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MoviePass, the subscription service that allows for members to see one movie a day for just $9.95 a month, has had a bit of a mixed reception ever since it made the initial announcement of the change to its model. While major theater chains like AMC condemned the service, MoviePass saw its number of subscribers skyrocket. As it turns out, this new influx of customers may be too much to handle at once for the service, as they are now reportedly having issues with their mobile app and sending their customers membership cards.
MoviePass is now having trouble meeting the impressive clamor for its list of subscribers, which saw a massive increase almost overnight. On Thursday, MoviePass sent out a mass email to its customers (via Forbes) telling them that they would not be receiving their membership cards in 5-7 business days as promised. Instead, there will be a 2-3 week delay due to the "unprecedented demand" now swarming their production facilities. The email goes on to assure subscribers that they can still use E-tickets through the mobile app at any participating movie theater. Problem is, that doesn't work either.
Online commenters are noting that the MoviePass Smartphone app is buggy and occasionally doesn't work. Some have reported being able to acquire a ticket just fine in their home, but then it is declined when they arrive at the theater. Access to the Smartphone app is required at the theater in order to obtain an actual movie ticket, so this is a pretty major issue. According to Google Play Store data, the app has been downloaded over 100,000 times. Half of the 2,500 users who rated the app gave it the lowest possible rating.
In the email, MoviePass apologized for the delay in membership cards but did not offer any amends or special deals to make up for the fact that people are paying for something they can't use.
In August, MoviePass announced that it was changing its model from $50 a month to $9.95 a month -- less than the cost of a normal ticket at most theaters. The service amassed over 150,000 subscribers in just a couple days. By the end of 2016, it had just 20,000 subscribers. Theater chains like AMC Theaters were quick to question the business model and effect the ticket option would have on theaters. They have since begun efforts to block users from their movie theaters. Nonetheless, MoviePass is projecting to have 2.5 million subscribers over the next year.
This is another hurdle in MoviePass' ambitious plan. While some users who are having problems with the service are no doubt disheartened, there's still a long road to go for MoviePass as it works out the kinks. Whether or not the service becomes a success could impact how often people pay a visit to a movie theater.