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New Netflix prices drive the Internet crazy

Netflix logo

File this one under things people probably don’t have a right to be upset about. Netflix announced yesterday new prices and new subscription plans for its DVD and streaming products.

Previously, Netflix offered a plan that gave you unlimited DVDs mailed to your home during the month (one at a time, I believe?) and unlimited streaming for $9.99. Now, the company is splitting the DVD and streaming plans so that you have to subscribe to each one individually. There is no more saving money by subscribing to both at the same time.

The new cost for the same products listed above: $15.98, or $7.99 for each service.

This has caused an uproar.

Here are a few of the comment complaints from beneath the blog post, just to pick three popular ones. (I’m sure by now the reasoning has been repeated ad nauseum on the comment thread.

I think you should fire your marketing department. Anyone that comes up wit ha 60% price increase scheme and forgets to NOT include even a minimal increase to the service or content at the same time to distract, confuse, bamboozle, or lie to your customers is just stupid.

The reason all of your “loyal customers” are still renting DVDs is because your selection of movies to stream kind of sucks. It’s nice to have the option to turn on a movie when you want, not having to wait for shipping, but until you start offering movies that people actually want to see through the streaming site this change in your pricing is a TERRIBLE deal. You will lose a lot of customers due to this.

Netflix…you suck. You should have at least offered a discount for customers who choose to combine both streaming and DVD-by-mail options. And yes, there are still those of us who value having the physical DVD on hand, so I don’t appreciate your passive aggressive attempt towards pressuring your customers to opt for streaming-only viewing, which, in this case, serves only to inflate both your own pockets and those of corporate Hollywood, while taking away much-needed revenue from the U.S. Postal Service and not giving your loyal customers any added value with an inordinate increase in rates. Furthermore, since we all know that some films are only available via one delivery method, you’re essentially giving your customers an ultimatum–one that I’m not willing to accept. Thus, I shall present my last words to you: “Hasta la vista, baby!”

And so on.

Here’s what I know: It’s expensive to send DVDs through the mail, and streaming is relatively cheap. It’s in Netflix’s interest to get more streaming customers because they will be able to streamline their operations. Also, in case you missed the boat somewhere along the line, barring an EMP attack on the Western Hemisphere, streaming media is the future.

Finally, and here’s the kicker: Netflix is a business and can charge whatever it pleases for its services. There is no law obligating people to purchase Netflix memberships. If you don’t the company’s prices, you always have the option of not buying their products anymore.

Perhaps I’m too hard nosed, though. What do you think of the new Netflix prices?