My mouth dropped open when I read the email from Netflix last week. When I saw the subject line said Price Change and New Plans, I figured Netflix was going to raise the price $1-$2 per month. Boy was I wrong.
Netflix, which I’ve touted in pasts blogs as setting a good example for other companies, surprised me with their chutzpah. They are increasing the price of my current 1-DVD-at-a-time plan from $9.99/month to $15.98/month, effective September 1. They have decided to charge $7.99/month for unlimited streaming and $7.99/month if you want one DVD at a time. If you want both, then just add the numbers together.
It’s probably an easy decision for people who do one or the other. A year ago I would not have had a problem dropping the streaming. Now we stream lots of movies and old TV shows. The convenience of picking and watching movies instantly is hard to beat. But Netflix doesn’t offer the latest and greatest movies on Instant. It is usually months or even years before movies are available on instant, if at all. So if I decide to just go with the Instant, I’d have to supplement it (RedBox, the library, Family Video) in order to see some recent hits. It probably won’t cost me a lot more in the end but it will now give business to the competition. If we decide to just do DVDs, then we’d only be able to watch 1-2 movies per week while we wait for them to travel to and from the post office.
I know I’m not the only one who has had this kind of reaction to their pronouncement. From other articles I’ve read on the internet, most people feel the same as I do. The choices are simple: 1) fork over the extra bucks, 2) choose the DVD or instant plan and find ways to supplement them or 3) drop your service.
I’m hoping that Netflix comes to their senses and backs off the new pricing plan. The least they could do is offer a discount when you get both plans. Or give me an option to stream a limited amount of movies per month at a reduced rate. Right now the choices are very limited. I haven’t made a decision yet on which option I’m going with. I’m waiting to see Netflix’s reaction to the backlash of customer anger.
I’m disappointed our wonderful relationship had to end.
P.S. In case you decide to drop your Netflix, a friend sent me a link to this article: 10 Ways to Kick the Netflix Habit and Never Look Back. Here are some more options: Netflix Alternatives: Other Places You Can Get Streaming Media, DVD Rentals.