Netflix to cancel inactive accounts

Netflix is taking a rare corporate-responsible step …cancelling memberships of inactive accounts so that people are not paying for something they don’t use.

“At Netflix, the last thing we want is people paying for something they’re not using,” the company said in a statement.

“So 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.”

Those members will start receiving emails or in app notifications. If they don’t confirm that they want to keep subscribing, Netflix will automatically cancel their subscription.

Inactive accounts represent less than half of one percent of Netflix’s overall member base, “only a few hundred thousand.”

“We’ve always thought it should be easy to sign up and to cancel. So, as always, anyone who cancels their account and then rejoins within 10 months will still have their favuorites, profiles, viewing preferences and account details just as they left them. In the meantime, we hope this new approach saves people some hard earned cash.”


  1. A “few hundred thousand” is quite a substantial number of silly gooses paying for what amounts to nothing. I respect what Netflix are doing, but it also seems silly to turn away a steady source of income considering that I have not known streaming services to be profitable given the excessively generous business model when compared with buying personal licenses to film/music either online or via physical media (Blu-ray/DVD/CD).

    • It’s a tiny amount compared to their revenue. And they will get credit and free promotion out of doing it. It will also put pressure on others to follow suit which is a good thing. Technology is supposed to help people not fleece them and cause them to be hit with fees if their balance drops below zero at the wrong time. Not everybody has to think like a bank.

  2. It does sound like PR spin from Netflix, but it is interesting that people should lose touch with monthly payments using their credit cards, which are necessary to do most things on line.
    Streaming fans will wait with baited breath to see whether other streaming companies follow Netflix’s lead, including Foxtel.
    Off topic but this story also makes me think of gift cards, they should never expire but do, so this is definitely ‘free money’ for corporate business.

  3. A very good step indeed. When I was manager of a certain once dominant gym chain, our ‘dead membership’ rate was as high as 65% in some gyms – a statistic celebrated by management as “free money”. I think all businesses with a membership model should be legally obligated to do what Netflix are doing.

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