I just cancelled my Netflix account. I’ve been a subscriber with them for a long time. Sometimes it was on and off, but for the last few years, since I began using their streaming service, it’s been on with us. I loved the service; I loved being able to rent movies and keep them as long as I wanted to, and later to stream things whenever I chose. It was almost better than buying the DVDs.
A little while ago, you may remember, Netflix raised its prices. Essentially it stopped offering a combo service of disk and streaming rentals, and forced its customers to pay for each separately, effectively raising its rates by something like 60%. Now, that didn’t affect me since I’d gone to all streaming a while ago. But it didn’t seem like a very good idea to me. Well what do I know about that sort of business, right?
Apparently enough to have foreseen the result. Just the other day Netflix appeared shocked at having lost a million more customers than it expected thanks to this new policy. (We’re shocked, shocked we tell you, to find that so many of you aren’t the complacent suckers we took you for!) I mean, let’s face it. Netflix isn’t the only game in town anymore. Yeah, they put a massive crimp in Blockbuster’s hold on the rental marketplace, but that doesn’t mean they can afford to behave as if we don’t have any other options. Even if they were the only game in town, there is always the option to stop renting.
What? you say. Stop the immediate flow of media into my home? Are you mad? I’d lose my mind if there wasn’t a constant stream of noise in my home!
No you wouldn’t. You just think you would. And you’d save money. And you’d actually make a point that needs making: That big companies can’t simply assume that we’ll shuffle along like good animals and do whatever they want us to do. See, the thing is, I’m not affected at all by the changes, but I’m pissed. I’m pissed off that Netflix thought it could suck that much more money out of its subscribers. I’m pissed that they were surprised when more people said “Oh HELL no!” than they expected.
I’m pissed at the non-apology that they made today, and I’m pissed at the stupid name they’ve given their new enterprise. (Okay that’s a silly thing to be annoyed about, but as long as I’m on a roll…)
As anyone who knows me can tell you, when I get pissed off I am more than willing to forego things I enjoy to make my point. Now maybe this all seems like what my mother used to call “cutting off your own nose to spite your face,” but I don’t think so. It’s time to remove Netflix from my life, and if that means I see fewer movies and TV eps than I used to, so be it. I get kind of tired of being a media victim sometimes.
Maybe I’ll get more done.
- Netflix Is Fucking With Its Business Model Again (ken_ashford.typepad.com)
- Netflix Plan to Lure Back Subscribers: Confuse Them with a New Name [NetFlix] (gawker.com)
- Netflix to Spin off DVD Division (techbookshelf.com)
- Netflix Renames DVD Delivery Service ‘Qwikster’ (techland.time.com)
- Customers pan ‘Qwikstupid’ idea (cbsnews.com)
- Netflix can’t afford a streaming content war (money.cnn.com)
- Why It’s Crazy To Cancel Your Netflix (forbes.com)
- Netflix: How to completely screw up (go.theregister.com)
- Netflix to shed DVD all together: Step 1 Raise price & Step 2 split the DVD-by-mail business away. Call new venture Qwikster (saintel.wordpress.com)