Thursday, September 22, 2011

A Pox on Netflix

David Pogue has a great column today on what was once my, and apparently millions of other people's, favorite company, Netflix. For about $15 a month they would provide as many DVDs as you wanted to watch, just so long you didn't have more than three DVDs out at any one time. I'm not sure exactly when they went into business, but it's been a while back, and I've been with them for a long time. Later the company developed a streaming movie function, too. Different price structures depending on how many DVDs you had out at a time, but you got both services. But recently Netflix, without any warning or preparation of its customers,changed the rules of the game in a big way. They split the two functions, you could have either streaming or physical DVD, but if you wanted to have the two together, they jacked the price way up.

People were pissed. I dropped DVD service altogether. Reportedly over a million customers just left. Now the company has made matters worse. The CEO came out with an "apology" that just made people madder. I won't go into details. You can read the Pogue article. Suffice it to say, people are going to have to deal with two different outfits--Netflix for streaming video, and a new company called "Quixster" for DVDs. Two bills, two web sites. More than twice the headache.

Hell, if I weren't in the middle of "Mad Men"--an HBO TV series Susan and I are watching--I'd be inclined to drop the company too. I am paying $8 a month for streaming, and most the movies offered are distinctly second tier. Just like the company now. They are going to have to reverse field pretty quickly are they are, I think, cooked.
Post a Comment