two and now only actually going to one. Part of that is my fault but had the exciting new feature not been introduced I would have gone all three days.


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