What Will You Do When the Great Netflix Price Hike Happens?

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Netflix subscribers learned something very unpleasant today. Starting in September, unlimited DVDs and unlimited streaming will now cost $15.98, a 60% increase over the current rate, $9.99. This is a significant price hike — much more than the most recent increase from $7.99 to $9.99 — and if you ask me, it’s a dealbreaker.

Let’s for a moment take a look at my viewing habits. I like to think of myself as the average inefficient Netflix user: I sometimes rapidly cycle through three or four DVDs in a month, only to go for stretches of weeks without opening that little red envelope. Sometimes, when in a fix for entertainment, I’ll hit up the Netflix streaming, which is highly convenient in that it can appear on my phone at the gym, on my laptop in bed, or on my Wii in the living room. The only problem is that there’s NEVER anything good to watch (unless, of course, you were just aching to finally see Thumbelina). I suppose streaming is good for catching up on old television shows and seasons, but once you’ve gone through the decent fare, it’s slim pickings. On occasion, I might stumble upon something noteworthy, but just as soon as it’s found (ie. Salt), a dustup with a studio (ie. Sony) causes the title to be swiftly pulled from the service without warning. This means that you have to actually move quickly on streaming movies, which sort of undermines the whole idea of “on demand.”

This brings me back to the fare hike. Do I really want to pay $15.98 for an albeit convenient but meager selection of on-demand streaming? And do I also want to drop that coin on DVDs I might take two months to watch? No. This is no longer a good value to me. So, I will choose one of the alternate plans: $7.99 for unlimited streaming or $7.99 for unlimited DVDs. But which to choose? I’m leaning toward the DVDs. Netflix Classic, if you will.

Where do you stand on the issue? Will you accept the price increase? Or will you opt for one of the alternate plans?

24 replies on “What Will You Do When the Great Netflix Price Hike Happens?”

  1. I’m leaning towards dropping it altogether and just renting from Amazon. Maybe if they had a stronger selection of classic movies on their streaming service I would keep it but I don’t think either of their offerings is strong enough to even command 8 bucks/month. I don’t want to sound cheap because 16 bucks isn’t much but I just don’t feel like it’s a good value for both and I really like the option of both but like you don’t use it enough to make it worthwhile. And now I’m rambling/babbling about Netflix… sigh…

  2. I’m one of the steamers who uses the service only typo stream old tv shows. But the streaming service has been unreliable for about a week or a week and a half. That service isnt increasing in cost other than I’m paying for a service that doesn’t work. So I’m about to dump them too. If youre going to go with netflix classic for four dvds a month wouldn’t it be cheaper to do redbox? Or is that more xpensive/less convenient on your side of the country?

  3. We made the switch ages ago – to streaming only. It works for us but I can definitely see the other side. We watch a lot of streaming tv…

  4. I’m thinking of canceling mine. I was okay with prices going up a couple of dollars every now and then. I was fine with paying extra for bluray. But when they put a put a 28 day hold on new release movies, they started getting to me. I’ll keep it until the first because I’ve already paid for this month. I live in a small town that still has a functioning Blockbuster, so I’m going to try a Blockbuster by Mail free trail until then and see how that goes.

  5. I’m keeping the DVD and streaming.
    DVD’s: Hubby and I have completely different tastes in movies and shows. I pick all the DVD’s that get sent – so this way if we are going to watch a movie together, it always ends up being my choice 🙂
    Streaming: I have a 7 year old. 90% of my streaming history is iCarly, Spongebob, Wizards of Waverly Place and other various Disney, Nick and Cartoon Network Series. He watches on the Wii, iTouch, or his netbook.
    The $5 increase for me will allow me to watch all my many shows – while the kid can watch his own at the same time (on the couch together – ya know – for ‘family time’).

  6. I’m on the fence. I’ve been streaming through my Wii. I just caught season one of Downton Abbey and I’ve totally gotten my money’s worth already. The selection is weak, though, and I’m running out of things to watch, especially since the streaming isn’t HD. However, when I get DVDs I never watch them.

  7. Until they offer better choices for streaming – the price hike just cost them a customer. For the few DVD’s I’ll turn to redbox.

    1. This is exactly why I stopped using Netflix. I love the streaming part, but the selection is awful. I use Redbox now and spend perhaps $6-$8 per month.

