Netflix starts kicking users off ‘basic’ plan

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Netflix users say they are being warned that their subscription is about to disappear.

Users across the world, particularly in Canada and the UK, report receiving warnings indicating that they will soon lose access to the service.

The warnings are showing to people on the “Basic” plan. They are told instead that they need to switch either to the cheaper plan – which shows ads – or the considerably more expensive one.

Netflix had already announced that it would cut the Basic plan earlier this year. It specifically pointed to those countries that have the ad-supported tier.

During the results call in which it made that announcement, it said it would remove the plan “starting with Canada and the UK in Q2 and taking it from there”.

Netflix also discontinued the basics plan for new sign-ups last year. Its pricing page makes clear that it has been “discontinued” and advises people they can change plan “at any time”.

But then it had allowed people who were already signed up to the basic plan to continue with it. It did not make clear when that would come to an end.

Those sharing the warnings included a note that the “last day to watch Netflix is July 31”. “Choose a new plan to keep watching,” it reads.

Netflix’s basic plan was considerably cheaper than any other that did not offer ads. In the US, for instance, the basic plan cost $11.99 compared with $15.49 for the other ad-free tier, $22.99 for the one with 4K, or $6.99 for the one with ads – and prices are largely comparable across the world.

The streaming service is one of many companies to move towards including ads in their offering, after years of not doing so. Disney+ also offers a cheaper, ad-supporter tier – and Amazon Prime Video recently pushed ads into users’ experience, asking them to pay extra if they want them removed.