Netflix: How Not to Communicate with Customers
I am one of the Netflix customers who opened an e-mail titled “Important Netflix Account Info: Price Change and New Plans” to find that Netflix will soon be charging me more.
I’ve been a Netflix customer for many years, and have always been happy with the service. And I’ve had a number of subscription plans during that time, based on my viewing patterns.
Here’s the thing I noticed: Yes, Netflix is about to charge me $19.99 a month instead of $14.99 a month. And, yes, that’s a third again as much for the same service. Also, yes, it is only $5 a month–hardly likely to break the bank. But–and this is to me a bigger deal than the cost–previously, I have been able to continue whatever plan I was on until I chose to make a change. That plan was grandfathered in, and while new customers might not be able to select it, I could continue with it because I was already subscribed.
That’s not the case here. Netflix has made this change across the board, regardless of whether you are a new or an existing customer. And they’ve done it with fairly short notice; the new pricing will take effect starting September 1, and this is the middle of July. Considering that it’s summer, and people are at various stages of vacations (assuming they’re not moving), that doesn’t feel like a lot of time to me.
It feels like even less time when I click through the e-mail to change my subscription and find that the new plan will actually take effect next week. And the confusion continues when I see that one page tells me to return my current DVDs within seven days, and another tells me within 14 days. Come on, Netflix–make up your mind. What are these time frames, and why can’t you communicate them consistently within the same information stream?
Nevertheless, I’ve changed my subscription. We’ve had two DVDs for months, because we haven’t had the opportunity to watch them. So, clearly, we don’t need X number of DVDs per month. Streaming video is the way to go for this. If we really want a DVD, we can rent from Redbox.
So here’s the real question: Is it worth paying for Netflix at all when I already have a membership in Amazon Prime?