In 2007, Netflix started offering their subscription option for streaming and the plans were unlimited. Netflix was at the top of the streaming chain and was influential in other companies starting their own streaming services. Netflix became so popular that they inspired slang terms like “Netflix and Chill”. In 2021 Netflix was valued at 267.46 billion dollars. With over 15 years in the business and a valuation of billions you would think figuring out how to stop password sharing would be simple, but it is not.

Netflix’s new policy is being tested in Costa Rica, Chile, and Peru. The policy requires that the account holder and their family members who are sharing the Netflix account to be in the same household. If they are not, they will be charged an additional $2.99.

The new Netflix policy is causing confusion for customers and customer service representatives. Under the new policy, customers are only allowed to use Netflix in their household. This means that if any member of the household uses Netflix outside the home, the account holder will need to be near their phone to verify through a verification code.

It is unclear what Netflix’s definition of “household” is and this can lead to discrimination against consumers, according to Peru’s consumer agency. The agency has recommended that Netflix work to clarify its definition.

Netflix’s solution to password sharing, after being aware of the problem for five years, is only in the testing phase. Their response falls short compared to what could have been done in that time frame. Netflix has been streaming since 2007 and has millions of subscribers. However, they don’t seem to know their consumers’ usage habits very well which makes you question how is that even possible. For example, people often watch Netflix not just at home, but also at the gym, at work, at school, while traveling, and even at the doctor’s office.

It is concerning to hear that the test phase for the new product limits users to using it within their homes. Even worse, account owners are required to confirm usage of the product each time it is used outside of the home. This makes for a terrible user experience. What if the account owner is not available to confirm and a user logs in outside the home; you will be charged an additional $2.99 fee.  I hope this is not the only idea they have because this is way too complicated and confusing when it comes to the user experience and convoluted when the solution is far simpler than they realize.