A college student says she is locked out of her family’s Netflix account on her phone due to Netflix’s password-sharing crackdown features.
Content creator JJ (@alllpanicnodiscoo) details her issues with Netflix’s Household system in a TikTok with over 320,000 views as of Tuesday.
“I am genuinely flabbergasted right now,” JJ begins, the overlay text on the video reading, “Netflix just took away streaming on our phones from our family’s FAMILY PLAN.”
JJ shares a screenshot of the message she says she received from Netflix when she attempted to log into the app from her phone. It reads, “Your device isn’t part of the Netflix Household for this account.” She’s prompted to “create a Netflix account.”
“This is on my f*cking phone, my phone,” JJ says, referring to the pop-up message.
“Remember at the beginning of last year when Netflix ‘cracked down’ on password sharing, and they were like, ‘Oh, you can still watch on your phone‘? Yeah, that’s no more, apparently, as of midnight,” she continues.
According to Forbes, Netflix announced the end of password-sharing in early 2023 with plans to begin cracking down by July of the same year. With this new model, users would only be allowed to share their Netflix password with their household—or in some countries, users could pay to have a member added to the household account.
Forbes also reports that according to a shareholder letter sent out by the streaming company, users were assured they’d still be able to stream from their other devices, including their phones.
“As we roll out paid sharing, members in many countries will also have the option to pay extra if they want to share Netflix with people they don’t live with. … As is the case today, all members will be able to watch while traveling, whether on a TV or mobile device,” the letter read.
U.S. News and World Report explains that Netflix uses “the IP address and device information of the primary location where you use the service” to determine the household of the account (in the case that users don’t manually set the location on the app.) To be considered part of the household, a device must be connected to the household’s IP address within the past 30 days and then can freely be used elsewhere.
Despite backlash from its users, in the first year of Netflix’s 2023 paid-sharing rollout, the company saw large growth in the number of paid subscriptions across the globe. A July 2023 Atenna report showed that Netflix added 2.6 million accounts in July 2023 alone, and by the end of the second quarter of 2023, almost 6 million new accounts had been created.
While the crackdown seems to be working, JJ’s situation shows that Netflix’s Household features are not yet a perfect science, or at least are still unsatisfactory to many of its customers.
“It’s called a f*cking Family Plan for a f*cking reason,” JJ continues in the video. “And now you want to force broke college kids to pay your outrageous [subscription]? Are you f*cking serious?”
“You greedy corporate bastards deserve to be burned at the f*cking stake. You’re literally disgusting,” JJ says as the video ends.
In the comments section, viewers shared their own grievances with Netflix’s password-sharing crackdown.
“We can’t share it with our elderly parents on a fixed income. It’s the main reason we got it. We’re getting rid of it,” one viewer wrote.
“What was wild is that it popped up on my mom’s TV that she wasn’t in the household and she’s the one who pays it,” another viewer shared.
“This happened to me and I’m the one who pays the bill,” came another response.
“If people committed to actually canceling plans to show them who has the power, they wouldn’t have gotten away with the password thing,” one viewer wrote.
“I think we should all cancel our Netflix accounts. I’m gonna start buying DVDs again,” another viewer offered.
A third person wrote simply, “Y’all I think it’s time to bring back pirating.”
In one of its initial announcements of paid sharing, Netflix wrote on its website, “As always, we’ll refine these new features based on member feedback so that we continue to improve Netflix in the years ahead.”
The Daily Dot has reached out to JJ via TikTok message and Nextflix via email for more information.