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Netflix takes a dump on current customers with new pricing plan

If you're a current Netflix customer, you've no doubt already heard the news of the new pricing structure announced yesterday. Has that changed your relationship with the company? It has for me.

I sadly have little time to hit the theaters. Living with someone who doesn’t care to go to the movies at all doesn’t help matters much. Honestly, I don’t blame her much. Being at the theater means uncomfortable seating, little-to-no talking, and no pause or rewind. Oh, I get the draw of the huge screen and huge sound, believe me. I still love to go when it’s something big, or someone I know wants to go with me. But being comfortable sorta trumps that in my book. Plus, us being kinda germaphobey … it’s kinda gross there.

I’ve been an on-again/off-again customer of Netflix’s for many years now.¬†Frustrated with my local video rental shops, late fees and such, I jumped right on board when Netflix came around, and I loved it. Some time went by and I was watching fewer movies, and then the pricing went up. And then it went up again. I dropped Netflix, went to Blockbuster, hated it, then went back to Netflix again. Then the Blu-ray pricing kicked in, so I dropped them. Then streaming looked better and better, so I came back. And now … this.

Seriously, what the fuck?

I know a lot of people who use Netflix purely for the streaming aspect of the service, so this new pricing doesn’t affect them much, if at all. Since I don’t go to the theater, my only chance at playing at least a little catch-up with newer releases is to go to the DVD plans. I’d love to still take advantage of the streaming service, but both? … I can’t stomach it.

It’s true that, if you look at the alternatives, the price hike is still a decent deal. What bugs me most, though, is the frequency of these price hikes. For as long as Netflix has been around, should I really have had to consider dropping them or changing my plans every time? Shouldn’t their service on either end be compelling enough to make me barely think twice about sticking with what I’ve got?

Another big issue for me is the online-only library. There’s just not enough there. I’ll be looking for something worth watching (that’s not a TV show), and I’m hard-pressed to find something that makes me glad I have the service open to me. I don’t watch on my iPad or my iPhone, so the mobile aspect means nothing to me. It was a nice-to-have feature when it was included in my unlimited DVD plan, but separately? Not so much.

In case you haven’t guessed, I’ve now downgraded my account to the DVD-only, one-at-a-time, two-per-month plan. If I’m that hard-pressed to see more than two movies a month, I’ll head to a Redbox. If I’m itching for something obscure, I could attempt Amazon’s service, but I doubt it will come to that. Honestly, in a way, I should thank Netflix for this change; now I’m paying less per month than I was before, and spending less time in front of the ‘tube to do other things. Hell, maybe I’ll get out to a theater instead!

How are you feeling about the change Netflix has made? Pissed off and moving on? Changing plans? Or is everything just honkey-dorey as far as you’re concerned?

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Categories: Features, General, News, Polls

8 Responses to “Netflix takes a dump on current customers with new pricing plan”

July 13, 2011 at 11:11 AM

If you were a DVD only customer, how much have prices actually gone up?

July 13, 2011 at 11:16 AM

The unlimited plan had online streaming included, and now it’s now it’s extra. That’s how it’s gone up. I’d like to be able to use the streaming or have that option, but not if I have to pay extra for it. So thanks, Netflix, for saving me money in that regard. :)

July 13, 2011 at 11:24 AM

See, I’m seeing this in a completely different light than every one else.

Netflix’s expenses will be going up substantially on the streaming side in the next 18 months.

So, instead of including this feature that will be, by far, their biggest expense moving forward, they’re charging people for it. If you don’t want to use it, you’re not going to be charged for it. It isn’t like they arbitrarily added 8 bucks to every users across the board, independent of whether or not you actually using the streaming service.

I agree with you on Netflix should have anticipated all of this. But, truly, if they had, and increased to this price point 18 months ago (or 12, or 6) while their streaming library was even smaller than it was now, what would have happened then?

I actually changed my plan to remove DVDs … I wasn’t using them, and when I did, they’d sit on the shelf gathering dusts for weeks before I’d get around to watching them.

July 14, 2011 at 8:09 AM

Here’s the problem as I see it. Netflix was offering a service for a significant period of time at a certain price point. Seemingly at an arbitrary point in time they decide to increase the price (by quite a bit, in fact). There was no change in the service, no announcement about why they were increasing the price, no announcement about new titles that would be available on streaming, no announcement about improving infrastructure or increasing streaming speed. No nothing, Just a big: dear costumers, give us more money, F U, Love Netflix.

July 13, 2011 at 1:48 PM

You know who is going to benefit from this? Hulu/Hulu Plus, because if you want to watch new TV show episodes, they offer those to stream day after air. Netflix doesn’t offer many new episodes (except from NBC) and no new movies to stream instantly. Unless they can start offering new movies to stream day-and-date with the discs, I think they’re going to lose the streaming battle when people realize they can’t watch the latest releases right away after being forced to choose between pricing plans (and in this economy, you really don’t want to make people start paying more for something). There’s a Redbox now on practically every corner, Amazon offers streaming of new titles, iTunes offers streaming, pay-per-view has new movies before they’re available at Netflix and Redbox … people have so many options that if Netflix doesn’t start to offer new titles to stream, this new pricing structure could be disastrous for them.

July 13, 2011 at 1:58 PM

It seems that for the most part, the price has nearly doubled – I was paying about 9 a month for 1 dvd at a time, unlimited, and unlimited streaming – which is jumping up to 16 per month. I think Netflix figures they can afford to lose a good chunk of customers, maybe even a third, and still be sitting in the same spot in terms of revenue, with the benefit of cutting their bandwidth and postal usage down significantly, saving them in operating costs.
Their blatant mentioning of “You can easily change or cancel your unlimited streaming plan, unlimited DVD plan, or both, by going to the Plan Change page in Your Account” on both their customer-correspondence and website seems to support that notion.

July 14, 2011 at 1:50 AM

Not sure if anyone of you have noticed but Netflix streaming library sucks. Countless times i started to watch a series to find out episodes were missing. So I would use the dvd rental to get the dvd for that part to watch the missing episodes. With the new price plan I will not be able to do this b/c it makes no sense to pay dvd and rental. Just finished canceling my sub. Was getting tired of the lack of content anyways so this was just a greater push to quit it.

July 15, 2011 at 1:46 PM

That’s what I was saying above. Unless they can offer brand new moves and all new episodes of TV shows within a day or air, then what’s the point of the streaming service? I do like to be able to catch some older BBC shows like Jekyll, but where’s the new stuff? Why, it’s on Hulu Plus – for the same price you’re paying Netflix to watch old shows!

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