September 19, 2011

Movie Monday: Why I Don't Hate Netflix

Or, the one where I get flamed in the comments.

**EDIT: Before I begin, I forgot to announce there will be a GIVEAWAY on Wednesday. A food-related giveaway. Be sure and check back!!

I realize starting out that this will make me the formerly-redheaded-stepchild of the blogosphere...maybe humanity. I know it's totally en vogue now to reflexively say "sucks" whenever someone says "Netflix."

To be honest, I really don't know why.

Okay, okay, yes, I don't like price hikes any more than anyone else. They went from charging $10 a month to $25 for the same service...OR (big OR) allowing a la carte options for various prices. Allowing you, the subscriber, to choose exactly what you use and how much you want to pay.

Here's why I'm not frothing:

Netflix has the right to charge whatever they want for their services.

They warned us two months in advance. It was all over the news.

When I was with Blockbuster, they raised prices half a dozen times in two years, and only notified people through emails - most of which got sent to spam. So there were quite a few times we found out by our checking account statement, after being charged.

I prefer Netflix's method.

And frankly, I have a hard time hearing anyone who has a cell phone, personal vehicle, laptop, DSLR, in-home internet, MP3 players, and clothes in the closet that never get worn whine and moan over a luxury service.

Because that's what it is. This isn't like we're suddenly being charged 2x as much for water or electricity, people.

And 2x as much is still less than $30 a month. That's less than one meal at a restaurant anymore (if you tip, which you should).

So, if you go to Chili's one less time a month, if you move "date night" from going out to eating at home, you can afford any Netflix price increases with minimal adjustment to your budget. Or, you can take a lower-tiered plan, watch less TV and walk the dogs more often.

The only thing about all these Netflix changes I am really bothered by - because "upset" is even too strong a word - is the fact that next year, they will no longer carry Starz programming. Did you see that? Starz cancelled their contract with Netflix. Much of the streaming content Netflix has, particularly newer movies, is Starz.

Why is that happening? Because Starz wanted Netflix to change their pricing. They wanted Netflix to charge subscribers like Pay-Per-View. That is, Starz didn't like the fact that us peons could access all their regular and premium programs for the same price through Starz when we have to pay different prices through cable.

Netflix said, 'No, we charge everyone the same. But if you stay with us, we'll pay you 10x ($35B to $350B) a year.' Starz said no and left.

So, I'm irritated at Starz. Hopefully this means HBO or other premium services will step in and fill that void.

However, there's still the issue that people don't like paying more for something they already use, even though it's a total non-essential. Looking back, I can see where Netflix messed up.

Instead of charging everyone the same across the board, what Netflix should have done is asked people to submit their annual income, and charged people on a sliding scale according to how much they make, so that people who pay more are subsidizing the people who make less and therefore should be charged less, regardless of who uses how-ever-many DVDs or hours of streaming a month. To make it more "fair," they could have charged the "rich" people who can "afford" it $25 a month, and the "poor" people who use as many DVDs and streaming only the $7 or $10 a month rate.

In short, they should've pulled an Obama.



  1. I don't mind the price hike at all. There are price hikes everywhere these days and as you said, it's not like your electricity bill doubled. Netflix is a choice - not a necessity.

    I do, however, mind that Netflix separated their services. We have both, streaming and DVD plan. But the new separation of services (Netflix vs. Qwikster) is what makes me upset: having two queues, logging into two different websites, two credit card bills, two everything. Also, the new name for the DVD service? I do not like. I understand that this may be just like one of those Facebook overhauls--people complain at first but eventually they get used to it and forget all about it. I guess, time will tell.

  2. I like this post. I don't seem to mind the Netflix change. I don't rent their DVD's. I normally use Netflix for the kids when I'm cleaning or cooking. I know, the tv is a babysitter for a bit. Oh well.
    I also use it some nights when my husband has duty and I need to catch up on a season of some show that I just got into.
    Really, Netflix gives you a good amount of variety for streaming. People are just way too picky and want everything handed to them.
    And that last line was too funny.

  3. I love my Netflix! I wasn't a fan of the price increase, but we just adjusted our plan to only get streaming videos. We were on the 2 DVD a month plan, and we seriously only watched 1 a month and kept it for 3 weeks anyway, so it wasn't a big deal to us... especially since now we're paying even less.

    I DO agree with the previous commenter though, about the new announcement of Qwikster. Even though we don't rent DVDs now, we probably will go back to them in the future... and the separated sites seems quite obnoxious to me!

    Good post. :-)

  4. I love my netflix, I'm irritated by the "new" companies. I don't see why they had to separate them. Also, the new name is super lame. :p

  5. They are a business and just like any other business they need to make money. And they need to raise their prices as the market and natural inflation raises prices elsewhere. Sometimes I think people find things to complain about simply to complain about them.

    If you don't like how Netflix does business, stop using them. Except the complainers won't stop. Just like the people who complain about government won't vote to correct it next time... :)

  6. "they should have pulled an Obama." Hahahaha! YES!

    I also don't understand why so many people are upset about this whole Netflix thing. I mean, yeah, they're raising prices. Doesn't WalMart raise prices on certain things? Or Target? Or every other business in the US? I don't like the price hike either, but geez. It's clear we live in the "I deserve it" generation and it's sickening.

  7. I don't hate Netflix. However...if it's not broken...why "fix" it?

  8. I don't mind the price increase either. I am happy with Netflix!!

  9. Haha! You made me laugh, which is a big deal today. Good work.

    I'm kind of bummed that we can't afford to get both streaming and DVDs any more, because we ARE on a very tight budget and we don't want to skimp anywhere else. BUT, like you, what I'm most "upset" about is the Starz deal. Since we're only doing the instant view now, that will make a big difference to us. I'm hoping someone else will take the $350B and give us some "premium" and newer movie options.

  10. I've never used them nor do I have any plans to because I just don't think it would work for me. But I don't get why people were all upset either. They told people in advance and everything goes up in price over time.

  11. The price hike isn't so bad, but I agree that separating into two companies is lame. I got my "apology" email from the CEO explaining things today, and I have decided to ditch the DVD plan. We have a blockbuster up the road that has $2 new releases...worth it to get a few days sooner. I still like the streaming though!

  12. I have to admit.. at first.. I was all bummed out and went "how dare you" on them. Then I got over my tantrum, cancelled streaming (we like watching the newer movies), and now pay less. Win for us!
    I didn't know about the name changing though? Am I living under a rock?

  13. hahaha, oh how I love you, sister-friend! I still love Netflix. I adore the streaming on my phone and through the Wii. I considered canceling the DVDs but my old soul LOVES the wide variety of old movies on Netflix.


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