Netflix users revolt over price increases [poll]

Netflix streaming MI-5

Yesterday, Netflix did something almost unthinkable in this economy -- dramatically increased prices for many customers. I asked for your reaction, and, whoa, did you give it.

To recap: Netflix separated its DVD and streaming plans. Under the old arrangement, subscribers could rent one DVD at a time and get unlimited streaming for $8.99. Under the new scheme, 1-disc rentals and unlimited streaming are $7.99 a piece. To get both, the new price is $15.98, or a $6.99 increase.

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I must apologize for running the stupidest poll ever, by leaving out an important option: "cancel". So I'm starting over with a new poll today. The old one is closed, so that we can do this right.

Meanwhile, Betanews reader reaction is choice. Some advice to Netflix: Be very afraid of Amazon Instant Video and Redbox.

"Not a fan of this," Talcon comments. "This is definitely a blow to the deaf community, especially since only 1/4 of their streaming selection has subtitles". Troy Gates "will be going to Netflix streaming and Red Box for my dvd rentals".

"I just went on and cancelled my account," Brian Aldridge comments. "I have an Amazon Prime account that I can watch movies on. With a Redbox down the street I can rent a movie a couple times a week and be paying less than what they are trying to get me to pay now. I really feel that doubling the price is out of bounds. This may really hurt Netflix in the long run".

"In my opinion, this is how the math works out: $15.98 a month for Netflix is $192 a year", DaveN explains. "If I spend $79 for Amazon Prime (which includes free streaming), that leaves $113, with which I can rent at least 28 movies from Amazon Instant Video. That's more movies than I get from Netflix on DVD, so I'll probably come out ahead, while also getting the shipping benefits of Prime".

Prime customers pay that $79 a year for free 2-day or $3.99 1-day shipping, which can be shared with four accounts. In February, Amazon added something else: thousands of movies and TV shows streamed for free.

"I love Netflix and consider them to be an innovative, customer-focused company," DaveN adds. "However, when it comes right down to it, I like Amazon too, and it's not worth a premium price to get the exact same thing from one over the other".


Cristopher McRae observes an even bigger price increase for some customers: "I was grandfathered and paying $19.99 for 4-DVDs and streaming. I got an email from Netflix saying I will be paying the full $29.98. All previous price increases included grandfathered price differences. No longer. This is something I haven't seen published in any article about this price increase. Grandfathered plan holders have the highest increase of all. I started my subscription in January 2000".

"I will drop Netflix and go to Amazon Prime", KFCrosby writes. "I've been toying with just that idea so this seals it for me".

Matt Shulman: "There just aren't enough of the brand new releases available to make it worthwhile for me to go streaming only". The irony there is that Netflix gave up rights to offering rentals same day as new movies went on sale as concession for improving streaming selection.

"So who's to blame here?" commenter lvthunder asks. "I say it is Hollywood with their ever increasing cost to Netflix. I think they split the plans since they expect the streaming price to skyrocket in the next couple years".

PC Tool, writing late yesterday:

This is funny as hell, in a not at all funny sort of way. We just decided to go from our 'streaming-only' plan to being able to get 1-DVD as well. The very next day (today) we get this email. Talk about being butt-slapped. I read that email and could feel my blood-pressure rising. F 'em. They want more money? How about none. I can go without. So can millions of others I hope.

Now, had they announced new agreements or a larger selection (who am I kidding, had they offered NCIS streaming), I'd perhaps consider staying with them, but there was no explanation. No reasoning, no rationalle, no, 'We're sorry for this increase, but it is necessary to increase our catalog and offer more content'. Nothing. Not a word about why or even a hint that they understand this could negatively impact their users.

Buh-bye NetFlix.

"My friend recently dropped cable and went to Netflix, psypress1 comments. "He's gonna blow a gasket when he hears about this..he has disks queued out the wazoo. Streaming isn't anywhere near ready to replace Blu-ray, and won't be for years (if ever)".

Tell him to try HD streaming from Amazon. It's surprisingly good.

OK, I've got a fresh poll with all the right responses. Please answer and offer additional reaction in comments.

45 Responses to Netflix users revolt over price increases [poll]

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