I received an e-mail from Netflix notifying me that my current subscription plan was going away. In its place will be two separate plans. Both of these together would cost me roughly 60% more than my current rate. Of course, I wasn’t the only one. The rest of their subscriber base received the same e-mail, causing the internet’s collective head to explode (for some free fun, check out the 5,000+ comments on the Netflix blog post; most of the “burn in Hell, Netflix” variety).
While it’s always annoying to have prices hiked so drastically, and my first instinct is always to just cancel, I’ll probably stay with them. We watch a ridiculous amount of movies and t.v. shows via Netflix streaming. There is honestly no other way we could get that much entertainment for $7.99. And while we’re being honest, I’ve had the same DVD sitting on my desk for about four months. Obviously I’m not really going to miss that part of the service.
So they’ll continue to get my money. What they won’t get is my unadulterated love. They had it before. If you provide me with an incredible service at an incredible price, I’ll tell everyone about it: Why hello, Mr. Postman, do you have Netflix?
If, however, you try to hit me with a 60% rate hike out of the blue, well that puts you squarely in the category with other services I must have but who’s providers I vehemently detest (I’m looking at you telephone and health care industries).
While this may be a net positive for Netflix’s balance sheet, I think in the long term they burned a lot of goodwill. Maybe they had it in spades to burn, but it’s not easily earned and certainly not something to be wasted.