HBO Go Moochers Shouldn’t Complain

Brian Barrett of Gizmodo on Sunday night’s HBO Go Issues:

The complainers are the moochers, the people who are using their cousin’s ex-girlfriend’s dad’s HBO Go password instead of forking over 16 bucks a month to watch it on their televisions. HBO knows this as well, which might explain why its Twitter customer support line ended up being more sassy than helpful.

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Your right to complain isn’t one of them, though. Not when it’s a thing you did not pay for but did help break. That’s the trade-off you’re signing up for. And that’s what $16 a month buys you: The confidence that you’ll be able to watch a show when it airs, or to DVR it so that it’s safe from the moochers storming HBO Go’s streaming castle.

This article could have not have been more perfect at commenting on what was going on Sunday night. Twitter was full of complaints from people about how HBO Go was down for them, and that they could not watch the season 4 premiere of Game of Thrones. Of course, all of these people should have been able to watch the show on their television because 98% of the people who have HBO Go access have it through their cable operator as part of a cable package that includes HBO.

Like Brian says in this article, it’s not a matter of people sharing their logins, if that’s your thing, go for it. But when people who are getting free access to something that isn’t free, it’s hard to complain that it doesn’t work. Based on the tweets from HBO themselves in that article, it doesn’t seem like they were too concerned, and it almost seems like they were magnanimous about it, but at the same time taking subtle jabs at these “moochers”.

It seems like HBO’s best move in the future is to stop making these new episodes available at the same time as the actual television time. This would encourage people to find another way to see it, and stagger people’s attempt to view it. That would likely result in less downtime and complaining as well.

If you are one of these people who “shares” an HBO Go login, it’s your choice to keep doing what you are doing. It is probably a bit of a gray area legally, but everyone has to make their own choices. But please don’t complain about it, especially when the show has just been released, if you must see it that soon suck it and pay for HBO like everyone else.

(On another note that would deserve it’s only article, what does this say about HBO’s existing infrastructure to be able to support a strictly online service?)