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There’s a loophole to Netflix’s password-sharing upcharge

Netflix isn’t making it easy for those not paying for subscriptions. Lending your password could now cost you an additional $2.99

SHARE There’s a loophole to Netflix’s password-sharing upcharge
A Netflix logo.

A Netflix logo.

Matt Rourke, Associated Press

It’s looking grim for those who share Netflix accounts and an upcharge may be on its way.

The streaming service is expanding its testing of charging for shared accounts to five Latin American countries — Argentina, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and the Dominican Republic, as reported first by Bloomberg.

Starting Aug. 22, Netflix will ask subscribers to pay an upcharge if their account is being used outside their primary home for more than two weeks.

The support page for Netflix Honduras stated that the company won’t automatically charge the subscriber. Instead, it will “ask” if you want to add another physical location on the account for an additional fee of 219 pesos, or $1.70, and $2.99 in the other countries.

The Basic subscription plan allows you to add one home, while the Standard plan lets you add two and the Premium plan lets you add three.

“It’s great that our members love Netflix movies and TV shows so much they want to share them more broadly,” Chengyi Long, Netflix’s director of product innovation, said in a statement, per The Verge. “But today’s widespread account sharing between households undermines our long term ability to invest in and improve our service.”

Using information such as IP addresses, device IDs and account activity to track accounts sounds fool-proof, but Netflix left out this loophole: For the time being, laptops and smartphones won’t lead to an upcharge, no matter how long you use them outside your home. Screen-casting “Stranger Things” on the TV through your phone could be a solution, according to Vulture.

In the past, the company has encouraged password sharing through features like multiple profiles, but now it considers those 100 million viewers who don’t pay for their subscription a problem.

As I reported in May, Netflix originally began testing the new anti-password sharing policy in Chile, Costa Rica and Peru.