Regal Movies announced Regal Unlimited Monday, a subscription service that allows you to watch unlimited movies in theaters starting at $18 a month. However, buyers beware: You might want to read the fine print before you sign up for this subscription.
A Reviews.com staffer was so excited for Regal Unlimited that he signed up almost as soon as it was announced. As a long-time Regal member who already had the app downloaded, it took him less than a minute to sign up. It wasn’t until later that he stumbled upon some important fine print about the service: a 1-year non-cancellation period.
Regal does some semantic gymnastics to downplay the fact that you’re actually locked in for 12 months before you can cancel your plan. Though Regal Unlimited is described as an “annual” subscription, prices are given “per month.” After one year, you can cancel at any point, further muddying the “annual” description.
The non-cancellation policy isn’t disclosed on the landing page and it’s not really made clear during the signup process. It’s discussed in the FAQ and program rules, but given that 91% of consumers will accept legal terms and conditions without reading them, this information will probably go unnoticed.
During signup, you’re given the option to pay monthly or annually, but there’s no discount for the latter and no mention of a non-cancellation period. Regal also reserves the right to change the price of the service at any time. Coupled with a long-term contract, this means you’re essentially writing them a blank check, for at least one year.
Regal Unlimited’s announcement comes on the heels of AMC’s Stubs A-List service, and the (almost irrelevant) MoviePass. Subscription services could give hope to movie theaters after the industry saw record-low attendance in 2017. On-demand and TV streaming services are dominating the entertainment industry (69% of Americans pay for a streaming service, according to Deloitte). HBO took direct aim at the theater industry with a recent marketing campaign, “Stay Home to the Movies with HBO.”
With the proliferation of subscription services, signing up and canceling them can become a kind of monthly ritual. Regal probably isn’t the first, and certainly won’t be the last, to hide a non-cancellation policy in plain sight. If anything, this should serve as a reminder that it’s always worth it to read (or at the very least, skim) the terms and conditions.
Regal did not immediately respond to a request for comment.