LOS ANGELES — The popular streaming service Hulu engaged customer Amy Klein in a “bizarre, masochistic torture ritual” earlier this week, forcing her to choose her own “ad experience” as she tried to watch the latest episodes of New Girl.
“To be honest, it’s kind of tough to even talk about. It was a rainy day, and I just wanted to stay home, relax, and catch up on some of my favorite shows,” said Klein from her studio apartment. “Then, before she show even started, this screen popped up, telling me to choose between an ad for the Capital One Venture Card or a Wendy’s Asiago Chicken Club Sandwich.”
Klein, a full time barista who lives alone, was unable to reach friends or family for help, ultimately dealing with the situation by herself.
“Not only was I being forced to watch an ad before a short clip — a clip I had already paid for, mind you — but the ad was referred to as an ‘experience.’ It was horrifying,” said Klein. “All I can say is I hope this doesn’t happen to other innocent Hulu viewers. Nobody deserves this.”
Samantha Carroll, a Hulu customer service representative, defended the company’s use of interactive ads.
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“At Hulu, we value the input of customers. We understand Ms. Klein was upset having to choose which ads to see, and I would just like to say to her, from the bottom of my heart: Fuck off,” said Carroll through gritted teeth. “For $8, you get access to so much programming, and all we ask is you sit and watch 30 fucking seconds of ads. If you don’t like it, pay the $4 extra to go ad-free. But, let me guess — she’s probably using a login from a roommate or an ex-boyfriend or something. If I could punch all these people, I would.”
Klein, who confirmed her login does belong to a friend, claimed that does not excuse Hulu for causing such immense suffering.
“I still get anxious whenever I type an ‘h’ in my browser’s URL box,” said Klein. “I can’t even look at my Apple TV. But hopefully, with a little time and therapy, I’ll be back to my normal self.”
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Article by Hana Michels @hanamichels.
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