Netflix revealed this week that its is testing in certain Latin American countries a method of dealing with password sharing on the subscription video on demand service, including a new means of handing sharing surcharges.

The move comes as the next steps in the streaming video giant’s attempt at addressing the problem of rampant subscription plan sharing with viewers outside of a household.

Netflix’s terms and conditions have long stated that a subscribed account cannot be shared with individuals outside of the household. The service allows users of its Standard and Premium tiers to run two and four simultaneous streams, respectively, in the home and on the road.

However, account log-ins are sometimes breached or intentionally shared with multiple friends and family members outside of the subscriber household.

Netflix previously has asked users to add-on user profiles that can be used to verify user legitimacy via the account email address or phone number on record. But Netflix is now adding two new tools it will try out in a handful of regions as way of better managing these extra sharing fees before taking them globally.

In a statement posted to its website this week Netflix explained:”So for the last year we’ve been working on ways to enable members who share outside their household to do so easily and securely, while also paying a bit more. And over the next few weeks, we’ll launch and test two new features for our members in Chile, Costa Rica, and Peru,” said Chengyi Long, Director of Product Innovation, Netflix.

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In the next steps, Netflix is implementing a means of “Adding an Extra Member” to the Standard and Premium plans via “sub accounts for up to two people they don’t live with – each with their own profile, personalized recommendations, login and password – at a lower price.”

In the trial of the measure, Netflix is adding sharing surcharges of 2,380 CLP in Chile, $2.99 USD in Costa Rica, and 7.9 PEN in Peru.

Also users will have the ability to “Transfer their Profile to a New Account Member” on a limited basis for Basic, Standard, and Premium plans. Account sharers will be able to transfer their account profile information either to a new account or an Extra Member sub account, while keeping the viewing history, My List, and personalized recommendations in the process.

In Costa Rica, Netflix charges fees of $9, $13 and $16 per month. The new option would impose an additional $3 fee, which the service points out is cheaper than establishing a new account.

According to the statement: “We recognize that people have many entertainment choices, so we want to ensure any new features are flexible and useful for members, whose subscriptions fund all our great TV and films. We’ll be working to understand the utility of these two features for members in these three countries before making changes anywhere else in the world.”

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By Greg Tarr

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