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Netflix - the long, steady, nose dive

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Netflix - the long, steady, nose dive

Old 05-05-01, 12:18 PM
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As a member since 1999 I've seen Netflix go from being a fantastic company and a great deal into a shriveling mess. It seems like they have either raised their price or introduced a new, more restrictive, policy every month for the last two years. More maddening than higher prices or stupid restrictive policies is the ever shrinking new release list.They don't have any of the newest Criterion releases - Rififi, Mon Oncle, Mr. Hulot's Holiday, The Rock, Spartacus etc. While these films aren't as popular as the big new Hollywood releases - being able to rent the more obscure dvds was part of what made Netflix great.
The changes in stock/policy over the last few months:
* changing the price from $19.95 to $24.95
* the incredible travesty of splitting two-disc sets into two rentals one for disc one and another for the "bonus disc"
*The weird and inexplicable "nonrentable" status/icon - so a film like Sunshine - which isn't even out yet - is "nonrentable" due to "high customer demand"
* The changes to the queue which further complicate the rental process

These changes, along with the ongoing joke that is "released to ship" make it unlikely I'll stay a member very much longer. I know there are going to be the tired responses to this post - SO QUIT IF YOU DON'T LIKE IT! - but those people don't get it. The other companies renting online aren't even as good as the fading Netflix. I complain because I know what Netflix used to be like - and I think that some of the problems they are having are stupid problems, problems they created that could be fixed. We'll see.
Old 05-05-01, 12:35 PM
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It always seemed like a bad idea to me.
Old 05-05-01, 10:24 PM
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Suttree - Interesting that in your compaint you state that Netflix is still the best online renter. I've also been a member since 1999 - I agree that although they aren't as good as they used to be,I'm still getting my 10-15 rentals a month with a good percentage of new releases. Right now I've got Bamboozled,Tigerland and Waking the Dead, just sent back Return with Honor, and Pola x has just been sent to me. The lack of new Criterions (and the new Verhovens - I had to buy them) bother me, but it could be worse.
Old 05-11-01, 12:49 AM
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Highlander was like that before anyone touched it.
Old 05-12-01, 09:03 PM
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Just to clarify, the $19.95 to $24.95 price increase only affects new members. If you had the $19.95 for 4 discs deal before the price increase, you should still have it now (at least I still do).

JKill, for what it is worth, out of the over 100 Netflix rentals I've had, only 1 had any problems. Either I've been lucky, you've been unlucky, or maybe some DVD players deal with imperfect discs better.
Old 05-13-01, 09:47 AM
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NetVarmint - I don't know if you're the lucky one or I'm the unlucky one, but they increased me to the 24.95 and I'm not a new member.
Old 05-13-01, 10:29 AM
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bdots48, That's strange. I wonder then how they determined who got to stay under the $19.95/4 deal and who got the price increase?

The thread http://www.dvdtalk.com/forum/showthr...hreadid=107088 indicates that some other people still have the $19.95/4 deal that I have so my situation is not unique.

Out of curiosity, did you perhaps join Netflix just a few months before the price increase?
Old 05-14-01, 12:52 PM
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Just the othere day, I was considering becoming a Netflix member...not any more.
Old 05-14-01, 02:39 PM
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Here's my thoughts on the price increase and otherwise lack of goodness:

People who use netflix for the first free month and end up having a couple movies "lost" in the mail. Blame them for this. Netflix should investigate things a little better, a while back I was on another message board and at least 3 people were boasting about thier "lost" DVD's... sometimes up to three times on any given account...and they also were boasting about having multiple accounts... Don;t see these posts anymore in the history, nor do I visit these boards... 13 year old kids run rampant.
Old 05-14-01, 04:35 PM
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Nope, I've been there since late l999. (Still worth it to me. Got Quills and All the Pretty Horses today and A Day in September and La Notte on the way.)
Old 05-14-01, 04:53 PM
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I am still being charged 19.95 for my 4 DVDs, but Netflix's trend has been that the "grandfathering" doesn't last forever. I fully expect that within a year or so, I will receive an e-mail telling me that due to cost and fairness constraints, Netflix is forced to switch me to the same plan as new enrollees. At that time, I will *still* probably stay a member because of the depth of their catalog, and the average price per rental.

