Skip to main content

Vancouver hospital patient loses Netflix access due to password crackdown


Carlo Sallazzo has been waiting for a double lung transplant at Vancouver General Hospital for five months.

During that time, reading books and watching Netflix have been his primary ways of passing the time.

"Boredom does take a lot of effort to overcome,” said Sallazzo.

That's why he's joining the chorus of critics slamming Netflix's controversial crackdown on password sharing, calling it inflexible.

Sallazzo's wife and two children live at home in Victoria.

The new rules require devices to "check in" with a home wifi network every 30 days or risk losing access.

"Going home every 30 days seems reasonable from a Netflix perspective, but there are lots of situations where that doesn't fit the model,” he said. "I told them I can't do that, I need my device here, it's the only link I have to entertainment and to get me through the day."

Premium and standard users can add extra members outside of the household for an additional $7.99 a month.

"The amount is not huge, but the principle is because I don't feel the policy is well written or they didn't take in all the additional circumstances," Sallazzo said.

Similar pushback has come from users who frequently work out of town or students studying away from home.

"Depending on how Netflix handles these next few days in terms of their response and if they were to say, 'Look we've heard you and we have more research to do,' I think that would actually enhance their credibility,” said Morgan Westcott, the associate dean of BCIT’s marketing program.

“There’s lots of examples of marketing where companies have come out with a new product and the customers have said, 'No, I don’t like it,' and the company comes out and says, 'We actually were wrong,'” she said. “I like to think of Coke Classic and New Coke, and I think Netflix could take a page out of that book.”

Netflix did not respond when asked by CTV News about medical circumstances. The company said earlier this month that more than 100 million households share accounts, which affects its "ability to invest in great new TV and films."

Sallazzo says if Netflix doesn’t reverse the change, he’ll be looking to a new streaming service to keep him entertained at the hospital. Top Stories

Stay Connected