MoviePass Is Trying to Reinstate Lapsed Subscribers—Whether They Like It Or Not


Just because you opted to cancel your MoviePass account when the company raised its prices recently doesn't mean the company is done with you. The beleaguered movie ticket subscription service seems to be restarting the memberships of customers who have already canceled or let their subscriptions lapse, according to Lifehacker and Business Insider.

Some former MoviePass users recently received emails (innocuously titled "MoviePass Updates") alerting them that their accounts would be reinstated unless they opted out by October 4. If the company didn't hear from them by then, MoviePass would automatically enroll them in its new $9.95, three-movie-a-month plan, effective October 5, according to the email. It was pitched as a “test group” designed to woo back subscribers who left the service when it began changing its terms over the last few months (including introducing surge pricing, reducing the number of movies users could see, and restricting the available showtimes).

This test program, the email says, would offer users up to one movie a day of its “existing inventory” for $9.95—essentially the same deal users were getting before the company fell into disarray a few months ago. If customers choose not to opt out, MoviePass says it will reinstate users’ subscriptions and will begin charging the credit card associated with their account on October 5.

The email went out to both users who had actively canceled their plans in the past and ones who simply decided not to opt in when the company announced changes to its subscription options in August. In a statement to Business Insider, MoviePass blamed this on a computer glitch.

"There are a small number of people whose accounts have had conflicting status—whether they opted out and then back in again or their cancellation didn't complete. In case this was the result of a glitch in the system or an incomplete cancellation, we put anyone whose account status was unclear into a suspended status and did not charge them. And we have now included them in what we think is a terrific one-time promotional offer."

To make matters worse, it appears that some customers got two versions of the email in short order: one offering them three movies a month for $7.95, followed a few days later by an offer for the $9.95 unlimited plan. The company clarified in messages to users that it meant to send out the $9.95 unlimited offer, and to disregard the first email pitching the $7.95 plan.

MoviePass has gone through numerous changes (and changes to those changes) in the past several months, much to the chagrin of its customers. According to one poll, up to half of MoviePass subscribers considered quitting the service in response, though it’s unclear how many followed through on that urge. It’s no surprise that the company is desperately trying to woo back customers—but automatically re-enrolling individuals who already actively quit the service probably isn’t the best way to win them over.

[h/t Lifehacker]

Target Has Launched a Harry Potter Line of Clothing, Accessories, and Home Goods


No more blending in with the mediocre Muggles—now wizards can decorate and accessorize like the magical creatures they are with Target's brand-new line of Harry Potter clothing and home goods.

Target shoppers will feel like they’ve stepped through Platform 9 ¾ at King’s Cross Station as they wander the Harry Potter-stuffed aisles. Popsugar reports that Target will carry more than 500 Harry Potter-themed items, including socks, lanterns, pillows, dolls and much more.

You’ll be able to wake up in your Hogwarts sheets, have your morning coffee in a Slytherin mug, and take a ride on a foam Nimbus 2000 replica while rocking a Potter t-shirt. Not sure what house you’re in? No sweat! Target is even carrying a real-life sorting hat.

Whether you need a gift for the kiddos, or just want to treat your inner witch, Target is sure to have the perfect find in its Wizarding World line.

House Boasting a ‘Harry Potter Room’ Under the Stairs Hits the Market in San Diego

Cupboard under the stairs featured on the Warner Bros. Studio Tour: The Making of Harry Potter in London.
Cupboard under the stairs featured on the Warner Bros. Studio Tour: The Making of Harry Potter in London.
Matt Robinson, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

When Harry Potter fans dream of living like the boy wizard, they may picture Harry's cozy quarters in the Gryffindor dormitory at Hogwarts. One home owner in San Diego, California is trying to spin one of Harry's much less idyllic living situations as a magical feature. As The San Diego Union-Tribune reports, a listing of a three-bedroom house for sale in the city's Logan Heights neighborhood boasts a "Harry Potter room"—a.k.a storage room under the stairs.

In the Harry Potter books, the cupboard under the stairs of the Dursley residence served as Harry's bedroom before he enrolled in Hogwarts. Harry was eager to escape the cramped, dusty space, but thanks to the series' massive success, a similar feature in a real-world home may be a selling point for Harry Potter fans.

Kristin Rye, the seller of the San Diego house, told The Union-Tribune she would read Harry Potter books to her son, though she wouldn't describe herself as a super fan. As for why she characterized her closet as a “large ‘Harry Potter’ storage room underneath stairs" in her real estate listing, she said it was the most accurate description she could think of. “It’s just this closet under the stairs that goes back and is pretty much like a Harry Potter room. I don’t know how else to describe it," she told the newspaper.

Beyond the cupboard under the stairs, Rye's listing doesn't bear much resemblance to the cookie-cutter, suburban home of 4 Privet Drive. Nearly a century old, the San Diego house has the same cobwebs and a musty smells you might expect from the Hogwarts dungeons, the newspaper reports. But there are some perks, including a parking spot and backyard space for a garden or pull-up bar. The 1322-square-foot home is listed at $425,000—cheaper than the median price of $620,000 for a resale single-family home in the area.

If you want to live like a wizard, you don't necessarily need to start by moving under a staircase. In North Yorkshire, England, a cottage modeled after Hagrid's Hut is available to rent on a nightly basis.

[h/t The San Diego Union-Tribune]