Netflix to automatically cancel dormant subscriptions

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Editor’s take: Netflix is doing consumers a solid by implementing a system that flags dormant accounts for possible cancellation. And if you’re reading this, now may be a good time to reevaluate your subscription portfolio to carve out any unnecessary spending.

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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