Imagine my surprise when I opened an email from Netflix Tuesday to discover that my current plan is jumping from $10 a month to $16 a month. Sure, that doesn't seem like a huge jump (come on, Sarah, it's only $6), but it is a pretty large hike--60 percent, to be exact.
Oh, Netflix. Bad idea.
Now, what Netflix is actually doing is getting rid of the unlimited streaming plus unlimited DVDs option. Instead, it's introducing a new, standalone unlimited DVDs option (there's already an $8 a month standalone unlimited streaming option) for $8 a month. And, well, if you want both, you're going to have to buy both--for the undiscounted price of $16 a month.
Netflix claims this change is due to costs ("treating DVDs as a $2 add on to our unlimited streaming plan neither makes great financial sense nor satisfies people who just want DVDs"), but some suggest it's because Netflix wants to restructure itself as primarily a streaming Web video service.
In other words, Netflix kind of wants you to ditch the DVDs and start seeing the company as bleeding on the cutting edge of streaming video technology. So, what's the problem?
Oh yeah, the problem is that Netflix's streaming video service just can't cut it.
Netflix's streaming video service includes around 20,000 titles, the likes of which include such popular titles as Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and Reservoir Dogs. Other streaming video services, such as Hulu Plus, have fewer titles (Hulu Plus has about 400 current and classic TV shows), but they're much more relevant--Hulu Plus boasts up-to-date episodes of House, Bones, and 30 Rock, while Netflix...doesn't.
A choice between Netflix streaming and Hulu Plus streaming isn't even a choice--Hulu Plus is absolutely better--but Netflix's $2 unlimited DVD add on is what (had) saved the service for me. Admittedly, I don't use the DVD service nearly as much as I use the streaming service, but I use it fairly often because Netflix's streaming line-up is pretty pathetic.
The last videos I streamed from Netflix include such gems as Mega Python vs. Gateroid, Mega Shark vs. Crocosaurus, and Egyptian Secrets of the Afterlife. Entertaining titles, to be sure, but you can rest assured they were not my first choice (the last DVDs I rented from Netflix were Avatar and The Sopranos: Season 6).
Anyway, it looks like it's time to finally retire my Netflix account for good. Their streaming service isn't very good, and I don't really use the DVD service enough to warrant $8 a month. I'm not the only one who's annoyed with the change, either--many have taken to voicing their opinions on Netflix's Facebook page.
A 60 percent price increase, Netflix? You've gotta be kidding me.
This story, "Netflix's 60% Price Hike: You've Gotta Be Kidding Me!" was originally published by PCWorld.