For all Netflix users, last Thursday was judgement day. The company had announced in July that it would be replacing its $9.99 a month plan with two new options: $7.99 for unlimited streaming and $7.99 for DVD rentals. Netflix notified its customers by email that they would have to change their plans by September 1 or they would automatically be registered for both plans.
Now that the new pricing model has been put into effect, Netflix users have a decision to make: deal with a 60% price increase, choose either instant streaming or renting DVDs, or cancel their Netflix accounts altogether to avoid paying the extra money. A July survey of about 1100 Netflix users by Wedbush Securities found that 22 percent of them planned on exercising their right to protest by dumping Netflix in favor of other streaming/DVD sites like Hulu, Redbox, or Amazon.
I’ll be the first to admit that the price increase had me confused: “Really Netflix?," I thought, "This is how you treat your customers?” While I think the new plan is disrespectful to their loyal clientele, it still caters to some. There are those who prefer streaming to DVDs or vice versa who will appreciate paying less money and still getting to use their movie-watching method of choice. That said, I still cancelled my account. If I ever have a craving for a certain movie, I probably either already own it, have a friend that does, or can find it at a Redbox outlet.
Which leads me to my advice for the average college student: if you have a Redbox or two readily available on your campus, don’t bother with Netflix. Netflix may have more variety, but Redbox is considerably cheaper and has more movies that were recently in theaters for your viewing pleasure. If you want to watch The King’s Speech at 3 a.m., visit your friendly neighborhood Redbox.
Photo: _tar0_ at flickr.com