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The last straw...Netflix price hike!

Old 01-31-01, 02:26 PM
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For the last few months, we've worked hard to improve the Netflix Unlimited Rental Service. We continue to carry virtually every DVD available, our inventory depth on new releases is better than ever, and our service levels continue to improve.

Our goal has always been to provide a great service at a great price, and we hope you will continue to think of Netflix as a fantastic value. However,

Starting in March of this year, we will be raising the price of your Unlimited Rental Service from $19.95 to $24.95 per month.
To start, you should know that for most of our customers, we moved the price of our 4-discs-at-a-time program to $24.95 several months ago. Bringing all of our customers up to $24.95 ensures that we have the resources to continue offering an unlimited selection and consistent service, and to continue evolving the business going forward.

I hope you'll agree that even at $24.95 our Unlimited Rental Service is a good value. And if you wish to continue with the 4-at-a-time program at that price, simply do nothing and your service will not be interrupted.

However, if for some reason you decide that at this price point Unlimited Rentals is not for you any longer, you have two other options:

Change to our $19.95 3-at-a-time Unlimited Rental program, in which case we will continue to charge you $19.95 per month and will adjust you to a 3-out-at-a-time level.
Cancel your Unlimited Rental program to avoid all further charges.
To change or cancel your account, simply click here .

The price increase won't take effect until your normal March billing date, which ensures that you will have at least 1 full month of 4-at-a-time Unlimited Rentals at $19.95 to decide which option you would prefer. (Your billing date is the anniversary of your original start date. For example, if you started with us November 19, your first $24.95 charge will take place on March 19th and will cover the period from March 19th through April 18th.)

Although I certainly hope you decide to stick with us, I will remind you that if you decide to cancel your account, you must do so prior to your March billing date to avoid the additional charges.

Although it's always more fun to get feedback from good news, I am still very interested in hearing what you think. Please drop me a note at [email protected] I may not have time to respond directly, but I do read every word you take the time to write.

Thanks for all your support,



Marc B. Randolph
Founder, NetFlix

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Old 01-31-01, 02:32 PM
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Well I haven't received that yet but when I do I'll be seriously tempted to "simply click here"
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Old 01-31-01, 02:38 PM
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well stick a fork in em, they are done.
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Old 01-31-01, 02:48 PM
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I got this email as well. The price as well as lack of shipped DVD's this month doesn't warrant a price increase in my mind. Now my decision is one of two things to quit right before the start of this billing cycle or to quit right before the intended price increase in March.

Does anyone know of anyone else that rents DVD's online such as netflick.com. If not then its back to the brick and mortars for me.
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Old 01-31-01, 03:30 PM
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Anyone knows the telephone # for Netflix customer suport?

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Old 01-31-01, 03:56 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by Pano:
Anyone knows the telephone # for Netflix customer suport?



I've tried to get a phone number from them anytime I ask for a 1-800 number it falls on deaf ears much like trying to get a 1-800 number or anytype of number to speak to a customer service agent at EBAY. I think we have a better chance of getting Shoeless Joe Jackson and Pete Rose in the hall of fame than getting a phone number from these guys. Technology is great but not when you hide behind layers of custom written vague email responses.
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Old 01-31-01, 03:57 PM
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I just fired off a piece of my mind to founder Marc Randolph letting him know what I think about their "inventory depth on new releases" being better than ever, and how the phrase "our service levels continue to improve" is laugh-out-loud funny.

I also have two titles that supposedly shipped to me on 1/16 that I still have not received as of today (1/31). I declared them lost last night and got a nasty automated email telling me that the next disc I designate as lost they will put a shipping freeze on my account and contact me. I had one go missing back in August, so I guess if you claim more than 3 as lost you are a risk. After reading what thedvddude posted in the other thread about a similar problem (http://talk.dvdtalk.com/ubb/Forum7/HTML/006485.html) I wouldn't doubt that these two titles have yet to ship from the Netflix warehouse!

Well, with all the problems of late, this price increase makes the decision easy for me. I'm done as soon as my final DVDs are checked in.

jriems
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Old 01-31-01, 04:36 PM
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I've been a member at netflix for about a year and a half and have loved it, but a $5 a month jump is too much. For the first time I'm seriously thinking of going back to the b&m rental joints.
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Old 01-31-01, 07:27 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by sm8680:
Originally posted by Pano:
Anyone knows the telephone # for Netflix customer suport?



I've tried to get a phone number from them anytime I ask for a 1-800 number it falls on deaf ears
Maybe you just aren't asking the right people?