But if their catalog depth drops (if the lack of recent Criterions and the Tati films becomes a trend, for instance), I might consider dropping them if someone better comes along. Rentmydvd is getting close. I have only found a few films at Netflix that I can't find at RMD.

But I have generally found that Netflix takes damned good care of their disks. I think I have only had 1 problem disk from them among the 150-odd rentals I have made. At Hollywood Video, about half my rentals have to be cleaned before I can have a satisfactory viewing.
Old 05-17-01, 07:44 PM
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...also, have any of you noticed that the labels seem to be incorrect?
We did not have time to watch anything long, so tried a DVD listed as 90 minutes. It was over about 2 hours later!!

It was "What Woman Want" and is STILL listed on the site (and label) as 90 minutes. This is not the first time this has happened.
Old 05-21-01, 12:56 PM
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A disc that was listed as shipped nearly a month ago still hasn't arrived yet, and I am coming to believe that it has truly been lost as the result of some postal service snafu. My question is, will Netflix charge me the full MSRP for this missing disc when I cancel my account, or do they allow for some inevitable shipping problems such as this? I find this situation to be troublesome, in addition to the fact that the missing disc will occupy a slot in the "disc reported lost" area of my account that I use frequently to facilate the shipping process. I am considering terminating my account at the end of the billing cycle and starting a new one just to make the slate clean.
Old 05-21-01, 02:00 PM
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I don't know how they will handle it Mrannak... but I cancelled my membership about 2 months ago, and they did not attempt to charge me for a copy of Blade Runner that had never made it back to them after I mailed it, and was still listed on my shipping status page as lost.
Old 05-21-01, 02:25 PM
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I tried Netflix a couple of years ago, it was fine, but at that point, I ran out of films that were on DVD that I wanted to see (most films had not yet made it to DVD at that point).

About 8-12 months ago, I tried it again, but I found that most of the films on my wish list were unavailable for the entire month.

A few weeks ago, I tried them again, and this time, I've had better results than last year, so maybe the claim "everyone has left so now you can actually rent most titles" is true.

The new "Now/Short Wait/Long Wait" description at least gives one an idea of what you are likely to get.

I also am doing Rentmydvd at the moment.

My overall assessment is that Netflix is still the best for obscure and "genre" titles that are simply not anywhere else. Rentmydvd is better for renting the latest releases and other popular Hollywood and Indie titles (Indie meaning Officially Sanctioned Independent Films - the sort of independent films that critics like and end up at Film Festivals).

If you don't mind dealing with two companies, I think it is better to do the "lite" plan (2 out) at both, rather than the full membership of only one site.
Old 06-02-01, 05:43 AM
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I haven't rented from Netflix in ages, since I was out of the country. So after I returned I thought I would sign up again and catch up on some of the great DVD releases that have come out lately. However, these days Netflix is NOT the place to go if you want selection.

As some of you have mentioned, MAJOR new Criterion releases are unavaiable, suggesting that Netflix has really dropped the ball in terms of stocking new releases. Then there were the Japanese cult films such as GO GO SECOND TIME VIRGIN and ECSTASY OF THE ANGELS put out by Image, which I wanted to rent before possibly buying. Also "unavailable." Frankly, I was mystified.

So I didn't sign up with them again. If Netflix isn't going to stock even slightly offbeat titles from major DVD producers like Criterion and Image, than why bother? I can drive up the street to Blockbuster or Hollywood Video, which have all the mainstream titles and a few Criterions, as well.

If Netflix stops snoozing and makes more of these offbeat titles available, then I'll start renting from them again. Are you listening, Netflix?

James

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