Netflix to automatically cancel dormant subscriptions

Shawn Knight

Posts: 12,193   +120
Staff member

The goal of virtually every subscription-based service is to boost enrollment. The problem for some – especially those that don’t keep a keen eye on their checking account – is that once you put something on auto-pay, it’s easy to forget all about it.

Realizing you’ve paid for something for months on end without ever using it is a pretty crummy feeling and one that Netflix wants to help users avoid.

As such, the streaming giant said it will now reach out to dormant users about their subscriptions.

We’re asking everyone who has not watched anything on Netflix for a year since they joined to confirm they want to keep their membership. And we’ll do the same for anyone who has stopped watching for more than two years.

Netflix said members that fall into these categories will start seeing e-mail / app notifications regarding the change this week. If a subscriber doesn’t confirm that they want to continue their membership, Netflix will automatically cancel their subscription.

Eddy Wu from the product innovation team said such inactive accounts represent less than half of a percent of their overall user base – or only a few hundred thousand. Moreover, they’ve already been factored into Netflix’s financial guidance so it shouldn’t have an impact on that front.

Masthead credit: Rawpixel.com

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Burty117

Posts: 3,694   +1,540
Yeah don't get me wrong, they're doing something good here and other companies could learn a thing or two but, the other half of brain goes "if you don't notice money leaving your bank account or care to even check, then you kinda deserve to lose said money, clearly better in Netflix's bank account than yours."
 
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wiyosaya

Posts: 5,125   +3,212
Don't get me wrong, here, as I appreciate that they are doing this, but a year??? And I love this from the article -
or only a few hundred thousand
So, only a few hundred thousand, I'll assume 100,000 x $12.99 (in the US anyway) x 12 months equals something like $15+ million a year per 100,000 subscribers.

The way this guy is talking he makes that sound like pocket change.
Yeah don't get me wrong, they're doing something good here and other companies could learn a thing or two but, the other half of brain goes "if you don't notice money leaving your bank account or care to even check, then you kinda deserve to lose said money, clearly better in Netflix's bank account than yours."
From what I understand, it has become fairly common for people not to check certain accounts including things like credit card accounts. Scammers sometimes count on being able to grab a few dollars here and there from people like this that pay their bill every month without checking their statements. IMO, people that do not check their statements are rather stupid, but do they deserve to lose that money? IMO, probably not.
 

Capaill

Posts: 1,189   +723
IMO, people that do not check their statements are rather stupid, but do they deserve to lose that money? IMO, probably not.
It's a model that many businesses, including Netflix are built on. Offer the first month free but you have to provide your billing details and it will auto-renew unless you cancel it early. It's not that these customers are stupid, it's that they are content to keep a service even if they rarely use it. Not everyone in the world is obsessed about saving every penny or cent. And the businesses capitalise on that.
I see no reason for Netflix to do this unless they need to clear out unused accounts to make room for new ones. Perhaps a software / database limitation that will take them time to fix, and clearing out old accounts provides short-term relief.
 

CPO2U

Posts: 41   +20
Yeah don't get me wrong, they're doing something good here and other companies could learn a thing or two but, the other half of brain goes "if you don't notice money leaving your bank account or care to even check, then you kinda deserve to lose said money, clearly better in Netflix's bank account than yours."
It's a model that many businesses, including Netflix are built on. Offer the first month free but you have to provide your billing details and it will auto-renew unless you cancel it early. It's not that these customers are stupid, it's that they are content to keep a service even if they rarely use it. Not everyone in the world is obsessed about saving every penny or cent. And the businesses capitalise on that.
I see no reason for Netflix to do this unless they need to clear out unused accounts to make room for new ones. Perhaps a software / database limitation that will take them time to fix, and clearing out old accounts provides short-term relief.
Well, you might be right. It might also be because the Covid19 pandemic has caused so much job loss, that even SOME execs have found their conscience, and decided to do SOMETHING. And even if that "something" is as minor as helping subscribers not pay for a service they don't need or use, then so be it.

I'm clinically depressed, and rarely optimistic about anything... but even my cynical brain HAS to give some benefit of doubt to this Netflix story.

Humans are not ALL bad...
 

Burty117

Posts: 3,694   +1,540
Well, you might be right. It might also be because the Covid19 pandemic has caused so much job loss, that even SOME execs have found their conscience, and decided to do SOMETHING. And even if that "something" is as minor as helping subscribers not pay for a service they don't need or use, then so be it.
If you lost your job, Pandemic or not, you would be looking at your outgoings and deciding what to cancel.

Also worth noting, Netflix is stopping accounts that haven't been used in 12 months, so even if you haven't used Netflix since the Pandemic, they wouldn't have cancelled anything...