Rich Warren | Issues raised with MoviePass

Rich Warren | Issues raised with MoviePass

If something seems to be too good to be true, that's usually the case. Here's a reader's testimony:

"Thought I'd share my recent experience with MoviePass. I joined last January and used it successfully for several months. Along the way, I took advantage of an offer for a year's pass for my husband. He doesn't have a smartphone, but we thought that we'd be able to log out of my account on the app and then log back in with his account. We found out that didn't work, but we were able to use my iPad for him. Once. After not going to movies for two months, we tried to go again on a recent weekend. I couldn't get my app to work on my iPhone and his didn't work on the iPad. A frustrating text to customer service revealed that my iPhone 4S was no longer supported, and using an iPad was also no longer supported. All the help that we got was that we should upgrade to newer phones. I pointed out that I did not want to buy a new phone just to use their app when my phone was otherwise fine for my purposes. I emailed to cancel my account, and the reply did not address my question— it appeared to have been written by a bot and just told me that I could change phones every 30 days. Today I tried to call customer service and got a message saying that they didn't have enough agents and to try accessing them online or later."

Your app stopped working and you received the runaround because MoviePass may not be able to honor its commitments. In its updated terms of service agreement (the fine print that most people fail to read), it says: "MoviePass reserves the right to change the rules of movie-going attendance and ticket availability to members in connection with the service at any time. MoviePass reserves the right to change from time to time the number of eligible movies a member can see per month. MoviePass reserves the right to offer members a new price option if they exceed watching a certain amount of movies per month.

Critics claim MoviePass operates under an unworkable business model, and its solvency is in doubt. Meanwhile, an increasing number of theater chains refuse to accept MoviePass because of insufficient reimbursement.

While I usually can divine answers to most reader questions, here's one that has me stumped:

"Apple software is usually the most user-friendly, intuitive versions of common-use packages available. As both a PC and Mac user and administrator for over 30 years, I can state this fact with some authority. However, I am now at the point where I find one Apple app virtually unusable, with third-party alternatives much better. This involves the Messages app on iOS for iPads, which is unable to communicate transparently with the large community of Android devices. The iPhone can do it, but not the iPad. Verizon's "Message"for the Pad can do it, as can "Text Me," but that capability seems undoable by Apple's iOS developers. Have you any idea why?"

The puzzling part of this question is why there's a difference between the iPhone and iPad, since both use the same Apple iOS operating system. This might clear up shortly this fall when Apple releases iOS 12, the newest iteration of its portable operating system. Apple puts a great deal of emphasis in iOS 12 of clearing out cobwebs and reducing bugs from its previous operating systems.

One other remote possibility concerns the age of each of the readers' devices. If one continues operating as a 32-bit device and the other as a 64-bit device, it could explain the discrepancy. Apple upgraded its iOS operating system to exclusively 64-bit with iOS 11. After that point, older 32-bit apps stopped working.

Rich Warren, who lives in the Champaign area, is a longtime reviewer of consumer electronics. Email him at hifiguy@mchsi.com.

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