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[Solved] Stop the bait and switch promotion

When I signed up for Viki, I thought I am able to access all the videos but I was wrong. Last month, I started noticing there are many videos I can't watch even old ones that have already been out for many years unless I have Viki Plus.  Then recently, there's a new drama that I started watching. The drama already has 12 episodes out and I watched the first 6, then Viki won't allow access to the next episodes unless I sign up for Viki Plus. It's basically a bait and switch promotion. Viki wants you to sign up but doesn't tell you that your membership is so limited unless you pay more. I am going back to dramafever after my subscription.

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  • There is a whole section in Support, called Payments and Subscriptions. Do you mean you haven't read the terms of what you were buying before signing up for it? 

    This page explains what difference vikipass makes compared to not paying anything. Apart from no ads and HD content, you can view the video before other people. A video is first made available to paying customers and after a certain time to everybody.  Similar things happen with vikipass plus.

    Here is the difference between vikipass standard and vikipass plus. 

    Sometimes waiting is enough. However, there is content which is never going to be available to some people. And sometimes there is content which is not available to anybody, paying or not paying, because viki doesn't have the license for it.
    You see, Viki is not the owner of the content. It can buy a license from the owner (the broadcasting stations) for a certain region and for a certain time. 
    Sometimes it doesn't have a license at all. Sometimes it has a license only for certain geographical regions and someone else (for example DramaFever) has the license for others. And sometimes viki has a worldwide license. And sometimes an exclusive license (which means that nobody else has it - at least legally). 

    Whatever the case, the license is for a limited number of years. When this time period ends, the drama is not available any longer, the owner can sell the license to somebody else, or viki can ask to renew it if it believes there is enough interest, although it's an old drama. 

    The old dramas which are now behiind vikipass plus are dramas which belonged to one of the three channels which united to make Kocowa. When the license ended, Kocowa chose not to renew it for viki, but keep it for its own website.
    Viki, desperately trying to find a way to show these dramas to its viewers, tried to find a solution, a compromise. So it made a partnership with Kocowa, paying them to allow viki to show these videos which now are Kocowa's. This payment of course get transferred to the viewers: thus was born vikipass plus. It allows viki to have more content which otherwise would not be there. 

    I hope it's now clearer to you. Whether you renew your subscription or not is your own choice, of course. But at least you should be able to make a informed decision, based on what suits your own needs better, rather than an impulsive one out of spite and ignorance. 

    By the way, bait promotion is an old business practice. At the dance school where I'm working we also offer free trial lessons hoping that the customer likes them and then enrolls for a paying class. And companies give free samples all the time, to entice you to buy the full product. Some people enjoy the samples and never buy anything, others like the product and buy it. Everybody knows the purpose of the "bait" and everyone is usually ok with it. I don't see why you see it as wrong.

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  • I guess this is a new one for me too.  I got addicted to KD (Korean Drama) so I thought to take a break for 2 months and when I came back - to my surprise the $4.99 Viki Pass a month would just cover the HD content, no adds and soooo BEHIND on the episodes.  Well I hope Viki does not irritate a lot of their customer base. I am irritated but I guess there is not much I can do but cancel the pass I signed up for.  A lot of K dramas are on Netflix too so I am thinking on cancelling the annual standard pass I signed up for, get refunded on it - sign up for the Plus for a month or two just to see my favorite Korean actor (the show I am following right now and be done with Viki).  I just hope that since Viki is charging almost double the standard pass for their Plus pass that the subbing would be faster too (Viki pay your hardworking subbers)... If you don't expect customers to get everything for FREE then why are you getting FREE jobs from your subbers?  I think it is ironic that you don't want to dish out free stuff anymore and yet you are getting FREE jobs from the hard working subbers (just my two cents for all it is worth).

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  • @kdfantastic:

    You wrote:

    I thought to take a break for 2 months and when I came back - to my surprise the $4.99 Viki Pass a month would just cover the HD content, no ads 

    Why to your surprise? Nothing changed regarding vikipass. It was never different. Subtitles are never covered nor mentioned anywhere in the vikipass contract. See this screenshot from a year ago:



    and this one, taken a couple of months ago:

    You wrote:   I just hope that since Viki is charging almost double the standard pass for their Plus pass that the subbing would be faster too (Viki pay your hardworking subbers)...

    As explained before, neither vikipass nor vikipass plus has anything to do with the subtitles. Viki charges for the raw videos, HD, no ads, first ones to watch etc. The subscription money is a transaction between you and viki, it has nothing to do with us. Therefore it cannot oblige us, who work for free, to work faster. We work on vikipass plus shows at the same pace as we work on vikipass standard shows and at the same pace as we work on completely free access shows. Subtitles are free from us to you viewers, to all viewers, paying or not. It is a gift to you, not to viki to make part of a paying deal. 

    You wrote:

    If you don't expect customers to get everything for FREE then why are you getting FREE jobs from your subbers?  I think it is ironic that you don't want to dish out free stuff anymore and yet you are getting FREE jobs from the hard working subbers (just my two cents for all it is worth).

    1.
    Vikipass pays for the licenses and other website costs, not for the subs. It is more or less the same amount as rival sites charge. Vikipass plus only adds the Kocowa content. 

    2.
    Rival sites charge the same amount and they provide English subtitles as part of the deal. Very few titles are available in 2-3 more languages like Spanish, Portuguese, Indonesian or Chinese.

    Viki does not provide subtitles as part of the deal, but most of its dramas are subtitled in English by volunteers anyway. In addition to that, hey come in a great variety of international languages -as many as 30 or more for popular dramas. 
    If you are an English-speaker or you understand English well, this is not important to you. However, if you put yourself in the shoes of a foreigner who doesn't understand English well enough to enjoy by reading English subs, then you will understand how important the viki model is. 

    3. The viki model could not exist without the existence of unpaid volunteers, because it would be impossible to pay for all those languages. Yes, viki could pay for English and, say, Spanish, but then all the rest of us who work equally hard but in less popular languages would feel really bad and be really pissed off for doing it for free when others get paid. Thus it is more fair that none gets paid.

    I hope I cleared some misunderstandings. What you decide to do with your subscription is up to you, but at least you should make an informed decision.

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  • When the 3 broadcasters decided with the Kocowa creation Viki partnered with them, but the increased cost for VikiPlus is because of Kocowa content. Kocowa streaming site has only sbc, mbc and kbs content, no Chinese and other Asian content. Either way, to see them it will cost money, Viki is paying Kocowa for some of their content borrowed to watch on Viki, some Kocowa content comes with English subtitles only. As others streaming sites have this newer rule for non subscribers or with regional restrictions to be able to see the episode 2 or 3 weeks later and/or 2 last episode not to see at all is nothing new. 

    Asian content has become much more expensive these past 2-3 years, the licenses cost more the actors make more, we pay for all of it. It's a natural course of economical principle, demand/supply. Food prices increased too, before it was due to high transportation costs because of fuel, fuel is cheaper again, yet food prices are going up either because of increased salary or enjoying higher profit margin.

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  • I agree... this is totally bait and switch. On top of that I wanted to upgrade to plus for 1 month while I have some time off and they billed me for the freakin year. Viki why havent you responded to any of this. You have the worst customer service...why bother paying.

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