Netflix’s plans to sharply hike the price of its DVD/streaming plans have unleashed a wave of angry response from its customer base.
The company announced Tuesday, among other pricing changes, that its combination streaming/DVD product will cost 60 percent more, effective September 1 for existing customers.
Netflix’s blog was soon overwhelmed by an avalanche of negative reactions. As of Wednesday morning, almost 6400 messages are on the blog.
“This is a horrible deal for current customers,” Todd Hayward of Old Dominion wrote. “You’re going to be losing a lot of business with this decision.”
James Marler of Jhm Ministries wrote: “In the past year, your stock has nearly tripled... TRIPLED! in a time of economic downturn. The reason for this, the ONLY reason for this, is that you were smarter than EVERY other company that does anything close to what you do. You had streaming… and a DVD plan. It was perfect. The family could watch our ever growing list of titles on streaming, while waiting for our one-at-a-time DVD that wasn't available for streaming. PERFECTION! I will forever be kicking myself in the pants for not taking 100% of my retirement fund and not investing it in Netflix a year ago. And now you introduce this gargantuan price hike. Think about this for a second... as of September 1, I will have to pay almost 65% over again to receive the EXACT SAME SERVICE that I was receiving on August 30, This is bad, BAD business (price gouging, if it was at a gas station) especially in these financial times.”
“You’ve decided to raise customer rates during a period of economic downturn, when people are struggling to pay for basic necessities and when cable TV is just too damned expensive,” Darrin Wright of Zimmer Radio Group wrote on Netflix’s blog. “You’re forcing me to pay more for products and services I’ve paid for loyally for quite a while now. You’re really, REALLY making me reconsider this business relationship.”
Brian Ibbott of Coverville media wrote: “Wow, Netflix. I supported you from the beginning, all the way back to October 2000. You rewarded your faithful supporters a few years ago by grandfathering their original plans among the new offerings, and you had my loyalty for doing so. Now, you want to charge me an additional $120 per year for your service. I can understand a $2-3 increase every few years, but $10 additional per month is unrealistic if you want to maintain loyalty & customers. Especially when there are plenty of $1 Redbox and similar services a block away from people's houses. A small increase would have kept me as a customer, but this is too much.”
Cris Rice of Comcast declared: “I'm pretty much done with Netflix.”
Rich Goade of Apple sneered: “Oh yeah, tell your marketing guys they did a pretty good job trying to spin this as a positive thing for users of both streaming + dvd services. By the looks of all these comments, I don't think users are believing your hype.”
Palash has worked as a business journalist for 21 years in New York.