The Return of Instant Netflix

Well it has been a ridiculously long time since I have blogged. While Netflix is no stranger to the news, their latest announcement has their community in an uproar. They are separating their DVD and instant movie services (to an extent). Of course this was couched as a positive in the press release.

Digression: This positive portrayal of a mostly detrimental change strongly reminds me of working for Eckerd drugs. Every time they changed the benefits package, they always portrayed it as getting better when in fact it got persistently worse (not to mention more expensive)(oops I mentioned it, sorry). All the Eckerd drugstores were bought out later by CVS but I imagine the principle applies to many if not most corporations.

The new pricing structure is effective immediately for new subscribers while current subscribers will not take the price hit until after September 1st (assuming current subscribers do not attempt to change their level of service prior to then). My current level of service is 2 DVDs at a time and instant Netflix and costs $14.99 a month. As of September 1st, that plan will be $19.98. All the other disc plus instant plans went up substantially as well.

I understand customer ire at these huge price hikes. While a bitter pill to swallow, Netflix is still a fantastic bargain. Between Netflix (for movies) and Hulu Plus (for TV series), we do not bother watching cable television. That is not just hyperbole – we only have cable internet and cut off our TV cable well over a year ago.

The basic set of channels in our area costs $55 a month and that does not include the premium channels. For Netflix’s $15 (soon to be $20), I get a vast selection of movies that I can start at 8:20 or any time of my choosing, pause it later to make my wife some popcorn or a soda, and then return to where I left.

So to sum up, in spite of the price increase, I remain an instant Netflix fanboy.