Netflix has said it will reach out to customers who have not watched anything on the on-demand video streaming service for more than a year, to find out if they are still interested in maintaining their subscription. Should they not hear back from the subscriber, they will cancel their membership.
Netflix said it had already started to notify people who have not watched anything for the 12 months since they become subscribers if they wished to keep their subscription. They have also reached out to people who have had no activity in two years or more.
“You know that sinking feeling when you realize you signed up for something but haven’t used it in ages? At Netflix, the last thing we want is people paying for something they’re not using,” the company said.
The unexpected move has illustrated just how much faith Netflix has on its loyal customer base. Most companies would be happy to keep withdrawing monthly subscription fees from their clients credit or debit accounts for as long as possible.
The company said that the inactive accounts, known as ‘zombie accounts’ in the industry, represent only a few hundred thousand users which is about less than half of 1 percent of its overall subscription base, which is already factored in its financial guidance.
The streaming service recorded more than 182 million subscribers by the end of March this year, being one of the greatest profiting companies during this COVID-19 pandemic period. This has been occasioned by the stay at home calls which have seen lots of users spend a lot of time on their screens online. Netflix said it will be easier for those who get their subscriptions cancelled, to join again. Those who do so within 10 months will still find their saved preferences, favourites and profiles and account details just like they were.
“In the meantime, we hope this new approach saves people some hard earned cash,” Eddy Wu, director of Product Innovation at Netflix, said in a statement.