I’ll start off by saying that I used to love Netflix. They had a great, inexpensive program that was convenient. They started off renting movies and television shows online. It was great: you browse their library, put a bunch of titles in your queue (in the order that you wanted them) and, depending on your subscription level, you’d receive your DVD by mail. Watch it at your leisure and return it when you were done and you’d get the next show on your list.
In those early days, the online streaming was limited, both as to titles that were available, and the amount you could watch. Frankly, most of it was very old, out of date movies and television and, in my opinion, hardly worth paying “extra” for — and that’s exactly how it worked — you paid a flat rate of about $9.00 a month for whatever you watched. Eventually, the online library improved and that became their selling point. “Unlimited streaming and DVDs by mail for one low price.” Customers flocked to them. It was a good thing — for a while.
Last year, Netflix changed their whole structure — splitting the DVD by mail and the online streaming into two separate charges and, in one fell swoop, increased the cost for most of their customers by 40%. They did a very poor job of explaining the reasons behind it and the average customer, myself included, saw it as arrogance. In fact, when questioned about the uproar over the increased costs and the possible departure of subscribers, their answer was that they expected some losses, but that the customers who remained paying the higher rates would make up for it.
Not me. If they had announced the changes with a little more advanced notice, and made more incremental price increases, I would have been more on board with them. But the streaming selection has actually degraded in the last year, so the idea of paying more and getting less just doesn’t do it for me. The DVD by mail was still the preferred product in this house, so the streaming subscription was dumped and I was no longer a “fan” of Netflix. The process of canceling Netflix entirely is now pending, as much on principle as it is on product. The biggest thing that they had going for them was convenience.
If you’re not familiar with it, Redbox is great. Reserve a movie online and pick it up at your favorite location. Their kiosks are in supermarkets, drug stores and other convenient spots all around the country. You can rent DVDs for just over $1.00 per disc, per night, with no membership fees. You should try it out. If you click on the link below and it’s your first time renting online, they’ll give you a free one-night online rental.
So bye-bye Netflix and hello Redbox.