Here you go...
http://www.netflix.com/press_contact.asp?sid=808

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Old 01-31-01, 09:24 PM
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888-NETFLIX

I'm happy to pay $25/mo, as long as they keep sending me movies. They're not perfect, but after looking around at the local stores I'm thankful for 9600 titles.
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Old 01-31-01, 09:27 PM
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Given the fact that I've only been getting 2 disks a week lately, either due to DVDs being out of stock or DVDs being in "released to ship" mode for a week or who knows why, I'm probably going to *downgrade* my membership to Netflix Lite. Probably not the response these guys expected. But their degradation in service, i.e., getting me my full limit of DVDs (4) each week, really makes their new price structure unbearable. Maybe people new to the service will find this acceptable, but I'm likely headed to Blockbuster or Hollywood Video from now on.
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Old 01-31-01, 09:46 PM
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I'm out. I can rent a movie from Albertsons for $1.50 for 3 days.
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Old 01-31-01, 11:16 PM
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I've been with Netflix since the beginning. Remember the $15.95/mo?

that was back in the days when you put a movie in your queue and it was actually available.

Lately, over 80% of my queue is "out of stock" and I've had serious problems in them recieving the movies I mail back. It used to take 2-3 days from the time I shipped till they recieved it. In the past 3 months, I've been averaging 5-7 days. This means that I've gone weekends w/out a movie, which really pisses me off.

I rent an average of 6-8 movies a month (could probably do 8-10/mo if they got their recieving act together). However, this is really my "winter" average. In the summer, I average 4-6 movies per month.

Now the price hike. This is a $9 raise in the past year for me, equating to about a 60% increase in rates.

I used to rave about Netflix and have told many people about the service. Now, it's just another one out there.

I haven't tried DVDOvernight, but it looks tempting. Anyone else try it?

Tman
Portland, Oregon
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Old 01-31-01, 11:47 PM
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I quit NetFlix last month too.

Who the hell has time to watch all this crap anyway? I always felt this pressure that I had to watch movies quickly or I was wasting money. I've got plenty of other (productive) things to do with my life.

IOW, no I won't be using BB instead
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Old 02-01-01, 03:36 AM
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quote:
Originally posted by omi:
I'm out. I can rent a movie from Albertsons for $1.50 for 3 days.


Which Albertson's near you rents DVDs?
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Old 02-01-01, 03:42 AM
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Man, when Netflix started it was great... $15.95 a month... most titles ACTUALLY in stock... and reasonably quick shipping.
In the last year or so, the top 10 titles in my queue have been perpetually out-of-stock, shipping takes longer (I almost ALWAYS have to go online and click "delayed", otherwise it takes 2 weeks to return one/get another one), and the price keeps going up, up, up! Even after they originally said I was "grandfathered" in at the original price. If they didn't have so many obscure titles available, I'd cancel right now... I'm going to have to make a decision this month as to whether it's really worth it - I mean, that's $300 a year! You could BUY a lot of DVD's for that money...
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Old 02-01-01, 06:38 AM
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I'm no longer a member and I stopped telling people about these guys, due to very slow shipping and now a rate hike! Tell you what, when I can pay 19.95 a month for 30 dvd rentals in a month from Blockbuster, why bother with netflicks? I know Blockbuster sucks, but the Blockbuster's around me carry alot of titles and carry deep in new releases. Here I come Big Blue, later Netflix!!
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Old 02-01-01, 09:01 AM
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I cancelled my membership 10 days ago. Today I received an email that they have received 2 dvds I had reterned to them mid January. Netflix used to be a good service but not any more.
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Old 02-01-01, 09:21 AM
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I've been a member of Netflix since 11/99, but I agree that the service has worsened considerably in recent months. I will drop back to the 3 out at-a-time in March and try it for a month or two to see if I can get enough titles each month to justify the program. If not, itís off to Blockbuster and their $20 program.

Some of you may relate to this: In November, on my one year anniversary with Netflix, I received a thank you email for my patronage followed the next day by an unannounced price increase. This was my response:

Dear Mr. Randolph,

When a company sends out an loyalty appreciation communication to customers like the one that I received yesterday (attached below), it is often accompanied by a coupon, gift certificate, etc. to thank the customer for their business.

Imagine my surprise when I checked my billing history today to find that my reward for this loyal patronage was a monthly rate increase of 31%, from $15.95 per month to $20.85 per month!!!!! Is this how NetFlix shows customer appreciation?

