NETFLIX’S plot to crack down on password sharing isn’t going to plan.
According to a report from Rest of World, early trials of the new policy in Latin America have left users bewildered.
In March, the streaming giant began testing technology that roots out and charges credential swappers in Peru, Chile and Costa Rica.
It recently announced that it would expand the scheme to more countries starting next year.
However, reports from a dozen Netflix subscribers in Peru suggest that the rollout of the new policy there has been marred by chaos.
They told Rest of World that most users had not been made aware of the policy change through an email or notification.
That remained true even two months after Netflix’s initial announcement.
Netflix’s level of enforcement has also varied from user to user.
Some said that they ignored prompts to validate additional households on an account without receiving a penalty.
One user said that they did not receive a notification of the policy change and continued to share their password without issue.
There is also confusion among users surrounding Netflix’s definition of a “household”.
Some might consider their immediate family members as part of their household, even if they don’t live in the same building.
“While we started working on paid sharing over 18 months ago, we have been clear for five years that ‘A Netflix account is for people who live together in a single household,'” Netflix said.
“The millions of members who are actively sharing an account in these countries have been notified by email but given the importance of this change, we are ramping up in-product notifications more slowly. We’re pleased with the response to date.”
Netflix has admitted that it is struggling this year as a result of increased competition, a hike in its fees and the company pulling out of Russia following the country’s invasion of Ukraine.
After losing 200,000 subscribers in early 2022, the Bridgerton hitmaker is targeting accounts that are shared with people outside of their household.
With an estimated 100million accounts using this tactic, charging sharers could be a juicy bit of extra income for the company.
But it comes at a terrible time for consumers already squeezed by the rising cost of living.
Chile’s extra member price tag comes in at 2,380 CLP (£2.26/$2.98), while those in Costa Rica are charged $2.99 (£2.27) and 7.9 PEN (£1.61/$2.12) in Peru.
However, countries like the UK and US could be looking at fees much higher, as subscriptions cost more in these countries already.
For example, the premium package costs 10,700 CLP in Chile (£10.02 / $12.79).
That’s much cheaper than it costs in the UK and US, where it’ll set you back £15.99 and $19.99 respectively.
With that in mind, we can expect any charges for additional profiles outside the household to cost a lot more when the crackdown is rolled out closer to home.
An insider recently told The Sun he thinks the fees will be priced at £5.49 in the UK and $7.99 in the US.
It’s still not clear how Netflix intends to catch users and enforce the rules.
Netflix can detect when an account isn’t used in the same household by looking at the IP address.
Subscriptions detected for account sharing receive a prompt, telling them to pay more for two additional profiles.
The platform is reportedly using multi-factor authentication, where a code is sent to the bill payers phone each time, making it harder for outsiders to use.
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