Canceling Netflix

Monday, August 22, 2005
I canceled my Netflix subscription. I wasn't really unhappy with their service but I wasn't really pleased either. My main problem is their idea of "unlimited". Basically, Netflix service degrades the more movies you rent. I tried renting at different frequencies and found that "unlimited" ends at about 12 movies a month. After 12 they pretty much start throttling you by giving you much worse service. They "receive" your movies later, they ship out your movies later, and you get less desirable movies from your queue. I don't have a problem if they want to give better service to those who make them more money, but I do have a problem with them not being up front about it.

I pay the same money everyone else does I should get the same service. I am taking advantage of the system they created and advertise yet I'm punished for it? Doesn't make a lot of sense. If you want to provide different service than state that explicitly up front. Don't pretend your service is "unlimited" when it clearly is not.

I still think that 12 movies a month is a pretty good deal for around $20 and Netflix did have many other good qualities. I'm going to try out Blockbuster again for the next few months. I didn't like them last time but supposedly they have better service now. We shall see.


susan said...

It will be interesting to see what your experience is. I did notice the turnaround time improved recently. I typically get between 8-9 movies a month and then I have the 2 in store rentals too. This month they also sent a coupon for a free previously viewed movie. But last month I received 10 by mail movies and then all of a sudden in the past week the delivery time has slowed down and for the first weekend every I was without a movie. I was wondering if they slowed down because I got "too many" movies. But I have trouble watching 10 movies a month and last month I went in to get my 2 freebies even though I had one on tap because I just didn't want my coupons to go to waste. So I guess I'll stick with it for now. They did write and say the price is going up for new subscriptions but my 14.99/month price will hold until January.

Ryan said...

Imagine if you were at an all-you-can-eat buffet but when you return to the buffet line and ask for more mashed potatoes the guy pretends not to notice you, then serves other customers first, then claims to be out of mashed potatoes and offers you something else instead. Anyone would be furious. And they would probably not return. But, perhaps that's what Netflix wants. They are better off if they drive away customers whose demands reduce their profit margin to near zero. It's too bad they need to be deceptive in order to do so.

T said...

Yes Ryan, I agree. Its is pretty unfair. Again, I don't have a problem with it if they are up front about it but they are not.

Many other people have experienced this problem. Just do a search for "Netflix throttling" and you will see a bunch of hits. Netflix has an incentive to get rid of high-volume renters like myself who cost them more than they take in but there is a problem with this strategy.

People who are high-volume renters and get bad service are more likely to be the most vociferous and most able to complain. You get enough people complaining like I am now and this will drive away potential good customers.

This is especially true for an internet based company whose customers are internet savvy and likely to look online for opinions about the service. Potential customers may read this obvious drawback about Netflix and decide not to subscribe, even though they themselves will never find themself trying to rent 18+ movies a month.

susan said...

I reviewed my past 10 months with Blockbuster. I've rented 100 movies. There were a few repeats due to lost mailings so let's call it 9.5 movies a month. Plus I get those 2 in store rentals. So 11.5 a month. I pay 14.99 or 16.11 with taxes. That works out to 1.11 per movie. Pretty good. Now in reality if the movies cost me the regular 3.99 per I'd probably only rent about 5 per month. But even with that I'm saving so I figure it is worth it.

T said...

I did a count of my netflix queue and lo and behold I got 132 movies in 11 months to hit right on that 12 a month mark. Maybe Netflix is evil.

susan said...

Okay I'm now on a quest to see if I can get more than 12 blockbuster movies sent to me in a month. I'll let you know.