Monday, April 21, 2008

Cheap Netflix Bastards!

This tweet from Anthony T. informs me that Netflix plans to charge customers more to rent Blu-Ray discs rather than traditional DVD's. This is weaksauce.

On a conference call held earlier today, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings made mention that it planned on instituting a "modest monthly premium" to its normal subscription rate for folks who rented BDs. Of course, the move only makes perfect sense -- after all, the discs do cost more, and according to Mr. Hastings, "consumers are used to paying more for high-definition content."

Naturally, the move makes financial sense. Customers with Blu-Ray players/PS3's have already spent several hundred dollars for the privilege of watching films in high-definition. The vast majority of them will clearly throw Netflix a few extra bucks a month for movies that make the player worth owning. Considering that Blu-Ray discs, on average, cost around $5-$10 over the price of regular DVD's, Netflix has to make up this difference somehow to remain profitable.

It just sucks is all. Netflix remains a fantastic deal, for the most part, but I still somehow feel "nickel and dimed" by them all the time. I'm not sure if it's just a failure of PR or my being such a movie uber-nerd that I notice small differences in rental policies...but I feel like Netflix is constantly trying to get one over on me, and it's giving me a rash, man.

I've written before about their loathsome policies of punishing more frequent renters and just generally shitty customer service. (I've still never received any kind of response to my complaint about only receiving Disc 1 of Branagh's "Hamlet." They want me to use up a second rental, I guess, to see the full film.) Once again, I'm left feeling taken advantage of, as they begin charging me extra for the same movies they've been sending me for months now.

They need some genuine competition. (Oh, I know that Blockbuster has an online rental service, but I vowed long ago never to do business with that villainous corporation again, and yeah, I could "rent" movies online and then burn them on to a disc and watch them on my TV. Shut up.) I like Netflix's business...just not the shady way they run it.


Dustin Sherrill said...

Wow! I had no idea this is what it was really like being a customer of Netflix. I guess I will stay away from this whole business model a little while longer now. I get nough abuse in my life. Thanks.

Peter L. Winkler said...

Do Blu-Ray discs cost more to manufacture than non-HD DVDs? If so, Netflix is merely passing on a price increase imposed by the manufacturer.

Jace said...

You didn't seem to mind paying hundreds of dollars more to get the Blu Ray player and probably the HDTV to go with it, now you want to complain about the couple of extra bucks to rent a disc? I don't feel sorry for you, I'm still on regular DVD. And they have to use a rental for 2 disc sets because each as a bar code to keep track of it. They have to know what went out and what came back. Again, boo hoo. It's your choice to get the "extras" disc. It's still a good deal and way convenient. Why don't you go buy the discs instead of renting if you're so peeved. That way you get everything you want. What? don't want to spend the extra cost over regular DVD? That's the price of getting the biggest and the best, sorry chum.

Lons said...

Yeah, how dare I vent against that large faceless corporation on my personal blog, where I write whatever occurs to me! What a big meanie! Waaaah!

Also, read posts before you rant against them. They didn't send me PART 2 of the movie "Hamlet," not the Extras disc.

And what, because I spent under $200 for an HD-DVD player (my roommate bought the PS3, so I spent nothing), I'm no longer allowed to complain about the price of anything film related ever again?