60% price increase?! Give me a break!

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.


13 thoughts on “60% price increase?! Give me a break!

  1. Yes, I agree and I am doing the same as you by going with the streaming only. I will be checking out other venues from now on though. It will be to their loss. I think a lot of people will be doing the same. Certainly cable has gotten way out of hand!

  2. Totally agree Michele and not happy like everyone else. I also heard that they were going to reduce the already limited content available on instant streaming. My kids get a lot of use out of the instant pkg when they are away at school, so really seemed like we were getting our money’s worth and a good deal. Now, like everyone else, will have to decide how and where to spend our entertainment dollars.

    • Sharon
      I hadn’t heard about limiting the content for what is streamed. I hope this is not the case. One of the things that distinguished Netflix from other streaming sites is the ability to have DVDs and streaming. Now they are just like other services.

  3. Hello Michele,
    For me there is nothing lost. We tried Netflix a while back, but were so unhappy with the limited selection and the need to make a commitment that cost every month, that we just turned it off. Blockbuster was much more dependable … But now that it is no longer an option (except for the kiosks, if you can find them), we do Redbox and are looking at Hulu-Plus as an option.
    Mike V

    • Mike
      We originally had Netflix, back before the days of streaming, and before they had a distribution center in Rochester. It took a long time to get a DVD after sending one back. So we cancelled it. Then a few years later we tried again and we were amazed at the quick turnaround and we were very happy (except when my kids didn’t watch their movie in a timely fashion). We started streaming as a way to fill in the in-between time and so that I didn’t tie up a dvd with a movie just I wanted to see. I like the little offbeat documentaries and foreign films that no one else in my family likes so I was happy and they were happy. We liked having the latest movie show up in the mail within days of it being released. Now we’ll just have to do a little better planning if we want to watch the latest release since I think we’re going to cut back to just streaming. I’m hoping that if a lot of people go that way Netflix will begin to offer more of a selection for streaming. If not, we can always explore other options.


      • Netflix is still cheaper than cable TV per month. You can also get movies from the library for free.

      • Chris
        Most people I know get Netflix on top of cable or satellite service. It is cheaper if you don’t have either of those. My brother lives in Michigan in a county without a library. If he wants check out movies from another county’s library (for example near where he works) it will cost him $100 for a membership. So we have it goo here in western NY.

  4. When did you receive this email from Netflix? I’ve looked back through my emails and don’t find it. I would think that current customers would be grandfathered on their plans, but maybe I’m naive. We DO live in the boonies and have very few options.

    • I got the email on July 12 Peg. And no grandfathering for existing customers except that the new prices don’t go into effect until September 1 for existing customers. These new prices are effective now for new customers.

  5. I used Netflix a few years ago, back when it was 5 DVDs for $14.99 a month. At the time that was still a lot cheaper than the local rental places. Then RedBox changed the game.

    I tried Netflix again this past winter, with just the streaming option. Unfortunately streaming videos don’t have closed captioning, so I canceled it immediately (I’m partially deaf).

    Even with Netflix’s price increase, it’s still WAY cheaper than cable.

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