Some users insist they’ve done nothing wrong, but MoviePass says they’ve defrauded the company by reselling tickets, ordering multiple cards and other infractions
MoviePass says it’s making a concerted effort to crack down on fraud, and the subscription cinema service has already brought the hammer down on a handful of subscribers.
A report by Business Insider on Friday shed light on the fact that some MoviePass subscribers were complaining on social media that their subscriptions — under which, for $10 a month, they’re entitled to attend as many movies as there are days in that month — had been canceled abruptly.
MoviePass reportedly sent those users emails saying their memberships had been canceled effective immediately for terms-of-service violations. Specifically, at least some of the subscribers were told they’d used MoviePass cards in the purchase of premium ticket. “You cannot sign back up for MoviePass,” the emails reportedly concluded.
“The thing is, with the size we’re getting to now we have to crack down or these people will ruin it for everybody,” Farnsworth said. “I mean, we’ve been out to theaters in [New York City] and watched people do it.”
Farnsworth said the canceled subscribers had been using MoviePass cards at concession stands, to purchase gift cards or even get cash back, or reselling tickets, or ordering multiple cards to buy other people tickets.
MoviePass has grown much quicker than Farnsworth and Chief Executive Mitch Lowe expected — the company recently passed the 2 million subscriber mark — and they’ve had to scramble to build out departments like customer service and fraud protection.
The crackdown on fraud is something Farnsworth said the company has only been focusing on in the past 90 days. MoviePass recently hired an employee who had headed antifraud efforts at Redbox when Lowe was CEO there.
“A lot of times the theaters will call us to let us know when they think someone’s committee fraud, too — especially the independents,” Farnsworth said.
Subscribers suspected of fraud will typically receive letters letting them know that they’ve appeared on MoviePass’s fraud radar, Farnsworth said. From there, he said, the company will monitor the account.
“You don’t want to cut anyone off unless you have to,” he said. “And, trust me, we don’t want to cut anyone off.”