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Etiquette 101: When And When Not To Keep Using Your Ex’s Netflix Password

The combined monthly costs for streaming services can add up quickly, especially if you have a trifecta, like, Netflix, Hulu, and HBO Go. Considering all three are only going to get more expensive, when we come into contact with a free password and login, why wouldn’t we keep it? Even if it belongs to an ex? It’s like free money.

According to a survey by Exstreamist, 13 percent of people still use an ex’s Netflix password. People like Jeanna Satariano, who uses her current boyfriend’s passwords, but kindly shares her Netflix account with her ex. She tells Moneyish, “Since our relationship is in a fine place (and) we’re cordial with each other … it doesn’t stir up any hard feelings.”

Experts tell Moneyish that there are times when sharing login information with an ex just doesn’t make sense. But, there are also occasions when it’s okay. Here are some quick and dirty rules to judge your situation.

Lose the password if:

You had a bad breakup.  As Etiquette expert Thomas P. Farley puts it to Moneyish, “It’s the non-married, millennial equivalent of somebody cutting off a spouse’s credit card because they’re separated.”

You want your ex to quit sponging off you. Etiquette expert Elaine Swann told Moneyish to “do the work first — meaning change any passwords … delete the person from the system, and then follow up and let them know. And, of course, be considerate in the manner in which you tell them.”

Use the password if:

If things are amicable. Said Farley, “If you are a young, millennial urban dweller living on a very tight budget … you most likely share a lot of these subscriptions for the purpose of not just convenience, but for budgetary savings,”

If you received the streaming subscription as a gift. But if you’d like to continue the service after your subscription expires, it’s up to you to foot the bill. “Whatever the understanding of the initial term was when the gift was presented, that is yours to keep,” said Farley. “But I would not hesitate from calling the company and asking, ‘When does this term end? OK, here, I’d like to give you my credit card to auto-renew.’”


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