A friend of mine and I were talking recently about good customer service. I also talked to a man from the company, Power, we purchased new windows from about this as well. he pointed out to me that most of the time the main time people want to leave a review is when something has gone wrong. I couldn’t disagree with this, but I also haven’t gone out of my way to leave bad reviews online either. Most of the time in fact I try to leave good reviews about the experiences I have places. I especially love being able to say, “This place has the best customer service.” The goal of any company is to build a solid relationship with their customer(s) because that is what makes us loyal consumers. We will always go back to a place where we had good experiences. We will always go back to places that fix a mistake. While I cannot say I am breaking up with Moviepass, I paid for the annual pass back in December so I’m with ’em at least until then, I can understand why people are breaking up with this company currently.
Normally, I do not take the time to write anything negative about a company, but things are getting a little ridiculous. I understand that there are people out there who are going to say that those of us who use the service are entitled assholes who should just shut up and stop complaining. I feel like these are are the same people who are constantly posting about bad customer service elsewhere. I also love that these people are also saying we should stop abusing the service by seeing so many films. What? We as subscribers signed up to see a movie a day, if we choose to do so, for an insanely low-cost. If I choose to do so that is my right as a consumer. I will openly admit I have seen up to eight movies in one month prior to all these changes. Again, that’s my choice because that is the service that I have paid for and it should be provided.
And that is the reason consumers do have a reason to complain right now. The other day I discovered the new terms and conditions not through an email from Moviepass, but from an article that Entertainment Weekly produced online. I found out about the new stipulations due to going on Facebook. That is completely unacceptable. Your customers should know what is going on with their service way before it is announced to the public as a whole. I even read about it in a Facebook group I’m apart of later before ever getting a single email from Moviepass informing me of what was occurring. The members of the group were essentially posting a link they had found informing the world instead of their customers. It was not until the next day around 6:30pm an email appeared in my inbox.
Do I understand that this is not, nor was it ever, a sustainable business model for Moviepass? Yes. I completely understand that changes have to be made in order for the company to turn a profit and keep offering a low-cost way to see movies. If I’m being completely honest, I think this product is one of the best I’ve ever used. I have never had issues with using my card. I only had one issue with using the app and that was because I had not updated my app. Once I did, I was able to check into the movie of my choice. I’ve never truly had problems with the service itself until now. I understand the surge-pricing. Was it a popular decision? No. Do I think a surcharge needs to be added that is over $5? No. Anything over that amount is a bit crazy to me. When I am told what movies I can and cannot see is where I have a problem with their service now.
When I could not use my service until I updated my app back in April, I was informed that I could not longer chose a movie I had already seen. That’s fine. Again though, I would have liked to know this before I headed to the theater. Luckily, I was not seeing the same film twice, nor have I ever with my Moviepass even when we could do so. No big deal. For annual members there are no crazy surcharges. Again, no big deal for me. Now though, I’m basically being told what to see instead of guided gently in a direction. There are plenty of films I have seen this year with my pass that I never would have gone to the theater to see prior. I would have waited until the movie came on Netflix or one of the premium movie networks.
I’m okay with waiting. I was even okay to wait and see Mission Impossible: Fallout a week. Namely because at the time I thought it was a week and I’m not willing to drive thirty minutes out of my way to see a movie to use an e-ticketing theater. What I am not okay with is learning that basically any blockbuster, a movie that opens on more than 1,000 screens, will be blocked from my viewing pleasure for two weeks after its opening. If the film does horribly, there will be a limited amount of time for me to see the movie after those two weeks. Luckily in the case of Mission Impossible, the film is soaring. Hearing such good things is making my patience run thin, especially when prior to that subscribers could see any film they wanted.
The other kicker? Because that is not the only problem I’m having with Moviepass currently. The other problem I have is that they are taking away showtimes. Before going to the theater, I would always check my Regal app, or my AMC app, to see what showtime was available and head there. I never had to worry about not being able to check into a screening at either theater until now. Now Moviepass is saying that the movies available and the times they are available will vary. Upon looking at my app today before I started working, I noticed that multiple movies I have not seen yet were not available and that all the showtimes available for me today are while I’m at work, heading home from work or at 9:30pm-10:30pm at night.
Here’s my problem with that. I would venture to say that the average subscriber works until 4:30-5:00 in the afternoon. With traffic, it can take the average person at least an hour to get home from work. If I wanted to decompress from the workday, I now I have to wait until the weekend to see a movie. Why? Because the 6:00pm-8:00pm showtimes are not available. Showtimes that my apps say are available at the theater. If I want to go at that time I now have to pay out of pocket. I don’t even have the option of paying a surcharge, which is honestly ludicrous to ask anyone to pay on a weeknight, outside of Tuesdays where bargain days are offered. Any chance I have of catching a movie with my friend again on a Tuesday is virtually impossible at this point.
Ultimately, I do not know if I will be keeping Moviepass past December. As much as I hate it and do not particularly care for the AMC by my house, I can understand the temptation to jump ship. I can understand wanting to pay five dollars more for A-List than pay $14.95 for a service that may or may not work. A service that will dictate to me what movies I can and cannot see. I cannot help but think that at least I would be happier knowing I have a service that will allow me to see whatever film I want come the weekend, even if it is opening weekend. While I am not a person who typically goes opening weekend to a film, I like having that option. Sometimes the crowds reactions can make or break a movie.
If the Moviepass wants to maintain their goal of creating a better experience for movie goers they are stepping on the toes of those who built their house. They are stepping on their consumers that cannot even choose the movie going experience they are going to enjoy from day to day. This company has made it painfully apparent that they care about building an empire, but not truly what it takes to maintain that empire. There’s no more pre-planned movie days with this pass. The truth is right now this pass is more of a gamble than stepping into a casino for those who are monthly users. A gamble that consumers have every right not to take anymore.