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Netflix is purging inactive accounts – even if you’re still paying

One of the drawbacks of the emergence of so many a la carte streaming services is keeping track of which memberships are active and which you’ve cancelled. Failing to do so means months can go by where you’ve paid for something you haven’t been watching/listening to.

Now Netflix, in a somewhat surprising move, has decided it wants to help. The streaming giant has announced it is alerting inactive subscribers that they’re paying for a service they’re not using. In a blog post on Thursday, Eddy Wu of the product innovation team says the company is asking those members who haven’t watched for a year to confirm whether they will to keep their subscription active.

The emails will start going out this week, Wu says, with the company planning to send in-app notifications to users (although if they’re not watching, it’s not clear how they’ll see these). It’ll be simple to cancel from here on in. All you have to do is confirm you want keep subscribing, or Netflix will automatically cancel the subscription.

Related: How to cancel your Netflix account

The streaming giant reaffirmed it’ll keep profiles and lists open for 10 months after cancellation, so you won’t be losing those all important recommendations you’re not making use of.

Wu added: “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 favourites, 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.”

It’s a nice move from Netflix, all things considered, but perhaps 6 months would be more useful? Given the pandemic has spawned a massive uptick in subscribers, it can afford to lose a few stragglers along the way.

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