Updated / Netflix users who access the service via a bundle offered by their pay TV provider won’t be able to officially share their account with people who don’t live with them.
The streaming company has started to issue emails to users in the UK and Ireland who break the new rules regarding account sharing.
It will no longer tolerate password sharing with people who don’t live in the same household, unless the main account holder adds the extra member for an extra monthly fee.
In the UK, extra members can be added for £4.99 a month, in Ireland the fee is €4.99 a month and becomes the only official way to share access with out-of-household users.
But this option won’t be available for subscribers who get their Netflix as part of a bundle.
Netflix confirmed on Tuesday that the extra member option is “currently unavailable for members who pay for Netflix through a third party or as part of a bundle.”
Sky, Virgin Media and BT are among the main third party providers that offer Netflix as part of a wider bundle, typically combining the streamer with other pay TV packages. But because the billing of Netflix goes via the third party, Netflix currently can’t offer the extra member option.
Transfer a profile
However, some third-party Netflix customers globally do still have the option to transfer a profile, allowing the out-of-household user migrate their preferences to their own Netflix account. Sadly, at least in the UK and Ireland, since we first reported on the matter, BT, Sky, Virgin Media and TalkTalk have confirmed they won’t support this option either.
Bundles containing Netflix are sold on the basis of convenience and cost. Netflix billing is combined with the customer’s other services. Combining Netflix with another service is usually rewarded with a discount. But in the case, users who bundle Netflix and allow out-of-household usage face a block.
Direct subscribers to Netflix who take either the Netflix with Ads or Basic plan are also not eligible to add an extra member.
▶ What are the new restrictions to stop password sharing?
- Netflix will identify your home wi-fi or internet connection, i.e. the one you use to watch Netflix on your TV.
- It’ll look at other devices connecting to Netflix on your account, to see if they are also on the same internet connection.
- When someone signs into your Netflix account from a device that Netflix thinks is not associated with your “Netflix household”, or if your account is accessed persistently from a location outside of your household, it may ask you to verify that device before it can be used to watch Netflix.
- Netflix may suddenly ask for a PIN. The PIN is sent to the main account holder via email or phone. The PIN will need to be entered onto the device that triggered the PIN request within 15 minutes. The idea behind this is that if the Netflix password is shared with someone outside of the household, that isn’t enough time to get in touch with the account holder before the device is deactivated.
In a statement announcing the launch of the crackdown, Netflix said:
A Netflix account is for use by one household. Everyone living in that household can use Netflix wherever they are – at home, on the go, on holiday – and take advantage of new features like Transfer Profile and Manage Access and Devices.
We recognise that our members have many entertainment choices. It’s why we continue to invest heavily in a wide variety of new films and TV programmes – so whatever your taste, mood or language or whoever you’re watching with, there’s always something satisfying to watch on Netflix.
Earlier this month, RXTV reported how pay TV providers had been briefed on Netflix’s plans. This was in anticipation of a potential backlash and a rise in calls to customer service.