Netflix has begun testing its password-sharing paywall in Peru, but some users are reporting that the streamer hasn’t been communicating this rollout very well.
As previously confirmed, the streamer is initially running this test in three countries — Peru, Chile and Costa Rica — and charging around $2.70 to $4 CAD, depending on the country. This fee will allow you to mark two additional users who can share your account without having to sign up for themselves.
But in practice, Netflix has reportedly had some stumbles. Speaking to over a dozen Netflix subscribers in Peru, global tech publication Rest of World found that many of the service’s users were not properly informed of the password sharing crackdown. That is to say, Netflix reportedly didn’t send out an email or notification to let people know of the policy change.
Further, there seem to be some inconsistencies regarding Netflix’s actual enforcement of the policy. Some users who were sharing an account said they were able to ignore any prompts for validation from the account owner, while another said they were neither notified nor penalized for continuing to share their accounts.
Users also say they’re unclear as to what Netflix even means in its terms of service where it states that an account “may not be shared with individuals beyond your household.” After all, some people who share their accounts with others — like parents or grandparents — may consider such people to be part of their “household.”
Speaking to Rest of World, an anonymous Netflix customer support representative said they’re providing verification codes to subscribers who call in about those they consider part of their household who are using their account from another location. This way, these people can still use the shared account at no additional cost.
However, this doesn’t quite line up with what a Netflix spokesperson told The Verge.
“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,'” said the spokesperson, citing the company’s terms of service. “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 lost 200,000 subscribers last quarter, its first quarterly loss ever, with expectations of shedding an additional two million in the months ahead. As a result, the company is looking into cracking down on password sharing, as well as a lower-cost ad-supported tier, to mitigate losses.
Both may launch by the end of the year, per internal Netflix communications, although official public rollout timing has not been provided.