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YouTube Is Going After People Who Signed Up for Premium With a VPN

YouTube has been experimenting with ways to disable ad blockers for a while now, and now it’s going after its own subscribers. Specifically, if you’ve used a VPN to purchase YouTube Premium for a cheaper rate than is available where you actually live, Google is coming after you.

In a statement to TechCrunch, the company said the following: “To provide the most accurate plans and offers available, we have systems in place to determine the country of our users. In instances where the signup country does not match where the user is accessing YouTube, we’re asking members to update their billing information to their current country of residence.”

The statement followed reports users had posted on Reddit that their YouTube Premium subscriptions had been suddenly canceled without warning.

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YouTube Premium rates differ depending on your market. For example, while the service costs $13.99 in the U.S., it costs the equivalent of $1.54 a month in India.

Redditors who contacted customer service said agents told them their plans were canceled because they had “moved” to a different region. One U.K.-based redditor who had signed up for YouTube Premium with a Ukrainian IP address said they were told they would need to sign up for a new plan with a U.K. card, bumping them up from a £2.30/month payment to £12.99 a month.

“Confirmed it’s a crackdown on cheap VPN subscriptions,” the Redditor wrote. “Yikes…”

YouTube did not outright confirm that it canceled subscriptions for using a VPN at sign-up, although the company did tell PCMag that it has “initiated the cancellation of premium memberships for accounts identified as having falsified signup country information.”

While the move to force people to pay full price for Premium follows a months-long campaign against ad blocking, YouTube Premium also offers additional services, including video downloads and access to YouTube Music Premium.

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