44 Comments

Summary:

The Netflix blog has seen thousands of comments ever since the company announced its new pricing structure earlier today, with many customers threatening to cancel altogether. People are also turning to Facebook and Twitter in what looks like a major backlash against the company.

angry man with sign

Subscribers have been up in arms since Netflix announced a changed pricing structure on Tuesday that will raise the price for a combined DVD and streaming subscription from $10 to $16 a month. The company is also offering DVD-only and streaming-only subscriptions for $8 a month each, but most people don’t seem to like the prospect of having to choose: The Netflix blog has seen more than 4,200 comments, most of which are negative, with a number of customers threatening to cancel.

Countless consumers have also turned to the company’s Facebook page, with negative feedback far outweighing any other kind of response. And on Twitter, the discussion around the plan changes has made “DVDs” an unlikely trending topics in a number of cities. Check out a few highlighted tweets to see how people feel about the company’s plans:

View the story “Reactions to the Netflix price hike” on Storify.

What does all of this uproar mean for Netflix? Of course, it’s unlikely that any price increase would be met with a thumbs-up by many consumers. However, the intensity of the backlash seems to suggest that Netflix really does have a problem.

Netflix has long enjoyed a lot of good will from its customers, simply due to the breadth of its DVD offering. Consumers tolerated the lack of selection in the company’s streaming catalog because it was seen as a value-add to their existing DVD subscription. Recent hiccups, such as Sony removing titles from the streaming catalog, also didn’t lead to many complaints.

However, with streaming and DVDs effectively being separated from each other and users being forced to pay twice as much, many customers are seemingly losing their patience with Netflix. The company may have to go back and do a better job at explaining these changes — or even unveil some great new streaming catalog additions before the September 1 deadline that will force people to pay more, choose between streaming and DVDs or cancel altogether.

Image courtesy of Flickr user soukup

  1. angry man without sign Tuesday, July 12, 2011

    i am very angry about this. argh!!

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  2. Not my Real Name Tuesday, July 12, 2011

    It wouldn’t be so bad to have to chose between DVD and streaming if Streaming had more options and you didn’t have to wait over a month for a DVD

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  3. This is just a monumental screw-up by Netflix Any value they received from the goodwill of their customers just got tossed out the window. Now they have an angry mob that’s ready to stop paying them at the end of August, if not sooner.

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  4. Luke Freiler Tuesday, July 12, 2011

    As a long time Netflix subscriber, I couldn’t care less. I’m more than happy to limit to just the Streaming service, which seems to be their motivation anyway. If this pushes digital streaming forward faster, more power to them.

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  5. Johnathan Riley Tuesday, July 12, 2011

    I had never even looked at alternatives before today. If your most loyal clients are suddenly looking for a way out, it’s a big problem. The most galling thing is the huge price increase with no offer of improvement in service. What was $10 is now $16, because… what?

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  6. Apparently there’s more than one GigaOm journalist that can’t put proper research into their article.

    http://money.cnn.com/2011/07/08/technology/netflix_starz_contract/

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  7. It will get worse when Netflix’s contracts with content providers expire. In % terms the price hike is ridiculous but relative to a $14 3D movie theater ticket the monthly streaming/DVD package is still a bargain.

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  8. This very large bump up in price seems a little out of character for Netflix. They really do have a lot of goodwill in consumer circles and I don’t think it’s just because of the breadth of DVDs they offered. Along with providing us with a good and popular service at a very reasonable price, they are also very lenient on returns, occasional losses, and paying attention to their customers on even little things like re-issuing damaged discs. Netflix also went out of its way to just give a small discounts when their streaming service would go down. It’s very rare these days for a consumer to get premium service at a non-premium price. I really hope this price/service announcement is just a bad marketing test.

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  9. I think if anyone is jumping for joy it is Redbox. I was talking to another loyal Netflix subscriber today at work, and he’s like me, changing to streaming only now. Redbox can more than fill in the gap of DVDs to watch, especially when considering $8/month. For that $8, I think I’d get more use from a Hulu Plus subscription.

    And personally, it’s been harder to find good material on Netflix streaming, and I can now really see a potential future without it altogether.

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  10. coolrepublica Tuesday, July 12, 2011

    People at Amazon must feel that they have handed a gift from netflix. I hope they use it wisely.

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