Monday, August 8, 2011

Here's lookin' at you, Netflix.

We'll always have Paris.

Well, sort of. As anyone with a Netflix account or a computer or an ear probably knows by now, Netflix is raising prices on the accounts of its current customers. Not only are they raising them, but it's a 60% increase, for people like me, who have streaming and single-DVD service. Right now I pay about $10 a month for both. At the end of August, Netflix would like to begin charging me $16.

I realize it's only $6. I recognize that is a small amount of money and it isn't such a bad deal, but I am bothered by the arrogance of the company. Jesse Becker, blogger for wrote this about the decision to un-bundle DVDs and streaming: "At the time, we didn’t anticipate offering DVD only plans. Since then we have realized that there is still a very large continuing demand for DVDs both from our existing members as well as non-members. Given the long life we think DVDs by mail will have, treating DVDs as a $2 add on to our unlimited streaming plan neither makes great financial sense nor satisfies people who just want DVDs".

This quote makes me crazy. They are using "great financial sense" as an excuse to raise prices on a service they "didn't anticipate" would be as popular as it is? What? When a pen company sells a lot of purple pens to regular customers, more than they anticipated selling, do they then raise prices on those pens for their current customers, justifying it by saying that they didn't realize those purple pens would be so popular? That it's just good fiscal sense to charge you more for something we've been providing at an affordable rate for so long? That bundling purple and green pens isn't a good deal for the company any more, so we're going to split the deal and charge you 60% more if you want to continue getting purple?

Stupid move, Netflix. As evidenced by the 5,000 comments (this maxed out the allowable comments, and you can no longer add your thoughts, but most of the people commenting hit it on the nose anyway.), most of their customers are incensed by this. Many are promising to cancel, come August 31st.

Had they come out with "we will now be streaming more new releases" and given us a list of newly added and upcoming shows to be added to streaming, it wouldn't have been so bad. Had they said, "we'll still offer a bundle price of $12" or something reasonable, it wouldn't have been as painful. But this is not the case. Less and less of what I actually want to watch are available to stream, and sometimes I've been partly through a TV series when Netflix decides to pull it-- leaving me only the option to wait for the DVDs to come.

I don't want to see Netflix put out of business. I have really enjoyed what they offer, recommending it to friends and family and even quitting our satellite because we knew we could count on Netflix for our entertainment. I just want them to realize this was a stupid move. They raised the price too high, too fast and with a stupid justification for doing so. Basically, they are just saying, "We realized we could make a ton more money (60% more) for our service. So we want to." I am a fan of capitalism, on the whole. I like the idea that the market decides how much companies can charge people for products and services. I don't like greed, however. It makes me angry. This just reeks of greed.

I will be canceling my DVD service from Netflix. Redbox, my dad's collection, my friends and families' collections and purchasing on Amazon will have to suffice for those many, many shows not streamed on Netflix. There are other ways to see what I want to see. Though, I will be sorry that the ease of my queue will be gone. That the fun surprise of the movie arriving in the mail will be over. We will be keeping our streaming, for now. Our children use it a lot, though, with school (and the new TV season) starting, they may not use it as much, and maybe I'll cancel that in September as well. We shall see.

To give credit where credit is due, the image above is from the following location:

1 comment:

Angie said...

I totally agree with you! I can't quite decide what I am going to do, but probably will just cancel.