Netflix Quietly Changes Service Plans, Backlash Ensues
Per their announcement, all new customers will now pay $15.99 per month for the streaming and DVD combo plan (previously $9.99) and a $7.99 service plan will be available for DVD only rentals. This essentially breaks down the streaming and DVD services to $7.99 each.
The new service plans, the company admits, were financially motivated; Netflix apparently had a change of heart when they realized DVD rentals were still in high demand. And, adding insult to injury, Netflix says the changes in service plans were also for the benefit of the customers.
Given the long life we think DVDs by mail will have, treating DVDs as a $2 add on to our unlimited streaming plan neither makes great financial sense nor satisfies people who just want DVDs. Creating an unlimited DVDs by mail plan (no streaming) at our lowest price ever, $7.99, does make sense and will ensure a long life for our DVDs by mail offering.
Also of significance, there is no mention of grandfathering the $9.99 plan, but the company has said current customers will be able to keep their $9.99 combo plan till Sept. 1, 2011.
Customers are none too happy about this announcement and have been voicing their opinions online--many threatening to leave the service altogether.
"A small increase would have kept me as a customer, but this is too much," says Brian Ibbott on his Facebook post.
Others are a bit more passionate.
"You think this change is 'a terrific value[?]' asks Chris Pirillo. "It's not. It's a load of [explicative]."
The message on the company blog ends by reminding customers alternatives are offered for those unhappy with the changes made.
"As always, our members can easily choose to change or cancel their unlimited streaming plan, unlimited DVD plan, or both by visiting Your Account."
Reach Jacob Chung here.