My Open Letter To Netflix, From a Decade User

July 13, 2011

Dear Netflix,

I’ve been with you through thick and thin. In fact, I’ve been with you since 2001. Sure, I’m not one of those freaky early adopters but 10 years into a relationship really means something to me. You’ve been tolerable up until yesterday when I got the email about my account changes. But lets look at a play by play of little things that grow into huge issues.

I’m not even going to cover the price increases that have happened over the years. This just happens, and it is business but I don’t like it. I’m a user that gets 3 discs and streaming.

Let’s talk about the discs. Well, things were pretty good until you decided that I can’t get new releases when they are released. While that kind of pissed me off, I’m generally pretty slow on movie rotations (yes, we did have that disc for over a year) and while it didn’t affect me in a “I’m gonna cut you” way, it kind of irked me. It also kind of irked me that I have to play $2.00 for bluray discs yet not all the selections are available in bluray. I do it anyway, because I’m a sucker. Also, yes I do notice that you slow things down when I’m on a watching spree. Everyone knows about this. It is pretty petty but that’s just another grumble in the long chain of issues.

Streaming. Yeah. So I get that you want everyone to just jump on the streaming wagon, it will be cheaper for you. I sure would if you offerred more options. I just watched Californication season 1 and had to get the discs for season 2. Oh, and let me state that if you are going to have items up on instant, you should contract better so that they don’t have an expiry date. I HAD to watch Californication before July 1. Or else I had to get the discs because you didn’t contract well. Is that my fault? This happens with all the big movies. I put them in my instant queue, forget about them and then they aren’t available. I know you might think it weird I didn’t want to watch Julie & Julia or the new Clash of the Titans right away (meaning probably 28 days after the rest of the US could buy the movie), but I didn’t. And now I can’t without getting a disc. At least I can get a disc, but the streaming only package really blows.

So that leaves me with the new plans. My plan is going to be close to $30. And really, that is my tipping point. I feel nickled and dimed. And here is where I say that: TiVo grandfathered me into each rate increase and I’m paying my initial contract fee. For 8 years. AND I called them up and if I sell or give my TiVo to someone else in a month (which they give me for free), THEY will be grandfathered into my plan, not the new rates. Fair? Hell yes. And appreciated. And all I get from you, Netflix, is an email saying that I need to give you more money for the same service.

This is why I’m probably¬†canceling. I don’t want to. I’m pretty loyal. However, I feel there is no benefit for me, no gold star for being loyal. I can DVR movies just the same honestly, or rent from Amazon or Apple. I’ll miss out on a lot of anime but I think I’ll survive. There are other services for that. I know you want to make money like we all do, but I want to feel valued as a consumer, and you are doing everything in your power to push me away.

So I don’t feel appreciated being treated just like an average joe user after 10 years. There are so many months where my account has no¬†activities. A lot of months. And you not only take my money, but you say it isn’t enough. I don’t want to go down to 1 disc since I watch a lot of serials, I want the plan I chose. It isn’t that I can’t afford it, but it is because I don’t see the value in your offer.

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  • Reply Lacey July 13, 2011 at 7:23 PM

    I, too, decided to cancel my netflix subscription. I wanted to share with you a few things I learned from my husband that might help you better understand some of the issues you have with netflix. The reason new releases aren’t always available when they first come out is that the people who actually produce the discs and fund the movies saw that they were losing money to netflix because rather than purchasing their movies, people were essentially renting and returning them, so it was a huge profit loss for the movie companies to allow netflix to distribute their movies as soon as they came out. The same thing goes for blu rays-kind of. The production companies that make movies decide if they want to release a title as a blu ray or not. Additionally, a lot of old movies haven’t been upgraded because it’s expensive to do so. While those things aren’t netflix’ fault; I have issues with the increase. I already pay an insane amount of money for cable and I sometimes keep netflix movies for weeks. I cannot pay essentially the cost of BUYING a new movie to potentially see one a month. When you consider that 25% of peak hour internet usage is people streaming netflix, you have to wonder how they can afford the servers to keep up. I get that it is expensive to grow, but it’s frustrating to pass on the cost to your long time loyal customers. I cannot believe that no one is grandfathered in with this business. I’m going to stick to using red box for movies in the future, or i’ll order them on demand for my cable company. As few as I watch; it will still be cheaper for me. Have you considered going to Hulu Plus? It’s only $10 a month. That’s a great place for series’.

  • Reply Miska July 13, 2011 at 7:36 PM

    we have not made a decision as to what we are going to do as we are in the 1 movie a time camp. I would prefer to have the price go up a couple bucks a month rather than the split service

    going to look around to see what else is out there. but this vexes me greatly. it is still cheaper than cable – which is something we won’t give Comcast a dime for. We need to explore Hulu more as well as other dvd leasing services.

  • Reply radioactivegan July 16, 2011 at 12:35 AM

    I’m with Miska. I only get one disc a month (and I usually have the same one for at least a month). I don’t want to move to a streaming only plan; as you point out, the streaming selection sometimes sucks. Especially for tv series. But my price is going from $10/month to $16. That’s a big jump for the exact same service. I call shenanigans. What else is out there? I imagine they think they can do this because no one is really sure where to go from Netflix.

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