  8. We are keeping both. My husband works from home and he streams tv shows or documentaries while he works. I get dvd’s, either something I want to watch or a new movie we want to watch together. I usually watch my movie the day I get it and mail it back the next day. I have kids too and Netflix makes it easy to rent. At times, they will get a dvd and watch it 20 times before I mail it back. I like having that freedom.

    I’m surprised they are raising their price again but considering the cost of taking a family to the movies, it is much cheaper for us and worth the price.

  9. Nope, I’m probably dropping. If memory serves, they just HAD a price increase within the last year. I has (at that time) one of the lower DVD plans w/o streaming. And I did in fact cancel for awhile when they jacked the price to MAKE me take streaming. Now they’re splitting them apart and the plan I basically had before is now going to cost $2-3 extra a month? And like you I’m only a casual user? I can no loner justify it to myself. I’m out.

    1. If that’s the case, then they need to improve their streaming quality. After talking around at work, everyone here (midwest – not that I’m sure they can affect certain parts of the country) is having problems with streaming, except on their laptops. Our Wiis/game consoles, iPads, phones, etc. have very, very low connection rate. Half the time mine doesn’t connect at all. Or it will and won’t display movies/shows (even if I search for them). And then if I FINALLY get that far, the shows don’t start.

      I finally sent a “hate Tweet” to Netflix (I assume lots of people this pay hike along with crappy streaming) made them do the same, and service was much better last night. We’ll see if it lasts. If not, I don’t see why they’d want MORE people streaming when they can’t hanlde demands now.

  10. I’m having the same problem. We have the exact same situation as you – sometimes cycling through DVD’s a lot, and sometimes not… but we do enjoy some streaming as well. It just depends on what we have going on during the month. I thought it was an incredible prince increase as well… So I don’t know what we’ll do…

  11. i’m pissed off and tempted to drop it all together, but i really love getting new movies and tv shows shipped to me when they are released. on the other hand, i have unopened envelopes during the times when nothing new is out that i want to see. i guess i need to look into redbox. as far as streaming goes, definitely not interested in keeping that. like everyone else said, the selection is bad once you get through the few good things, and i hate how i have to turn my tv up to max volume to hear netflix movies streamed through my wii.

  12. I get three DVDs at a time and I never stream (no internet at home) so my new plan actually is cheaper by $4. Guess I’m the only one who’s not pissed.

  13. I did a trial for a survey company a few years ago where I had to join both Blockbuster by mail and Netflix. I found Blockbuster had a better selection of older classic movies but Netflix had more copies of the newer movies. I even continued to use Netflix until one of the kids decided to play hide and seek with the mail and I got a bill from Netflix for $75. I finally found the movie (stuffed under a pile of mail) and sent it back and cancelled the service. I can buy movies for much less at Walmart…

    Now we use Redbox and Blockbuster’s kiosks regularly and are happy with them.

  14. Moving down to only streaming no DVD’s – I find I use Redbox often and the movies are only $1 per night. It’s great! No waiting for the mail and I can return to any redbox.

  15. I am going to drop the DVD’s and keep the streaming for now, even though I have a problem with it working correctly now and then. I’ll be 10 minutes into a movie and then it goes to retrieving and just sits there. Drives me nuts.

  16. i was instantly pissed off when i got their email yesterday but not surprised as I heard all sorts of hullabaloo on the news about their market share and stock trading so it was not unexpected. I dropped the dvd service and kept streaming because I am way behind on watching movies as hubby and i have completely different taste and can never agree on a movie to watch. the damn little red envelopes also just sit and sit and sometimes I just return them having never a time when I can commandeer the tv. My college age son, my husband and I all use the streaming on different devices (and often in different cities) sometimes at the same time and for that reason, the streaming for $7.99 wikll stay for now. For new releases, I will have to find a red box or simply by them on demand from our cable raping company…

  17. The problem has been mentioned several times here already: streaming just isn’t as reliable or valuable as cable.

    Netflix has been great, but the buffering times and occasional drop (remember just a few nights ago when the service was out for ~14 hours?) aren’t worth it. I’ll stick around with the unlimited streaming for a while more, with iTunes and even Hulu Plus you can still get a pretty good online deal available anywhere you are.

  18. Yeah, I’m hoping that this is the first step towards moving entirely to a streaming service, with HD quality and the entire catalogue available to watch instantly. If that’s the direction they’re headed, I’ll gladly pay $8/month.

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