Could MoviePass be back? No? Then why are people saying it’s been charging their credit cards?
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The now-defunct subscription movie ticket service, which officially shut down in September after months of financial losses, technical problems and a data breach, has recently shown up on some former members’ credit card bills, The New York Post reported. However, the company's CEO says customers are mistaking refunds as new charges.
MoviePass had said it would stop charging customers back in July, when it announced a pause in service as it worked on its app.
One Chicago resident told the Post that she’d been charged twice, once for $9.95 and again for $5.64, since the service shut down. A Colorado woman told the paper that she’d canceled her account back in January, but had to file a fraud claim with her bank after she was charged twice in September, including once on the day MoviePass’ parent company, Helios and Matheson Analytics, announced it was shutting down the service for good.
However, MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe told FOX Business that customers' reports of being billed after Sept. 14 "interruption" are false.
"One single subscriber, out of the many thousands of MoviePass subscribers, was charged $9.95 on September 15 and has been refunded that amount," Lowe said in an emailed statement. "We are aware that some of our subscribers have mistaken refunds appearing on their credit card statements for charges and we hope this helps resolve any further confusion."
On Twitter, even more people reported that they’d been charged by MoviePass since the service shut down.
MoviePass offered a too-good-to-be-true deal during its heyday, daily movies in theaters for just $9.95 per month, less than the cost of a single ticket at some theaters. But as more people signed up, the company lost more and more money, while theater chains launched their own subscription services.
Even worse, a cybersecurity firm discovered in August that tens of thousands of MoviePass customers’ credit cards had been exposed.
Still, there is a chance that MoviePass could legitimately come back. Helios and Matheson has said it would shop around its properties for a potential buyer, and the company’s former CEO, Ted Farnsworth, said on FOX Business’ “Mornings with Maria” last month that he wants to buy the service.
“We built the fastest-growing subscription out there with MoviePass and still to this day we have thousands of people every day sending us e-mails to join up and go on the waitlist to join,” he told Maria Bartiromo. “So to take it private for now and then to regroup and restart it was to put a group of investors together and put a bid in for the company.”
FOX Business’ Julia Limitone contributed to this report.