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MoviePass competitor, Sinemia, seems to be in a mild controversy at the moment. Users on Twitter and Reddit are reporting that their accounts are being terminated for "fraudulent activity" despite evidence to the contrary.
According to Business Insider, at least 50 subscribers have complained about their accounts being unfairly terminated and that the termination was done automatically. Yet the response from Sinemia hasn't been reassuring.
The company issued a statement claiming that it "uncovered more than a thousand variations of fraud" and that it "learned that fraudulent accounts will change methods and find different ways to commit fraud once they understand how fraud is detected in our system." Unfortunately, Sinemia hasn't actually acknowledged account terminations of well-meaning customers.
Hi @SinemiaApp @SinemiaSupport , it looks like my account got terminated for suspicious fraud activity. I don't think I have misused my sinemia account in any way. Can you please help me understand what is going on ?— Aswin Giridhar (@aswingiridhar) March 2, 2019
Hi @SinemiaSupport I was trying to book adv ticket and got an email that my account has been terminated. I have not done anything wrong and uploaded all docs couple of days back, which have got approved. Can you help with this?#sinemia— Tejas Shah (@TejasSh21126092) March 6, 2019
Problems with Sinemia account- Kicked out for no reason. Followed their instructions to a "T". No real explanation on why my account and husband's account has been terminated. Does anyone know what's going on?— Lorna Parong (@lorna3105) March 3, 2019
However, on the Sinemia subreddit (and the above tweets), many of the users were well-behaved with many having their accounts terminated after attempting to buy a ticket. Based on the feedback, Reddit user ViperOus theorized that a terminated user paid for the annual plan more than 90 days ago and spent more on movie tickets than their combined subscription and processing fees. Also, a few users have reported that Sinemia oddly asked for a $1, $2, or $5 tip right before their accounts were terminated.
Due to the alleged automatic nature of the cancellations, this is perhaps automation gone wrong. The fraud detection system could have mistakenly identified certain purchase activity as fraud.
Regardless, this is an unfortunate mess considering that movie ticket subscription services are still trying to figure out the right business model.