While I recognize that the monthly rate that I have been charged may not have covered your costs and was artificially low in order to build a customer-base, I do know that it is much cheaper to retain customers than it is to gain new ones. Your company's action of sending out this thank-you email immediately followed by this large rate increase leaves a very sour taste in my mouth. I suspect that if you treat all of your customers this way, you will have a very difficult time retaining customers.

I have received no communications whatsoever indicating that a rate increase was pending. I also don't understand why I was billed $20.85 but the price on the Terms page say $19.95 per period.

In the past, I have recommended your service to many of my friends and acquaintances, but I certainly cannot do so now. I have not yet decided whether I will remain a NetFlix customer or not - I will have to consider my projected rental patterns, alternatives, and get over my anger at being treated in this way.

If you would like to retain me as a satisfied customer, then please roll-back my regular monthly charge to $15.95 and give me a credit for this month's over-billing. If that isn't realistic, then please give me some combination of a rate reduction and/or free months of service.

I have been satisfied with your service in the past and would like to continue to be a loyal customer. I hope that you will take the time to correct this situation.

Sincerely,
stuntkite

-----Original Message-----
From: NetFlix News [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Wednesday, November 01, 2000 3:11 AM
To: stuntkite
Subject: Happy Anniversary!

Congratulations...You've been with NetFlix Unlimited Rental Service for one year!
Dear stuntkite,
I wanted to take this opportunity to tell you how much I truly appreciate your commitment to NetFlix. I know I speak for everyone here when I say we truly value you as a customer and look forward to always giving you the very best in DVD entertainment.
In the last year, we've worked hard to improve our site and give you an enjoyable, positive experience. I'm pleased with what we've accomplished, and I'm also very excited about our recent site redesign. We hope the new design makes everything from reading reviews to renting DVDs fun and easier.
As always, we'll continue to look for ways to improve and develop our site. If you ever have any comments or suggestions, please send me an email anytime. I can't promise I'll respond to every email, but I can promise I'll read each one -- your input is very important!
I look forward to having you around for another year full of reviews, recommendations and, of course, DVDs!
Thanks again for your support.
Sincerely,
Marc Randolph
Founder, NetFlix.com
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Old 02-01-01, 10:59 AM
  #20  
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quote:
Originally posted by Hoc:
Which Albertson's near you rents DVDs?


Its the one in Huntington Beach, CA in the new Seacliff shopping village.
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Old 02-01-01, 04:30 PM
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What a bunch of whiney gas-bags. Please, you are the same 9 or 10 people CONSTANTLY complaining. I joined DVD Talk hoping for useful information. I have been a NetFlix customer for about the last 6 months and have experienced MAYBE 2 or 3 inconveniences out of the hundreds of good transactions I have had with them. Maybe it's better for the 10 of you to return to the brick & mortar stores to make room in this forum for people that might actually have some positive input or useful information to share. SHEESH!!!

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Old 02-01-01, 04:49 PM
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I think they're trying to keep me - they shipped after life - it was at the top of my queue for the 6 weeks since it was released. I took a look around at the b&m's in my area today - pretty sad selection. I might stick with 'em.
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Old 02-01-01, 05:40 PM
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I'm not going to go into a long rant about Netflix - enough's been said about their declining customer service and price hikes.

I'm going to cancel my membership tonight. I hope that (1) Netflix gets enough cancellations that they fix their problems, (2) Another entity enters the market, or (3) Blockbuster continues to increase their DVD selection (they are getting better). I just can't justify Netflix any longer - there are only so many "obscure" titles I am interested in watching, and I can't get new releases anyway!!!

------------------
Steve Doyon
Charlotte, NC
Steve's DVD Collection
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Old 02-01-01, 06:29 PM
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I'm out. If for any reason that lately I've only been watching 4 movies a month. At $5 each it's not a bargain, and I just kept the membership for those months where I do watch 8+ movies making it a bargain.

But with 2-3/month plans, it just isn't worth it. Esp since my queue of 26+ movies are all out of stock.

What are the other online renters?

Cheers,

-Smeg
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Old 02-01-01, 07:30 PM
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Interesting Update!!

I just cancelled my account..received an e-mail from Netflix telling me that I had to have all my DVD's back by Feb. 8th, or I would have my credit card charged MSRP for the disks. However, they just notified me that Young Frankenstein had finally come off "out of stock" and shipped.

Since one of the reasons I cancelled my account was that the DVD's take 5-7 days (minimum) to reach me, how on earth will I get it back by Feb. 8th!!!!! I just e-mailed CS a reply to their "Send back the DVD's or else" letter....If they charge my credit card for Young Frankenstein, I WILL BE TICKED OFF!!

------------------
Steve Doyon
Charlotte, NC
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